Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Mostly Lunch Dates Now

I’ve been booked solid for lunch every day for three weeks. Well, week days anyway, though I did have brunch on Sunday with my friend and catsitter. The other lunches, though, are with work friends and colleagues from the law school and main library. It’s funny learning lots of new things about them after knowing them for 8 years – one started her career in accounting before library school. Another was a professional singer before library school, and his library mentor and good friend of 30 years is someone I went to library school with 40 years ago in Texas. Things come full circle.

View from my new back porch

Above is the view from my Texas back porch, looking out at the golf course. Huge yard, lots of green, which someone else takes care of. It’s very peaceful and open and I’m looking forward to seeing it every day.

I ordered moving announcements from Vistaprint to make it easier to let folks know my new contact information. While I was at it, I also got new genealogy business cards. I still haven’t really thought about a business name or plan but I do need people I meet through genealogy circles to know how to reach me and what my credentials are. New cards are easy and inexpensive to get when I do decide on a name.

There are so many things to do when I get to Texas, getting started things. Car things to do – transfer insurance, inspection, registration, driver’s license. Find a new vet for Tessie. Figure out where to get her food. Investigate Texas medical insurance. Register to vote.

Some I can’t do until my stuff arrives, which could take up to 18 days because it’s such a small load. I want to completely reorganize the kitchen, taking out everything, cleaning the cabinets with wood cleaner and lining the shelves and drawers. Dad doesn’t care as long as he can find the basics, and those won’t be moving. But this will be my kitchen and I need to be completely comfortable working and finding things in it. Doing a little thinking now means final decisions on what I will take.

Doing things is easier than processing what’s happening. I’ll have time for that. For now, it keeps me focused to have lists of tasks with deadlines.

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Being In the Zone

I spent last weekend evaluating 179 program proposals submitted for our annual meeting next summer.  We can only pick 63 of them, so we need to make wise choices, and that means reading each with care, assessing the topic, speakers, description, learning outcomes, level, time length, competency area, whether the topic was recently done, does the program overlap with others proposed, etc., etc., etc.

I’ve done this twice before, once as a member of the committee and last year as I shadowed last year’s chair, so I have experience in working through this whole thing.  But it takes uninterrupted time, focus, concentration – and being In The Zone.  I finally got there this weekend, as I made my second pass through.

The table was completely cleared of everything except my Big Notebook, lists of program rankings, final programs from the last 2 conferences, my pens and markers, and the laptop on the chair next to me for quick reference (doing “find” searches through the lists to make it easier to locate duplication).  On, and No email, no surfing, no TV.  My iTouch was hooked up to speakers, softly playing a mellow playlist on an endless loop, and the kitchen was nearby for water bottle replenishment.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed and scattered, I was focused and purposeful.  I’d prepared by reading all of the proposals once already, dotting the pages with colorful post-its with notes and reminders.  This time I could really concentrate and had a context in which to see them all.

I don’t get in this zone very often with work; things are too fragmented with information and questions coming from every direction at once.  But when I can get into it, my mind is crystal clear and I’m extremely productive – and happy.

I need to find ways to build this into the office routine, especially with my friend’s retirement.  I’ll have more to do than ever and it would be easy to just be fragmented. I need my space to be tidy, interruptions at a minimum, soft music to help block out outside sounds and help me concentrate, and enough time to accomplish the task at hand, or at least in whatever time I allot for it on a given day.  Things to ponder.


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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’m in between trips and scrambling like mad not to fry in our current heat wave.  It was hot in Texas, but somehow it’s worse here which is just not right.  Thank heavens for AC!

The Texas trip was originally supposed to be to attend my nephew’s wedding, but it morphed into a family gathering at my brother’s ranch (140 acres in the middle of nowhere between my parents’ house and my brother’s place in Houston). They have very photogenic cows 🙂

My mom’s sister was there from California, nephew Rob from Massachusetts, and me from Connecticut.  Rob didn’t stay long, heading west to spend the weekend with his brother (the former groom) and friends going to a baseball game and country western concert.  My youngest niece ran a triathlon that weekend (I can’t imagine doing it in that Texas heat!) but my goddaughter (above) came from Lubbock for the weekend.  We celebrated our June/July birthdays together with carrot cake 🙂

Everyone flipped over my new look and I realized while I was there that I’ve almost lost my mother in terms of weight.  She weighs 115 lbs and I’ve lost 110 – which really is a whole person.  Puts things into very clear perspective.

