Monday, April 30, 2018

It's Monday morning

* Remarkably, I was not sore after Saturday. I thought I would be - roughly four miles (at least, that was someone's conservative estimate; it could have been more) of walking in unfamiliar shoes, over very rough terrain, and lots of up-and-down hills. If anything, my hips and knees hurt LESS on Sunday (and this morning) than they normally do which makes me wonder if:

a. My regular exercise is too repetitive, and the aches and pains I thought were mere aging are actually something like an RSI

b. Maybe I need to get more of that type of exercise somehow? Not sure how - as I said on Saturday, hiking alone is not the wisest idea ever and there's not a hiking club or group around here that I know of. (I think there's a "Volksmarcher" group in Sherman, but, well, it's in SHERMAN and it seems counterproductive to me to drive an hour's round trip to get exercise).

It could also be c: I need to wear shoes I can wear my orthotics in, instead of the dress shoes I usually wear, which tend to either lack support or be too flat.. I put the orthotics in the rubber boots, even though I was apprehensive they might slide around and cause more problems than help, but putting them in was an excellent choice

And the boots are good - sturdy, comfortable. They help up well and now I have them for gardening work or other messy work.

* That said: when summer rolls around I think I WILL plan to take 20 minutes or so and walk around campus at the end of my workdays. I'll still do the usual workout in the morning but I am wondering if the reason I gained a little weight last summer was a combination of *always* getting home for lunch (and thus having more access to food) and also not being on my feet for a couple hours a day teaching. I did have some research work - fighting that stupid hose - but it wasn't as much effort as the standing and walking to teach is.

If I trusted people in the neighborhoods between me and campus not to let their big stupid dogs run loose, I'd walk back and forth to work but I can't trust that; there are big stupid dogs that run around and while most of them are big stupid friendly dogs, you never know for sure - a colleague in another department was lowgrade attacked by a dog when he was trying to walk in.

They do also open up an indoor track in the student union some days for people to walk over lunch; I might have to look in to that, especially for very hot days. Maybe I'd even find people to walk with, or at least to talk to while I walk.

* In addition to finishing the "birb" quilt, I did a bit more handquilting on the current quilt in the frame. I'm to the point where I can see the end of this and am excited to work on it again. (Actually, I feel excited to work on things again, and that's a blessing. Again, I am wondering if the combo platter of bad allergies, problem students, and losing a friend very suddenly to what was probably a heart attack this spring all gave me a bit of what you might call "situational depression." I know there were times when I COULD have been doing stuff but just did not feel like it. It's good to feel like doing stuff again).

I also want to finish Heartthrob - I'm almost done with the body but haven't touched it in what seems like a long time. (I'm not going to estimate, because at the end of the semester, every week feels like it's about a month long).

* I still have half a plan to take Wednesday of exam week and go to Whitesboro as an end-of-semester celebration. I don't have anything I super-need (though, if I get a start on the new quilt, I might consider looking for a piece of fabric for its backing - I already have the back of the "birb" quilt).

It's kind of exciting to have a summer stretching in front of you with no classes and no real planned work. I am not used to this. Yes, I probably do need to do the "litter attraction" pilot study (collecting leaf litter from a forested area and dead-grass litter from a grassland, putting them in litter bags, and doing both same-site and reciprocal transplants of the litter to see (a) do I get a different order richness of detritivores between the two locations and (b) are there different patterns within a site depending on type of litter? I'm guessing a is more likely than b, but we'll see. (Fall is really a *better* time for that experiment, but I want to nail down the technique in the summer when I have more time.)

I also want to update some of my basic ecology knowledge in areas (like predator-prey relationships) that I don't use in my own research. And look at some of the additional textbooks I have (the companies have really slowed down on sending unsolicited copies, but I still have a few).

But as I've said, more and more, as I get older: I just need some regular downtime. Time to go and sew, or to watch cartoons and knit, or do something that is not job-related. The few times lately I've gotten really cranky and sad have been at times where work pressures (e.g., teaching PLUS having to revise a paper on short notice) have been such I've not been able to take downtime.

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