Tag: advice

Burnout

Blogathon Post #4: Preventing Burnout

Throughout the month of August, I'm aiming to write 25 blog posts. This is post #4 of 25. Find them all in the "blogathon 2014" category.

I’ve only been doing this blogathon thing for five days, but in those five days (and three posts), I’ve written 4,500 words. Rather, I’ve blogged 4,500 words; I’ve been posting to support forums and writing emails and doing a lot more writing elsewhere in my life. Needless to say, I was starting to feel some significant burnout–and I still had 22 more posts to go.

This was weighing on my mind as I walked into the kitchen this morning to get breakfast, and I saw it. An idea struck me.

See, here’s the thing. I love old-fashioned cake donuts. They are easily among my favorite donuts of all, second only to buttermilk bars. And when R and I went grocery shopping this weekend, she bought some.

But not for me.

She bought two boxes of glazed old-fashioned cake donuts to bring for a coworker’s birthday celebration this week, which means I definitely cannot touch them.

Two. Whole. Boxes.

I walk by them every day. I see them, giving me those alluring eyes.1What, your donuts don’t have eyes? I don’t think R understands how much restraint I exercise on a daily basis just to keep from devouring them.

But I think I can help illustrate the point for her.

Donuts

It’s important to take breaks now and again. Can’t be all business all the time.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. What, your donuts don’t have eyes?
Cassette Tape

Avoiding the Mix Tape Mindset

There’s a song from the musical Avenue Q called “Mix Tape”. In it, one character, Kate Monster, receives a mix tape from her charming neighbor, Princeton, and agonizes over the meaning of its contents:

“You’ve Got A Friend”
“The Theme from ‘Friends'”
“That’s What Friends Are For”

…shit.

Oh, but look!

“A Whole New World!”
“Kiss the Girl!”
“My Cherie Amour!”

Oh, Princeton! He does like me!

“I Am The Walrus”
“Fat-Bottomed Girls”
“Yellow Submarine”

What does it mean?

This post’s not about Avenue Q (although if you haven’t seen Avenue Q, I strongly encourage you to check it out the next time the opportunity presents itself). Instead, I want to use this as an example of what I’d like to dub the “Mix Tape Mindset” about crushes, ’cause I think it’s a very silly cause of an unfortunately large amount of unhappiness.

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Sexcetera - Spring 2013

Sexcetera: The Spring 2013 grand list

[Spencer’s note: No, I’m totally not posting in Fall 2014 a post that should have been made in Spring 2013. Of course not! Why would you think that?]

Like I mentioned in the last one of these, I write an opinion column in my school’s newspaper, The Pioneer, called “Sexcetera.” It’s a column on relationships, sex, and sexuality, from a perspective I’m trying to keep sex-positive, feminist, and inclusive. I’ve been doing it all year, but save for the last compendium, I haven’t really mentioned it here on the blog.

Here’s a directory of the things I wrote in my last semester of college (and the last semester of Sexcetera).

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Sexcetera - Fall 2012

Sexcetera: The Fall 2012 grand list

I write an opinion column in my school’s newspaper, The Pioneer, called “Sexcetera.” It’s a column on relationships, sex, and sexuality, from a perspective I’m trying to keep sex-positive, feminist, and inclusive. I’ve been doing it for months, but (perhaps unsurprisingly, given my tendency to get busy and neglect the blog), I haven’t mentioned it at all here.

Since it would be silly to post each individual column now, I figured I’d post a general directory of what I’ve written this semester.

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The Imaginary Commencement Address

My high school’s class of 2012 just graduated today. Damn, I feel old.

My friend Michael Jarmer, who teaches English at my high school, wrote this impressive imaginary commencement address to the seniors. It’s full of great advice derived from his experiences teaching and learning literature with his students, and reflects a healthy humanist appreciation for each other and for our lives that I always find so refreshing to read:

And once we’re in college or unemployed we wait for a job, a family, a kid, and then we wait for the kid to go through grade school, middle school, high school, college, job, marriage, grandkids, and…  Good grief. Stop waiting for life to begin. Your life has already begun. You’re in it. Live it. Be here now. Tomorrow will come, I guarantee it.

It’ll only take a few minutes of your time, and the inspiration you’ll get from it is totally worth it. Go read it.

39 Ways to Live, and Not Merely Exist

Got this from my friend Billy, who got it from Dumb Little Man, where it was written by Leo Babauta. Please, I implore of you, take a moment to read and consider this. I think it’s really, really important.


“The proper function of man is to live – not to exist.”— Jack London

Too often we go through life on autopilot, going through the motions and having each day pass like the one before it.That’s fine, and comfortable, until you have gone through another year without having done anything, without having really lived life.That’s fine, until you have reached old age and look back on life with regrets.

That’s fine, until you see your kids go off to college and realize that you missed their childhoods.

It’s not fine. If you want to truly live life, to really experience it, to enjoy it to the fullest, instead of barely scraping by and only living a life of existence, then you need to find ways to break free from the mold and drink from life.

What follows is just a list of ideas, obvious ones mostly that you could have thought of yourself, but that I hope are useful reminders. We all need reminders sometimes. If you find this useful, print it out, and start using it. Today.

1. Love. Perhaps the most important. Fall in love, if you aren’t already. If you have, fall in love with your partner all over again. Abandon caution and let your heart be broken. Or love family members, friends, anyone — it doesn’t have to be romantic love. Love all of humanity, one person at a time.

2. Get outside. Don’t let yourself be shut indoors. Go out when it’s raining. Walk on the beach. Hike through the woods. Swim in a freezing lake. Bask in the sun. Play sports, or walk barefoot through grass. Pay close attention to nature.

3. Savor food. Don’t just eat your food, but really enjoy it. Feel the texture, the bursts of flavors. Savor every bite. If you limit your intake of sweets, it will make the small treats you give yourself (berries or dark chocolate are my favorites) even more enjoyable. And when you do have them, really, really savor them. Slowly.

4. Create a morning ritual. Wake early and greet the day. Watch the sun rise. Out loud, tell yourself that you will not waste this day, which is a gift. You will be compassionate to your fellow human beings, and live every moment to its fullest. Stretch or meditate or exercise as part of your ritual. Enjoy some coffee.

5. Take chances. We often live our lives too cautiously, worried about what might go wrong. Be bold, risk it all. Quit your job and go to business for yourself (plan it out first!), or go up to that girl you’ve liked for a long time and ask her out. What do you have to lose?

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