ROW80 Check-in October 30, 2011


First, I want to thank everyone who has been so encouraging to and supportive of me in the past several weeks when I was struggling. With your help, I’ve hauled myself out of the ditch where I’d slid. Again, the community here is so supportive, it just makes me grateful.

Progress on the goals:

Health: I managed to walk right by the Dunkin Donuts box that someone brought to work on Thursday, and have continued to avoid all sweets. I have managed to exercise three of the last four days. Also, I have finally remembered something a doctor told me years ago, that often we mistake thirst for hunger; I have begun to drink a glass of water when I’ve been tempted to snack, and amazingly, it works. I’ve lost 2.2 pounds in the past week. Big win. Hoorah.

Family: I have been in touch with several family members from three generations in the past three days, so I’m feeling pretty good about that, too. There are still some tough times coming this week, but I feel that more of us are shoulder to shoulder, which helps immensely. I took off most of Saturday afternoon and evening for my date evening with my husband.

Friends: I tweeted and emailed several friends with whom I’d not communicated in a while, and not surprisingly, I wish I’d done that far sooner. All of them are lovely people, and actually claimed they were glad to hear from me!

Writing: 1.5 hours/day editing and revising articles: This was a major win for me. I took Friday off (see Day Job below) to write, and boy, oh, boy, did I write. I worked for 3 hours on one article and it is ready for the Brutal Editor. There are still a few [CHECK THIS] marks here and there, but not major points. The really nice thing is that it is turning into a kickass article.

Then, I moved on a second article that needed major reformatting. I only had a typescript, which the OCR scan turned into something born of Finnish out of Hebrew. I spent 2 hours putting it back into English, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. The up side is that I realized that even though I wrote this paper as a mere infant, it has a lot of potential. It’s really good, (ducking the lightning bolts for hubris) and will be fun to make into another kickass article. I am having so much fun, I don’t even mind that I’m good at something I can’t monetize.

          0.5 on the dissertation: Although this did not happen, I wrote my Literary Post of the Week on the text which is the basis of the dissertation. It was good for me to try to write for the educated layman, since I want to write more essays for that audience.I don’t feel bad about having gone this direction, as it still continues my love affair with the dissertation.

0.5 on creative writing: This didn’t happen. I’m in a very interesting class using Tarot cards for brainstorming, which C. M. Cipriani and Raelyn Barclay, fellow ROWers are also taking. I haven’t done any of the assignments or exercises since Tuesday, but the ones I have done have knocked many ideas loose and I plan to do many readings for the ideas knocking at the gates.

          2 hours/week on book reviews: This didn’t happen either, to my extreme shame. I have to move this to the top of the list, clearly. Sigh.

Day Job: My day job includes 4 hours per week of research leave. Most of my colleagues do not take it, since the corporate culture is not to take vacation or any kind of leave, barring stroke, heart attack, or major surgery. I’m not using hyperbole here; one of the staff in my department has over two years of accrued sick leave and a year and a half of accrued vacation. He last took a day off when he had open heart surgery. He is by no means alone at my workplace.

I know some people love their work, and I envy them. I am very good at my work, but I think I’d have to be the endowed professor of medieval literature somewhere to love my job. Sticking to my life goals, I took Friday for a writing day, and I absolutely loved that plunge into words and research. I will have to pay for it on Monday with numerous fires to put out, but it was well worth it.

At least I’m posting earlier than I did last Wednesday, although my wireless provider crashed as I was writing this update, taking away over 500 words! Grrr. So, my plug for today is for Google Documents; although my Microsoft Word is supposed to save every minute, clearly I do not type 500 words a minute. Google Documents saves every minute, truly. And for all those who remember how badly Google Documents used to handle formatting, it is much better; no longer do I have to avoid using it in public so as not to teach young children new profanities.

So, I think I am back on the grid, very happy to be back among you all. I will be bloghopping later today and tomorrow. Please join me in encouraging everyone here.





11 thoughts on “ROW80 Check-in October 30, 2011”

  1. First and foremost, I want to say a huge DITTO on the plug for Google docs, and yes, it’s gotten much, much better with formatting than it used to be. I’m using a combination of Scrivener and Gdocs for just about everything these days — thesis, blog posts, and creative writing, and the fact that it saves drafts constantly (and allows you to go back and view all the previous incarnations of you work) is a huge plus. I used to write my blog posts in wordpress without drafting elsewhere, and I’ve lost more than a few of them because I’ve forgotten to hit that ‘save draft’ button on a regular basis.

    I am so glad to see that you are on the upswing, and that you are channeling your energy into so many wonderful directions — research, family, health. This is all very good. 😀

    I’ll be sending all my positive energy your way this week!

  2. Elizabeth,

    Your update ROCKS!!! You should be very proud of yourself, losing over 2 lbs in a week. I’ve lost 1/3 of a pound in 9 weeks so I’m way impressed with you.

    I think it’s great that you might start the campaign at work to take the leave you are granted. Americans take entirely too little vacation, in my humble opinion.

    It sounds like you are off to a great week and I can’t wait to hear about it!!

  3. So glad to see you are back to making progress! The writing and editing seems to be coming along nicely and good for you on the health and family goals. I’m not disappointed in the couple of goals you missed as everything on your plate looks to be a lot. Just try to balance it out. For instance, work on the book reviewing more this week and do less on something else (or whatever works for you).

    Keep up the good work. I’ll be checking back to see how your doing 🙂

  4. You were never not among us 🙂 So glad that you’re feeling more accomplished. I think it’s wonderful that you get to take those research hours. I think I used to be like your coworkers, but now I’d take every minute I could get. Something happens when the end goal is not your current job – you just can’t focus the same. Good luck with this coming week – see you again on Wednesday!

    1. Thanks for coming by, Lauren. *hangs head in shame* I am soooo behind on replies! But it is very much appreciated! It really is different when the focus is not the day job; it’s like the jig-saw puzzle pieces fall into place.

  5. Progress is progress. Don’t ever forget 🙂 You’ve completed a great amount of work over the week – and this is a new week!
    I always remember a saying from Paul –
    ‘Casting off what’s behind, forgetting it, I press onward toward my goal.’
    We have to be like that. Work, push, strive today – and then leave it in yesterday where it belongs.
    I’m heading over to check out your literary post!

    1. Excellent point, Nadja! I guess I should listen to myself from time to time, eh? That is a great quotation from Paul, and he was a model of moving on from the past, wasn’t he? Thanks for exploring over at the literary post!

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