marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
"Earthquake brain" is a term coined to describe certain mental symptoms of stress which rear their ugly heads in many people as and after the earth moves. They can range from irritability and trouble focussing to emotional breakdowns. Here in Canterbury the earth has been very active for the past month or so; compounded by this period coinciding with the 5th anniversary of the February 2011 quake and a deliberate neglect of the regions' post-disaster mental-health needs by central government.

I don't suffer directly from earthquake brain (fortunate) but have nevertheless noticed my mental health take a sharp downtick as I worry for the state of my (less-fortunate) friends; which is always top-of-mind after I feel a jolt or a wobble come through.

There are other factors to my mood drop - there always are certain circumstances in Feb/Mar and this year there is a new one.

So I've been feeling run-down, worn out, unenthusiastic about and not focused on work, procrastinating way too much and overwhelmed by my to-do list outside work, and helpless in the face of it all. To get some stuff done and close some loops I took (tried to take) a mental health day last week in conjunction with my monthly psych appointment but that didn't go well overall.
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
Reading back over what I did (and didn't) write in LJ/FB the year went pretty well. Mood wise it sucked for significant parts especially around work, but a second change in meds seems to have fixed most of the "unable to get out of bed" issues I was having and this has had a flow on effect.

It was a drawn out process but the solar panels were installed and activated. Gaming was consistently good. Responsibility for Hall working bees was taken by a new enthusiast who brought a team or others with her. Financially I feel comfortable and splashed out on electronics for myself in the Xmas sales, this is being written on a new flipbook (ex-display, excellent price). In September I had to replace my faithful old camera.

I added my body and camera to some public protests, didn't actually make any new acquaintances in the process as I didn't have the time/energy available to take a part in organising them. I engaged in the comments of a few articles actually speaking up for my values and defending the respect due others who could not be there to defend themselves.

People generally thought I was awesome and told me so repeatedly, even though this didn't make the dent in my low moods I would have liked it to. I am finishing the year under attack from the holiday blues, which I am about to go and try to nap off in preparation for the party tonight.
marsden_online: (Default)
The past week continues to have been positive for getting out of bed with or before the morning alarm and putting in max work hours (with still slow, but quality code output) and otherwise being productive / playing quite a bit of FreeCiv and a very busy evening of board games on Tuesday.

Granted with one thing and another the only reason the green bin was filled to go out was that Wednesday gaming was called off, and at the end of Friday I was feeling pretty had-it; but I also despite a small-hours-bedtime rolled out of bed promptly on Saturday energised to tackle weeding and forking over the vegetable garden. I did get sidetracked for a couple of hours crossing minor outstanding tasks at the computer off the (physical) to do list but then I did get the whole vege garden done over the course of several more hours. It pretty much wiped me out physically for the rest of the day, but I had nothing else on :)

After this post I am intended to go out and fill up the green bin again [I got distracted and went out and started before posting and then there was a Hall call; finishing] that will be the limit of my physical activity for the day. I deliberately opted to return to the cosiness of bed this morning aware that it was probably a mistake; my current lethargy indicates that it was but at least provides reinforcement for staying up next time. (Monday is my allowed "sleep in" day and today is a Public Holiday, Labour Day, to boot which is why having to spend more of yesterday (Sunday) than I would have liked at the Hall was less of an imposition than it could have been).

Speaking of, one area where I am /not/ feeling the motivation to continue by my ownsome is Hall maintenance; this was uncomfortably clear on Thursday and again yesterday when I had quite a bit of downtime there but only managed to summon the energy to attend to a couple of very minor patch up tasks off a much longer mental list of things I could and "should" do. Much of the rest of the time was actually spent just sitting in the car zoned out or on the verge of nodding off. Still save for organised working bees the Hall calendar is currently empty for now and there is only one enquiry sitting in the inbox; which has reduced to fewer than 10 active items.

Another thing which has taken up some time is that my motivation to write has returned although so far this has mostly been expressed by engaging in a couple of online debates (as preserved in recent posts). My backlog of intended posts, gaming write-ups and promised essays seems less formidable than it did, but is still going to take time to get to / through.


Oct. 17th, 2015 08:59 am
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
I half expected to be writing this post at 5am. Instead I lingered in bed to a relaxed 7:30am.

I don't know what combination it may be of the increased sunshine hours, the change in medication, the week I took off or the absence of one stressor from work but the last three days have been excellent for getting out of bed and having time in my day.

Wednesday I told myself if I could get to work early enough and do 1-2 hours work beforehand I would go to the Fox Hunt Stunt at Uni, and so it happened. Then back to a solid afternoon at work followed by gaming.

