March 26, 2009

Halfelven is confused

Should be doing instead of blogging: Working on my book. I'm making a bit of progress, actually, but you can only make so much progress when you don't have a detailed plan.

Life is such a confusing thing. Just when you think you're getting things figured out, you're thrown something that you're not prepared to deal with. So you fight it for a while, hoping that the situation resolves itself. At some point, you decide that fighting it isn't working, and you go along with things to see how they work out. After all, surely if you just follow the thing through to a conclusion, it'll resolve itself.

Before you know it, things seem out of hand, your friends are all telling you to do the same, perfectly logical thing (which, of course, is different from the perfectly irrational thing you've been doing all this time), and you're trying to figure out how you've gotten into this situation in the first place.

I'm generally a thoughtful, rational person. I'm the one who is always told by many people that I have a good head on my shoulders. Also, while I like to have a line of reasoning to back up my decisions, I also have great intuitions that are usually dead-on. It all seems like a fairly fail-safe combination — when reason fails me, at least I have my instincts, right?

Of course, I've been known to go against my instincts, which usually leads me into some kind of mess. My problem is that because I'm very sensible, I often find myself feeling that I'm too safe, so I decide to take a chance going against my sensibilities. Sometimes it would be useful to be a precog, and see a few months into the future, just to see where my deliberate lapses in judgement will lead me. Hell, right now I'd be happy just seeing what's going to happen next week.

Why does life have to keep getting more and more complicated?

March 16, 2009

Fear of the unknown — or of the loss of contentment?

Should be doing instead of blogging: Shredding receipts, maybe? I'm good with sitting here right now.

So it's been a while since my last post. Life has been pretty crazy lately, and every time I think of blogging, I get sidetracked with one thing or another.

I made a connection that has been floating around on the edge of my consciousness, but I couldn't focus in on it until today. It started when my friend linked me to an article on perfectionism — a weakness we both suffer from. Over the past couple of years, I've thought that I've been doing really well taming my perfectionistic inner monster. However, I've noticed that I've either regressed or just still need a great deal of improvement. I think I just need improvement. One thing that doesn't help, though: I'm a self-declared pessimist.

It works like this: I'm working on something, talking about something, or just making a passing comment, and suddenly I'm being told that I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It's something I don't even realise I'm doing. So I start thinking about what I've said, and what I think about myself, and the response I'm getting, and it's a bit depressing. While I am always reading about and looking for ways to improve myself, not only does my perfectionism get in the way, making me feel like I'm not good enough for A, B, or C, but my pessimism convinces me that I'm simply not going to be good enough for anything, either.

When I got to one of my standby wifi spots tonight, I googled "perfectionism and pessimism" to see the connection between them. I found this article that showed me that my pessimism was contributing to my perfectionist's fears. It was interesting to see because I don't usually make the connection. It also let me know that my fears are what hold me back, and that my perfectionism sprouts from the fears rather than the other way around, which is what I thought before.

I think my fears are why I've stayed so clear of things like relationships and huge, risky career decisions like starting my own business. Although I know I'm smart, cute, capable, interesting, have very good instincts, etc., I find myself thinking that I'm nowhere up to the level I need to be to pursue a successful relationship/career/any important personal decision. I've never been the type of person who just jumps into a big decision and hopes for the best — I'm sometimes almost terrified of finding myself in something good but short-lived, because the fear of loss and the hurt from that is something I don't want to face. And this makes me not take the chances I know I should take.

Now I need to go study another article tonight, on overcoming fears.

February 22, 2009

Death and taxes? Let's hold off on the death bit right now

Should be doing instead of blogging: Sleeping. Either that or my taxes. I think I'll go to bed after I post this...leave the number crunching for tomorrow.

Why is doing taxes always a pain, even when your situation isn't very complicated? Unfortunately, my mind tends to shut down when I'm doing something that involves calculating numbers. I've been told it's because I'm a writer, because I'm a woman, and because some people just don't have a head for numbers. I don't believe that, but a lifetime of psychology is hard to break. Also, I do remember having a tough time with math during the few years I was in public school. Imagine if I owned that business I have on my future goals list. I'd definitely need an accountant to manage that for me (actually, it's mostly that financial/tax law bit that's kept me from starting up my own business so far. The actual business management part sounds doable, and I could deal with the marketing).

It sounds like something I need to break up into next actions...I really need to buy a new copy of Getting Things Done now that I'm pretty sure I'll never get my own copy back (oh, well, it went to a good cause). Actually, I could stand to break up all my current tasks into next actions. It's definitely time to review GTD.

February 20, 2009

Family computer maintenance is a bitch

Should be doing instead of blogging: Putting away the pile of clean laundry in my chair. Bottles of Downy Wrinkle Releaser only do so much.

It's so much easier being nicer when you don't say much during the day and the brother is gone for the evening. However, when you take the opportunity to run maintenance on the family computer, it's time to start working on the "be nice" thing again.

Maintenance on the family computer used to be complete hell. There is a definite Windows Effect that makes the computer slow to a halt within a year (if that) of buying it. When it's a seven year-old Dell, make sure you have a long to-do list of other tasks to go with "maintaining the computer," because you're going to need to keep yourself occupied while you're waiting for the Start menu to open, the program to launch, the command to register, etc.

Did I mention that it's also the tech-savvy person's curse to have family that will encounter every issue you've rarely or never had before? Half of my mom's ripped mp3s skip like scratched CDs, my brother's games mysteriously don't open, and Mom insists that she can't bank online using Firefox, even though I've repeatedly told her I've never had any trouble using Firefox to access the same online banking site.

So when I got the laptop at the beginning of the year, I decided to do a good deed and make my life easier at the same time by lending/pretty much donating my iMac to the family cause. Not only does this help convert the family to Mac, it also drastically cuts down on my maintenance time. How much could they do to a Mac?

Well, one week into having it, they trashed the mouse. I didn't have a problem with that mouse for two years — they have it for a week, and the thing refuses to acknowledge clicking. Good thing I have the Wacom tablet and that mouse, though I've been wanting to scan in my latest character drawing attempts and color them in, which doesn't work well with a laptop trackpad.

Unfortunately, if I want to see my tablet again, they're going to need a mouse. Hopefully I can get them to use part of their Amazon credit towards one.

February 19, 2009

So I'm trying to improve...

So I made an honest effort to keep my biting tongue relatively still today, though it wasn't a stunning improvement. There are just so many situations that call for smart-assed comments, and I'm so used to providing that commentary. Of course, I've been known to provide too much commentary.

I think I did all right. At least I was trying to pay attention to what I say, and found that I say some weird things. I also tried to keep it together when I came home and my brother and his hyperactive dog both wanted immediate attention. I could've been better, but I didn't yell, so I could've been worse, too.

So between work and home, there might have been a bit of improvement. I don't know how much, though. I need to figure out how to gauge my sarcasm level.