Goals // Week 04

This work week will be a lot like last week, busy, chaotic, and stressful, but it will be shorter week and though I don’t expect to complete every goal or to maintain my focus or enthusiasm through to Friday afternoon but I do expect to do better than last week. As the demands on my time slowly return to normal, I can begin slowly to move my attention and priorities back to personal pursuits and away from work projects. This week will be tough but it will also be better, and that is certainly something to look forward to.

This week I will:

  Write a book review for Ethics by Baruch Spinoza. One goal I had for this year was to write a book review for every book I read. I’ve already finished two books and if I don’t want to fall so far behind that I give up I need to get started this week. Of course they don’t have to be long, or even good, but they do have to get written and posted.

  Read 100 pages of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. I had hoped to finish half of the book last week but until my work-life schedule becomes a little more balanced I can’t hope for so much time to myself. I was able to ready 75 pages last week. I think 100 isn’t too much to ask. Bonus: Finish As Kingfishers Catch Fire by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Eat one vegan meal. Before the holidays I was up to two or three meat-free meals a week but since then it has been hard for me to return to my old habits. Eventually I would like to go meatless Monday through Friday but I have to start slow and begin again.

Work out three days this week. I was doing so well a few weeks ago but between my chronic illness and fatigue and the demanding work week I’ve hardly been able to remember to work out let alone get to a point where I can consciously avoid it. This week it is in the calendar with notifications turned on.

Spend more time with my headphones in. Regulating my mood is hard when I’m tired or stressed so instead of trying to do it on my own and risking lashing out at coworkers and loved ones I’ll use the power of music instead, the best mood manager. Bonus: Catch up on my favorite podcasts too.

Stay hydrated. Drinking water is important for everyone but since I am taking so many medications and supplements every day I feel it is especially important that I fill and empty my water bottle a few times throughout the day. It will help with the headaches too I’m sure.

Get outside and into nature. The extended weather forecast is looking very nice, and I have been missing our old trails terribly. I think it’s time to get my hiking boots out, pack up the dog, and head toward the mountains. I just hope this winter hibernation hasn’t withered my endurance too much.

Clean up the back yard. Spring is on the way and I have quite a list of home projects to complete before next winter rolls around. The dry and mild weather is a chance to get a jump on some of the projects I know I’m going to want to avoid later. Perhaps a “little at a time starting” strategy is better than “all at once whenever I have the energy and the will power”.

This week I will not give up. It’s going to be hard but the light at the end of this work week is closer than most Mondays. I only have to get through four days of it and no amount of frustration, fatigue, or failure is going to stop me from putting one foot in front of the other and giving my best to every task I undertake and every person I meet.

P.S. For a look at how I fared last week check out my updated post for Week 03.

Photo by Byron Johnson on Unsplash


Thank god we have an extra day off from work this week because I am in no mood for chores or errands or any of my usual Sunday stuff. And anyway, it’s family day, so it’s not like I have the time.

Today will just have to exist outside of time. There will not only be no work but there will be no reading, no writing (besides this), no schedule, no learning, and definitely no cleaning, organizing, or planning. I won’t let myself worry about what I have to do, what I should be doing, or what would be best for me to do. It feels so good to rebel every once in a while, even against yourself.

Family day was wonderful. Seeing my sister, my brother and his wife, my niece and nephew, and their dogs was just what I needed to recalibrate my attitude. It feels good to be around people who really know you, accept you, love you. One of life’s greatest tragedies, I’m now convinced, is how much more time we’re forced to spend with coworkers, bosses, customers and clients than we get to spend with our loved ones because we have bills that need paying and health care that needs covering.

After family day we took my little sister on a run to the thrift store. We found some art for our bare walls, a glass container to use as a new terrarium, and, of course, a new book, a collection of three plays by Aristophanes.

Afterward I saw my mom for one of our hilarious and awkward visits. The past is such a hard place to revisit but it’s easier when you can hold hands, go there together, share the pain, be honest about it, laugh about it, and guide one another back out again with understanding. My heart is a little lighter than it was yesterday and that is an awesome and rare gift.


I woke up still feeling a little down on myself so I’ve decided to scratch all of the plans I had, all the things I felt I had to get done and instead I’m giving myself permission to take care of myself. I need to take some time not just to rest and to do the bare minimum for myself. I need to find a way to feel good about myself again, inside and out.

So, long hot showers, a thorough exfoliation and a deep condition, a face mask, and some real time spent in the creativity room is all I’m putting on the agenda for today.

I’m feeling so much more comfortable in my skin now.