Thursday I was prepared to languish in be wiped out by the previous day but was still up by an early-for-me 8:30am followed by a solid day at work and a little productivity in the evening.

Friday I was up before 6am for a walk around the block before a full day at work (including a staff lunch-slash-meeting which was mostly positive rather than the doom and gloom and whip-cracking I had been fearing). (In fact over the week I maxed out my target hours at work; which is also good for the bank balance.)

I won't say I haven't been feeling the effects in the evenings; Friday (last) night I did topple into bed at 8pm. And I was awake and could have been up and attacking the day at 5:30am again this morning; but instead just lay watching the clouds drift by out the window and petting the cat for a couple of hours.

As with all upswings in mood there is no telling how long this one will last so I need to try and make the most of it. But for a change I find that means a balance of doing-little / taking it easy / relaxing alongside getting-stuff-done rather than trying to crush as many backed-up tasks into the time as possible. It may help that I have no urgent outstanding matters and the Hall calendar is fairly empty for this weekend. I have time.
marsden_online: (Ghostfighter)
On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to play in a one-shot of Numenera with a group of people I don't have the pleasure of gaming with very often. I've heard about the system on-and-off and I was suitably impressed with it in play; immediately encouraging of a descriptive style of play, very simple mechanic, setting deals neatly and explicitly with the natural player tendency to "now-ise" everything. Would pick up and run.

Busana the Intelligent Glaive who Explores Dark Places* and her two companions Roderick the Foolish Glaive who Stands Like A Bastion and Future Steve 17 the ? Nano who Exists Slightly Out of Phase were drawn into a "game" wherein an inimical race were plotting a public massacre of several locals.
* Recreation of the character I am currently playing on Wednesdays in an Arcana Unearthed campaign - system which was coincidentally also authored by Monte Cook.

Things I Have Not Done Before in a game included
- discretely emptying a "love poison" potion around the roots of a plantlike creature acting as a receptionist to gain her favour and expedited access to the Aon Priest we hoped had information which would help us.

- persuading an NPC that the reason his husband was lying on the floor goaning and bleeding out his ears was because he was going to imbibe too much "counterwise wine" at the event he had received an invitation to.

- having to dodge an "Instant Boat" being created in the air above the final combat (and special mention to Roderick who "stood like a bastion" and caught one end of said boat as it fell to give myself and Future Steve 17 a better chance of getting out of the way).

The final battle was a nail-biting and near-thing as our characters were underpowered for the scenario, and more than once it looked like we were doomed to lose. We only managed to interrupt and limit the massacre rather than prevent it completely, and Busana nearly perished but after the final opponent was subdued Future Steve 17 was able to make use of a convenient first aid kit to restore sufficient health that she was able to limp tail-and-ears-high out to the cheering crowds.

On the way home from the game I nearly ran over a bunny just around the corner from home - a pale tan mini-lop with dark brown ears which ran straight at the car. A grey smush-faced companion hopped out of a nearby drive while I was trying to earn the first's trust enough to catch it so I was able to go and bang on the door (just before midnight) until the owners came out to herd them back to their hutch.
marsden_online: (skull)
Th last few weeks at work I have been grimly working my way through the projects in my queue to reach the point where it does (should) not matter if I take a significant chunk of time off to try and recharge. Finally that day is here, and yesterday informed the rest of the office that next week I will be away.

I'm not convinced they wouldn't have been finished sooner had I taken time off sooner and gone back to them. I have not been functioning at my best.

Theoretically that would give me 9 days of Freedom. Of course even though other events have freed me from my Russian lesson and from the Hall for this weekend Hall bookings have already built up from the next weekend and I have not been able to deny two visits during the week. (This week been was /supposed/ to be mostly free of the Hall but was no quieter than usual in part because apparently even when it is another group's domain I have to be /told/ every time they do something differently from what they told "us" to start. Next week is unlikely to be different.) Already it starts to feel like too much of the time is going to be spent on other people not myself.

And how am I going to spend time on myself? Closing loops mostly. The garden is in desperate need of attention, as are a number of other tasks around the house. I have at least 4 journal posts bugging the back of my mind, one of which is probably going to take a whole afternoon of introspection and re-reading over the source material. There are dozens of articles backlogged in my feed reader. My Sunday game is at the point where I need to put in some proper advance prep. There is a long-lapsed family project I need to get back to.

Some of these activities are (probably) therapeutic; they are all intended to lift some of the weight that holds me down every time I open my eyes in the morning and see the daily routine looming before me with no opportunity to address them. But they will hardly count as resting or relaxation.

For that I kind of have planned FreeCiv and some dead-tree reading. I hope to go out and maybe gently social with some people. I will probably stay in bed until after midday one day and just see how long it is my body wants to sleep.