I had a great time but was glad to come home (as was Tessie).  But I’ve been scrambling again because I leave on Friday for my national conference in Denver.  I have several meetings to facilitate so I have agendas and prep to finish, plus catch up on my paid job.

My conference wardrobe was all thought out, including a few dresses that looked good and were cool and comfy.  Except I’ve realized that all of them – ALL of them – are too big. Great problem but a bad time to figure it out, since the stores are starting to stock fall clothing (just after July 4th, go figure) and only have very picked over summer things.  I did get a few tops today that I can wear with black pants that will work.  I’ll find out soon enough.

I found it pretty easy to eat while in Texas.  My mom generously stocked up on some Greek yogurt, berries, chicken, and guacamole, and there were plenty of good options for me at the ranch.  Mostly people were interested in my choices and asked a lot of questions about the band and how it worked.  It was good practice for going out with more people; I’ve been reading menus for Denver and practicing restaurant eating, at least in my mind.  We’ll see how it goes!

I’ll try to check in from Denver but am not at all sure when I’ll have free time to write.  My time is pretty scripted.  But I’ll check in and at least keep up with y’all even if I can’t write until I’m back.  Stay out of trouble!


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Heading back to work tomorrow

Pumpkins on the StairsMy restful healing time off is over and I head back to the office tomorrow morning.  After 2 1/2 weeks of sleeping until I woke up, the clock will rudely awaken me at 5:30am.  Tessie and I have gotten used to not hearing the clock, and I’m not sure which of us will be most deeply asleep when the assault comes.  She’s going to miss me lots, as I will her.

But I’m getting bored at home, and lonely.  I only had one visitor while on my leave and although I’ve talked to plenty of people by phone, email and Twitter, it’s just not the same as face to face people contact.  I’m guessing that close to 1/2 of the day tomorrow will be spent checking in with people and seeing how much stuff piled up in anticipation of my return.

I feel a little as though I’m in high school.  What will I wear?  What will I do for lunch?  What if I forget my password(s)?  What if no one likes me?  Well, okay, that one isn’t really an issue.  But still.  What will I wear?  I’ve lost 12 lbs since I was there last, and have clothes for it being colder but not so much for the 50’s.  But I want to show off a little and not go in on day one wearing ultra-baggy clothes.  We’ll see.

Food will be a little tricky.  I’m eating small bits 5-6 times a day and am bringing some of those teeny Glad plastic bowls so I can divide up some yogurt from the dining hall (I know they have some I can eat) so I can split it into different “meals”.  Tomorrow is the first day of Category Two, which means I can add fish to the menu, but it makes sense to try it at home first before bringing tuna to work, in case my body has problems.

As for the passwords, well, I’m hoping finger memory will bring them back when I need them.


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By the pricking of my fingers

If you thought I was productive on Saturday morning, you should have seen me yesterday.  I went to WW, breakfast at McDonalds (and yes I counted the egg-and-cheese biscuit and hashbrown, which were yummy).  Then to the grocery store to get fizzy water, a stop at Bed Bath and Beyond to find lining paper (which I didn’t but I found something I could use instead), and ended up at TJMaxx where I bought a new purse.  Came home and watched/listened to snippets of movies while I lined the dresser drawers and put the bedroom back together, paid bills, and did laundry.  I have another bag of clothes to take to Goodwill – yayyy me.

Today at work was also productive.  The office was pretty deserted with about half of the staff out on summer vacation, and I spent most of the day working at my “second desk” down in the serials area, reviewing a giant 165 page renewal list and verifying record numbers, flagging titles to be cancelled, and following up on problem receipts.

I really hate the layout of the workspace in my office and am thinking about how to rearrange it to suit me better.  I work best with the computer in the corner and workable counter space on both sides.  And I want the keyboard on a tray that I can move under the desk easily when I need to actually work away from the keyboard – strange but true at times.

I noticed a few days ago that my right wrist is starting to ache and the thumb, middle and index fingers are a bit numb and tingly.  It feels like carpal tunnel, which I’ve had before – in fact, this hand had surgery for it 16 years ago and the other hand was done about 6 years ago.  But I spend almost all of my work time at the computer when I’m not in meetings, and spend way too much time online when I’m home.  I know something isn’t right and by a remarkable coincidence (and it is a coincidence), I have an appointment with my primary care doctor tomorrow so will bring it up then.

The real topic for the appointment is to discuss bariatric surgery, as well as the things that go with it, including counseling.  WLS may not be right for me now or ever, but it makes sense to talk to a doctor instead of making up my own mind about it without enough information.  There are plenty of steps to take before WLS and this is one of them, whether it ends up with surgery or not.