My wife brought home some flowers to brighten the house and with her here and all the time I spent just for me has me feeling all the way better! I’m myself again. I’m comfortable. I’m safe. I’m, dare I say it, happy? I wish I could have more days like this. Days to undo all the damage the world does to me and all the damage I do to myself too.


It’s Friday and I have absolutely had it with this week. It wasn’t a bad day, or a bad week by far, but damn was it exhausting.

The class is getting along just fine and today they even got to sit in, ask questions, and contribute to discussions on our employee group forming a union. The meeting was a lot. It was emotion, informative, inspiring, and, at certain points, a little awkward. All in all though, I thought it was really good. I’m on board. I’m fired up. I can’t wait to fight!

Health-wise I’m feeling pretty low today. My joint pain is back, which isn’t a good sign, and the fatigue nearly has me beat. I’ve had a headache off and on all week and waening off of these steroids is wrecking my body. Acne, drenching sweats, and terrible “moon face” are starting to impact my self-esteem but I’ve only got four more weeks to go until I’m off and I can start focusing on getting my body back to some semblance of normal.

I am home early tonight but I’m feeling too down on myself to be productive in any sense of the word. I had an embarrassing afternoon and my mind won’t let me forget my humiliation. I won’t relive it here too (some things shouldn’t exist on the internet forever) but if I could crawl into a hole and never see the light of day or another human being again, it would be a relief.

So tonight is the couch, margaritas, spicy Mexican take-out, and Netflix. Hopefully, by the time I return to the work week the world, and I, will have forgotten all about today.


Today was another long day but with the help of coffee and a good laugh or two with a few of my friends, I am making it through. I’ve even managed to surprise myself by how well organized and on top of things I have been. I’m almost beginning to think of myself as capable and, dare I say it, deserving of recognition.

As good as this all feels, I can tell I am nearing the limit of what my body and mind can handle, stress-wise. I’m pushing myself hard this week and if I’m not careful, I’ll cross the line and end up crashing out before I can make it to the weekend.

But I’m so close now I know I can’t give up! Just another day and a half and I’ll get a nice long 3-day weekend. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this…


The week continues to wear me down, but I am determined to stay strong and make it all the way through Friday afternoon. I’m halfway there already and besides a bit of fatigue and frustration—which is easily relieved with a little laughter and an afternoon nap—I’m doing surprisingly well. Sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is cause for pride and celebration.

I do wish I had more time for me right now. I miss writing, or, I miss trying to write, anyway. I miss reading. I miss having time for music, or podcasts, or quiet. It’s only been three days of this hard work schedule but I already feel disconnected from myself and my day-to-day life. It feels good being Superwoman, working long hours, and getting all the things done, but I need time to spend with just myself to rest and decompress. I need a part of every day that belongs to me alone.

Soon though, soon. The long work hours won’t last more than another work-week and in the middle of it all I will have a nice long weekend. I’ll make it, physically, mentally is still up in the air though.

It came! It finally came! My Penguin Little Black Classics box set was finally delivered today, and it is as beautiful and wonderful as I’d hoped.

When I got home, I saw the box and even though I had a bad headache and needed to rest, I took the box with me into the bed to look over each of the 80 books one by one before nodding off. I woke around dinner time and carried the whole set with me from the bed to the couch to examine each one again and start reading. I’m already halfway through the first one now. I wish I could carry all 80 books with me everywhere. I love them all.


My anxiety over the first day of class for the new employees starting today kept me up all night last night. It isn’t that I was worrying about making a mistake or about anything going wrong. Instead, I laid there in dark just running through the details, trying to create a script for every interaction, find an answer to every question that could be asked, and coming up with a strategy for every obstacle I might encounter.

I just wanted it all planned out and no matter how much I told myself that a perfect or complete plan was impossible I couldn’t stop my mind from racing nor calm my heart from pounding hard and loud.

I think it’s knowing that what I am doing is important. It’s knowing the stakes are high. It’s knowing that there are stakes at all! It’s knowing that what I say to these people has an impact and consequences in not just their lives but the lives of the kids we service and assist. What I do matters and I can’t just breeze through it with an “I got this” attitude.

I owe it to everyone to worry myself sick.

It wasn’t easy, but I managed to make it through the first day of class unscathed. A lot of things went wrong but not in any of the ways I worried about or tried to plan for last night. Despite my frustrations this somehow makes me feel better. It’s like a small proof that I had nothing to worry about after all. Still, I was on my feet all day and scrambling to appear profession amid the chaos.

My hope now is that all that hard work and stress has exhausted me enough that I will sleep a little more soundly tonight.