Hopefully in there somewhere I will recover some juice. Because right now I can't even visualise what that would feel like let alone hat could do it.
marsden_online: (camera)
A couple of weekends ago I pulled out my camera to take photos at a party and it wouldn't quite cam. Focusing and everything but wouldn't make the final connection; also the zoom would only in regardless of which direction the toggle was pushed.

Since the previous outing had been in the rain (TPPA protest) the natural assumption was water damage. Bowl of rice plus hot-water-cupboard* over the next week did not help nor did disassembling it as far as I dared and putting it back together so this Monday I took it in to a professional.

Verdict back today: probably not the switch but something gone in the shutter assembly. Nigh impossible/uneconomic to get parts for now.

Looking back I see I purchased the Olympus in May of 2005. At that time even as an end-of-line it was still a very good camera, particularly the 10x optical zoom. I never had significant reason to be dissatisfied with it (my level of skill perhaps, but rarely the camera).

Fortunately I had anticipated something of the sort and also headed to the mall on Monday to scope out possible replacements. I knew the first two of my requirements, megapixels and zoom, would be easy to meet. The 3rd requirement however left me with only one option as I was determined to have a camera which could take AAs not be tied to bespoke batteries.

Said option conveniently happened to be on clearance. I now have a "plum"-coloured (quite nice shade of metallic dark purple) Nikon Coolpix L830. It is probably just a step up from a compact and has nowhere near the amount of settings that the Olympus had, but I didn't make use of those much anyway. I anticipate that improvements in auto-setting technology will simply provide better photos without the years of trial and fiddling it took me to get a reliable Marsden-purpose configuration. it is slightly larger and heavier but still fits (snugly) into my existing carry bag.

The change comes with some sadness. My camera related activities are a fairly large part of my life; and of who/what people perceive me to be. My camera feels like an extension of me in a way that other mechanical peripherals do not. In some ways now that I must move on I find it holds a place more like say a pet than a tool.

But fruitless sentiment aside: here's to another 10 years.

* "a bowl of rice in the hot water cupboard" is another piece of folk wisdom which technology is moving past. If you have an oldish water cylinder which leaks heat; sure. My newish hot water cylinder is sufficient well insulated that it does /not/, hence the hot water cupboard is not significantly warmer than the room beyond, and being at the less-used end of the house is reliably cooler at this time of year than eg the office unless the fire is going.


Sep. 3rd, 2015 10:14 pm
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Monthly psych appointment today. Although I seemed to spend most of my time talking around in circles around a knot I can't identify one good question was raised;
What is the difference between the way I engage with activities which will benefit other people and those which will benefit me?

This is in relation to the way I can get myself out of bed with just enough time to get through my morning routine and to work with just enough time to make the amount of hours I need to do for the day to contribute to my weekly target-ish (even allowing for other commitments later in the week) or to get to the Hall /just/ before a booking or to make an appointment on time;

but I cannot even force myself out of bed an hour or three hours earlier to make the time I could use to
- exercise;
- or work on any one of a number of languishing but theoretically rewarding projects (a number of which will also benefit other people, but there is no urgency);
or even get the household chores done before they become /necessary/;

even though I feel wide awake in body and mind at that time (and remember I'm stuck spending 10-12 hours a day in bed for no apparent reason, that's a /lot/ of lost time).

The psych described it as sounding something like an internal game of chicken; the part of me that wants to stay in bed / not deal with the world against the part of me that wants to get things done; but that metaphor doesn't usefully ring true to me.

What is true is that getting out of bed does inevitably lead to things which consume more energy than they deliver reward. Work or Hall, often. Hall emails and related matters, on a daily basis. The gradual erosion of my faith in humanity / my faith in myself (not that staying in bed actually helps with that last /at all/).

Still you'd think that having planned "this good thing" to do to start the day would counteract that to some extent. Nope. Better unhappy drifting in and out of pseudo-oblivion than being active with that feeling of impending doom? If it isn't a commitment which somehow involves another person I am stuck. (Using the word involve rather than benefit because appointments eg I had a dentist appointment yesterday to fix up a filling - no problem getting out of bed in plenty of time.)

So I guess you could rephrase the question:
What is the difference between the way I commit to activities which will involve/benefit other people and those which will mainly benefit me?

And actually I have no trouble with committing to things with a clear and immediate ongoing benefit eg aforementioned dentist appointment (I only chipped the tooth over the weekend).

So there is a definite cost/reward dynamic in effect. Wonky though they are I care more for my teeth than, know better than (and yes, can afford better than) to let a gaping hole remain in one of them even if it is not currently discomforting.

