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a little bit more about me

My name is Beth and I accidentally have found myself living in Arizona but I'm originally from Tennessee. My education is in history and anthropology, which means that I know a little about a lot of things and can hold my own at a cocktail party in mixed company. I work in museums, doing all sorts of things ranging from researching and writing exhibits to cataloguing absolute wickety wak. I love comedy, baking, photography, my daughter, dogs, and above all else, napping.*

* 2013 edit: Oh yeah, and my new son too.

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    Entries in tired (4)

    Sunday
    Apr222018

    Balancing my current work with my future work goals

    A few days ago, I told my child's teacher after I completely spaced the parent-teacher conference we had scheduled, "I used to have my shit together, and then I became a parent. But I guess 6 years in to this parenting run, I suppose I can no longer claim my new normal is temporary." She didn't know me in my pre-parenting days, when I really was on time to things, and even occasionally organized. A time when I could string thoughts coherently, er, string coherent thoughts togetherly. 

    While I don't think I can get back to being on time or organized, I intend to regain my identity as a blogger. No, not some bullshit microblogger or #sponsored content provider or mouthpiece for a giant brand. After all, how is blogging for someone else any different from what I do now: writing web content for my employer?  My blogging goal was always to gain just enough independence that I could at the very least downsize from my full-time gig, carving out a bit more space for my creative work, whether that brought me income or not. (The answer is most definitively not, if you were wondering). When that didn't happen - and life happened simultaneously - it became necessary for me to reallocate how I used my time.

    I've had an autoimmune disease for 11 years. Or maybe I've had it for a lot longer, but I got diagnosed when I was 30. For awhile - like, say, in my adult years prior to having children, I could manage my depleting energy levels by taking a nap on the weekend or even catching a nap before dinner on weeknights. But over time, I guess as I get older, between working 40* hours a week and parenting, there's very little time for me to ever feel "caught up" on my energy. And being tired all. of. the. goddamned. time. means that I have so little ability to clear the brain fog, nevermind the energy once the brain fog may have cleared to do anything. 

    * Now let's talk about that 40 hours a week thing. I used to work 40 hours a week. Then I kept getting much more interesting work, and I was actually legitimately one of those gross people who claim to like their jobs (because I did). So losing sight of my personal goals didn't blip much on my radar at that time a couple of years ago because I was engaged and fulfilled at work with intellectual and writery challenges. But during the past two years, my good work means that I've been promoted a time or two...and tasked with larger projects...that take up more mental energy...with less actual *time* during the workweek to tackle those projects. So full-time work became more, like, well, let's just say more than 40 hours a week (and in academia, so without the pay to reflect that).

    So working more left even less time to devote to my stuff. Yes, some of the bleed-over of work hours into *my* time is my own fault. But I'll also point the majority of the blame right back on the higher ed industry, an industry that relies on churn-and-burn, hardly-paid adjuncts like My Better Half. It seems like a dicey endeavor to disengage when you are the sole source of income in your household for a family of 4. And/or have a complicated auto-immune disease that insurers know better as a pre-existing condition in this era in which it is unclear whether insurers will cover your care. To sum it up: I found myself with almost no energy, nor much mental clarity, but tethered to a job that had begun to eat up any of my free time.

    I'm working on that last one, though. For the past few weeks, I've put strict boundaries on my work hours and will truly only commit to 8 hours a day, walking out the door at 8 hours and 1 minute. Which has begun to give me a little breathing room for places like my new work blog and here. (And, to be honest, the capacity to start looking for other, higher-paying work, as putting job applications together takes energy, mental clarity, and time. With more money could come more freedom...)

    Thursday
    Jun262014

    Got Chuckle?

    Does anyone have a recipe for homemade chloroform? I ask because I'm exhausted but I can't sleep. Insomnia + exhaustion is a bad combination.

    By the way, how do I know homemade chloroform even exists? Because I still remember a story My Better Half told me about a long time ago, where a friend of his figured out how to make it and called his homemade concoction "Chuckle" because the chemical makeup was something like CHCl or something. If you know how to score some, let me know. Til then I'll be self medicating my insomnia with listening to the most boring podcasts I can find.

    Tuesday
    May082012

    Uninspired. Or just plain tired.

    I'm sitting here staring at my monitor ready to write a post. Why? Not because I have anything to say but because I have, for the 1st time today, 20 minutes or so to myself before I collapse in exhaustion.

    Between working a full-time job and taking care of a 10 month old without a single full night of sleep in more than 10 months, I feel drained. Creatively. And physically. Spent, in every way. The time to write & the moments of inspiration just do not coincide. And when I do have time, like now, I flip to "inspiration, saved for later" and find...nothing.

    I guess the good news is that it's starting to dawn on me that perhaps the two (sleep deprivation/fatigue, and inspiration, lack of) are related....

    Monday
    Feb062012

    Walk. Repeat.

    I am exhausted. Despite baby sleeping longer and longer at night, I am about to face plant into my keyboard. Baby is super alert during the day, which is not necessarily new or tiring in and of itself, but she also requires something NEW. Every. 10. Minutes. That toy? I've played with it before. That cute baby in the mirror? What, like I've never seen my reflection before? That book? I've CHEWED IT ALREADY. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

    One of the few activities that distracts her from the same old, same old is going for a walk. Maybe it's because a walk is different every time. Even though I have established markers to hit - the school, the park, the other park, the fancy 'hood with the horses & ostriches - I just take whatever street suits me, going whichever way something catches my eye as long as it advances us towards one of the markers.  Maybe she, too, notes something different every time we go around the neighborhood even if the highlights are usually the same. The good news is it buys me some time - whatever time is spent walking is time I don't have to be coming up with some new game, activity, or destination. So we go for walk after walk on the weekends, especially. Certainly it could be worse. It's beautiful outside. Not too hot, not too cold, and it's nice to get some fresh air & exercise. Besides, we gotta compress our enjoyment of the outdoors while we can - before long I'll be bitching about how it's too goddamned hot to put on pants.

    The bad news is it requires me to be both awake and moving. Don't think I haven't questioned at least one of those requirements - somehow strapping her stroller to the treadmill and turning it on while I go  take a nap, but I think that kind of "walk" wouldn't have nearly the same effect on her. So til I figure out a way around the whole awake AND moving at the same time thing means that I am very, very tired.