Achievements for the Week
Didn't take them yesterday, but then, yesterday was a crap day all round.
Okay, definitely falling down on this one. Managed it just fine on Monday, but then Tuesday I had my counselling appointment at PVS, and Wednesday I had an interview for a position offered by Hays. It was the interview which threw everything out the window. The interview turned out not to be for any actual position which might have paid wages. Instead, I was being interviewed for a position on the list of people Hays might be interested in actually finding jobs for - so the ad was effectively burley thrown into the water to attract the fish.
This made me angry. Very angry. Part of the reason I was so angry was because in order to attend an interview of about twenty minutes duration at 1pm (I'd originally asked for a 9am interview, but had to be rescheduled), I had to effectively put the entire day "on hold". I needed to dress up, put on decent "interview" quality clothes (of a quality which would be appropriate for the weather), catch a bus and a train into town, find their office and attend the interview, then repeat the entire process in reverse. All of which consumed resources, both monetary and psychological, that I didn't really have in large supply. I can accept this when there's a prospect of an actual paying job at the other end, because the job offers the chance of maybe getting at least some of the monetary resources returned to me. But to do all that for a "job" which never existed in the first place just strikes me as futile, and the whole process seems incredibly cruel. Add to this that I'm not really allowed to express my anger with the whole thing then and there (on penalty of finding myself unable to ever find work through this contracting firm) but instead had to effectively "suck it, swallow, and smile, bitch!" the whole way through...
I spent Thursday feeling irritable (for no particular reason), and yesterday I spent dealing with firstly an eruption of generalised anger at just about everything, then coping with the aftermath of this eruption (namely, feeling thoroughly depressed and hopeless). Today I'm still recovering.
I got slightly behind on this over Tuesday and Wednesday, but caught it all up on Thursday. Current length is 101cm, which means I'm about half way complete on this first half (1/4 of the way through the whole project). I've started reading my way through "Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain (I have the Project Gutenberg ebook version) as a way of keeping myself going on the whole thing.
I've also set up a way of keeping track of what I've done so far - just a tick-off page for everything I need to do each day as a way of keeping up with my goals. It looks a bit like this (I've copied down the entries for the next few days)
p185 SUN 1 2 3 4 5 M
MON 1 2 3 4 5 M J J
TUE 1 2 3 4 5 M J J
The page number is a note of where I'm up to in the e-book. Then there's the day, the 5 rows (tick each one off as I complete it) and a note for the meds. On weekdays, there's the two jobs per day. At least this way I'll be able to keep track of things. Once classes start up again, I'll substitute in either lectures or tutorials for one of the job efforts (So Mondays will have "L J", as will Wednesdays, while Tuesdays will have "L T").
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Achievements for the Week
Another week of full compliance for the thyroid medication. I suspect at least part of the problem with taking things in conjunction with the psych meds was due to the psych meds themselves. This could prove to be interesting.
Knitting: 5/7 (but I haven't done today's allotment yet)
Current length is 90.5cm, which is about half the length of the dining table. The original plan called for casting off when it reached 2m even, but I think I'll just run it to the point where it reaches the end of the table instead, if only because the weight of the knitting is starting to get ridiculous these days.
It was a short week today (Foundation Day public holiday was on Monday) but come Tuesday I just couldn't be bothered with trying to look for work. I heard back about the job I was interviewed for - I didn't get it. Their reason was that I didn't have access to a car. Given I'm able to see the bus stop I'd've been getting off at from the front door of their office, the job I was applying for was an in-office clerical job, and the nearest post office is also clearly visible from the front door of their office (and about the same walking distance away as the bus stop) I've no idea why having access to a car was such a necessity. My guess is the lack of car is very much about "we don't want to have to mention anything which might sound discriminatory".
Other minor achievements: cooked up a melt-and-mix fruit cake (which turned out quite moist, very full of fruit), although our oven being what it is, the cake wound up scorched on the bottom and around one edge. However, I'll try out the recipe again, and see whether I can lower the temperature to the point where the cake will cook without scorching. I also made up some vegetable soup yesterday in the slow cooker.
The basic recipe consisted of three litres of vegetable liquid stock (from the pantry, one of which was low-salt, all of which were past their "best by" date), two diced onions, two finely diced cloves of garlic, four sticks of celery, four small spuds, three large-ish carrots, 1/4 of a large turnip, 1 parsnip, half a small savoy cabbage, 2 440g tins of tomatoes, a handful of green beans cut into 1.5 - 2cm lengths, a lidful of pearl barley, a lidful of red lentils, and a half-cup of macaroni. The onions, garlic and celery were turned into a bit of a sofrito (basically by chucking them into the slow cooker with the lid on while I chopped up everything else) and then I added the next batch of ingredients (stock, root veges, grains and lentils) once they'd softened up enough to be fragrant. Then simmer for an hour, then add the next batch of veges (cabbage and beans) then simmer for another couple of hours, then add the macaroni, simmer for another hour and serve. Turns out rather like minestrone, thick enough to require a spoon when taken from a mug, and very tasty. It's currently being brought up to boiling point again in the slow cooker, and then I'll just leave it simmering for the rest of the day.
Winter is soup time, as far as I'm concerned.
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I've been thinking about this for a while, and I've decided I'll be better off with some kind of goal to work toward. However, knowing myself the way I do, I know if I write down a list of everything I want to achieve, I'll immediately try working on it all at once and get depressed when I find I can't do it all; or alternatively I'll set goals which rely on the behaviour of other people to achieve, and get even more depressed when I find them to be unachievable. So, for me, goal-setting is a tricky process.
So I've set myself a few guidelines for setting goals. The first is that any goal I set myself has to be achievable by me, preferably without relying on external assistance or input. The second is that my goals have to fit the basic criterion of being "little decisions" (from the Paul Kelly song of the same name: "Little decisions are the ones I can make/Big resolutions are so easy to break") - things which aren't about making huge changes, but rather about making small ones which can be built on. They also have to be things which I can be clear about having achieved or not achieved - the answer to "have I succeeded at this?" has to be expressible as a clear "yes" or "no", rather than "it depends what you mean by succeeded". I've also set myself a maximum number of things I have to be working on at any one time.
Below I've listed my preliminary aims.
Short - Medium term goals:
End Date: between 22 JUN 2011 and 21 DEC 2011 (ie between winter and summer solstices) I want to:
* Complete the knitted pashmina/poncho/wrap thingy I'm working on.
* Manage at least 80% compliance long-term for thyroid medication.
* Complete MAS167 at Murdoch University.
At some stage I want to:
* Try out Lauredhel's recipe for slow-rise bread
* Have a proper massage by a proper masseur
* Get my hair trimmed by a hairdresser.
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Achievements for the week
Okay, managed to take my meds seven of seven this week (even if yesterday's timing was massively off - didn't wind up taking the medication I'm supposed to swallow first thing in the morning until about dusk). But it's one week of full compliance, and that's a Good Thing, given what's preceded it.
So, achievement one: 7/7 for the meds.
Searching for work - well, yesterday was a weird one, because I wound up feeling bleargh when I woke up (delayed reaction to Tuesday, I think) and as a result I didn't wind up actually looking for anything myself. However, I did get a call from an employer regarding an interview for a position the Disability Employment Services people put me up for, so I counted that. Other than that mess, I've managed my two job search efforts per day for the rest of the week.
Achievement two: 9/10 for jobsearch.
The knitting now measures 75.5cm (which means I'm about a third of the way through it). I only missed the five rows per day yesterday, and that was mainly because, as mentioned previously, I was feeling bleargh and was putting everything off until later. I got quite a lot accomplished on Thursday (mainly because when I went to visit the Disability Employment Services people, I wound up having to wait nearly an hour for my appointment), and I didn't take it with me to the interview yesterday because I thought it would give the wrong impression.
Achievement three: 6/7 for knitting.
In other minor triumphs, I cooked up some macaroni cheese from scratch (and macaroni and cheese) last night, because I was feeling the need for some comfort food. Turned out quite good - I added all the trimmings, which for me means I chopped up some spring onions and threw them into the dish with the hot pasta, and I added some chopped bacon to the sauce mix along with the standard ingredients (which included seeded mustard). Turned out very nice, although I may have under-estimated the size of the dish required, because there was a certain amount of overflow which will need to be cleaned off the oven before I use it again.
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Achievements for the week:
Meds - I've dropped the psych meds (at least partially because I'm almost out, and getting more means I have to make an appointment to see the GP and get a new script, and that means having yet another discussion about why I keep forgetting to take the little bastards). At present, I'm trying to get back to full compliance with just the thyroxine. By "full compliance" I mean taking it every day.
This week, I've managed 5 out of 7. I missed Monday and Wednesday, but took my meds like a good girl every other day. So that's one achievement.
Job Search - I have to look for 10 jobs a fortnight in order to remain eligible for the payment I'm on. That translates to one job a day. Lately, I've been looking for two jobs a day (mostly by cold canvassing, since the number of part-time jobs offered in the IT field in Perth, WA is minimal, and the only one in my specific area of the field - support/helpdesk - is a franchise opportunity). So, I have my ten jobs for the fortnight done in a single week, but I'm going to see whether I can continue looking at this rate (and thus startle the heck out of Centrelink when I go to my next Personal Contact Interview in August).
So, five days of looking for two jobs per day completed. Two things achieved this week.
Knitting - I recently re-started knitting as a hobby, inspired by the rather simple pattern of a poncho/pashmina/wrap thingy I bought. Effectively, it's two long rectangles of material joined together for half their length (effectively a blanket at one end, split into two wide scarves at the other). Easy enough to make, I thought, so I bought a whole heap of cheap acrylic yarn ($2 per ball at Red Dot) and started knitting. My aim is at least five rows of knitting per day, and then any extra is gravy. I started this about the 15th of this month, and the work currently measures 51.5cm, and I've started my fourth ball of yarn. I've also discovered knitting does wonderful things for my anxiety levels - knocks them right down into nothing. I think it's the whole experience of being able to do something little and have a visible result, as well as the repetitive nature of the work itself which is very soothing.
I think I've skipped one day this week with the five rows a day, but aside from that, I'm very pleased with it.
Okay, doesn't seem like much, but given I'm also possessed of a wonderful tendency toward starting things and never finishing them... I'll take what I can get.
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