Situations where the main benefit to me might be that "I feel better" however are a different thing. I am "terrible" at discounting my own enjoyment of life against even the convenience of others; and I have the whole "good of the many outweighs the good of the one" complex going on. (Oddly enough I never class myself as one of the "many"...)

Discounting the value of future benefits against the value of immediate gains/losses is of course a well studied aspect of human behaviour.

Here's one possible answer:
- The benefits to others are usually clear and concrete. If I do this thing, at this time, this persons life is made easier / happier.
- The benefits to myself are usually uncertain. I'll achieve this thing, but there is "no urgency" (in a life full of other things clamouring for my attention can I just shut one of them up for a while?). It will still be there tomorrow and the day after and the day after ...). I'll (probably) feel good about having done it, but the feeling will be fleeting and will it really be worth the investment from the energy I have available to me right now?

If I had a crappy life perhaps I would weight things which bought pleasure to /me/ higher. But I have a good, comfortable life. The things I can do to look after / entertain / bring pleasure /to myself/ are easily accomplished and frankly provide little reward. And therein perhaps lies another clue - with "limited" energy reserves, why spend them on something which is not materially going to improve my well being? Fundamentally completing the project / doing the thing becomes just. more. work.

Work (the paying kind) is probably worth a tangent here as that is after all what five days out of seven I eventually drag myself out of bed to go and do. Work is a slog and has been for some weeks. I do not have the energy to push myself to finish an ongoing project any quicker than the much-longer-than-it-ought it is taking. I sense if I try I will actually crash and burn again. I need a holiday, but not as much as I "need" (want, am stubbornly determined) to clear my projects list first.

Work has become something I am doing primarily because income. I enjoy the coding, but if I wasn't coding at work I would probably be doing so for my own projects. If I lost the income ... I really don't have a plan B beyond "eat the house" until "something comes along". This is perhaps my greatest anxiety.

Getting back to the point (if there is one)... So anything which strongly resembles work - in subject matter or in process - automatically comes with some feeling of exhaustion attached. And that includes the majority of my outstanding projects and things which would normally be considered recreation such as reading a book or watching media (I deal with text and screens /almost all my waking hours/).

I know picking up an exercise regime would do me the world of good immediately and long term but I lack the willpower to get started. Just to add another hurdle the fact that I "should" be exercising also triggers a small internal rebellion.

Trying not to angst ... and failing ... I crave the distractions of pleasurable company - but that is not something I can /give myself/ and my history with trying to seek it out consists overwhelmingly of failure.

Have I answered the original question in all that? Maybe. Am I any closer to a solution? It does not feel like it.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Although my relatively comfortable position in life is due at least as much to good fortune as to good planning / hard work I like to believe that an organised approach to managing my money helps maintain the state of affairs and bolster it against future misfortune.

One of the things I do is typically set aside some time Monday evening to pay any bills that have come in over the past week and make any other movements which are required. Sometimes this rolls over to Tuesday but rarely longer and I will often pay a regular bill as soon as the scheduled transaction pops up in GnuCash; but I don't open that every day. (I have also discovered that enabling 2-factor authentication on my internet banking (which everyone should do, if you haven't already) discourages me from logging in as often and encourages this sort of batch processing.)

To a lesser extent Friday but Friday is also payday and I kind of like to let that money sit in my account for the weekend.

This is particularly relevant today because today had a very big invoice (scheduled in two parts because transaction limits) paying the next instalment on my home solar panels, which were installed on Friday [happy dance].


This also means I am back to paying off a mortgage because the installation happened a little earlier than I originally intended. Yay having an open revolving credit facility for such occasions. (The revolving bit is important - if you don't pay it off it's not revolving.)

Since I really don't enjoy being in debt[1] I'm going to be a bit more cautious with my spending over the next few months. Fewer dollars to random good works and charity, more self restraint on impulse buys, and hoping no more crowd-funded investments (my only expensive vice at present) come up that I really want to get into.

That's more flippant than serious; I will "borrow to invest" in this fashion but only because I am confident of being able to re-earn the amount quickly. As the saying goes "don't lend what you can't afford to lose". I call crowd-investing a (personal) vice because it is putting significant amounts of money into limbo with no guarantee of when or if it will come back; very high risk for someone with normally a very conservative risk profile. I do however select the companies I invest in based on the principle that even if they fail, they will have added something to society in the process. [Eg cleantech, medtech, social enterprise].

In a similar fashion (and this has been a frustration throughout the process of researching, quoting and having installed) I'm not concerned about "payback" time on my solar installation, nor on the expansions planned to come. All the installers are like "Oh you don't want to install any more that you need for personal use; the electricity companies aren't paying enough to make your money back". I'm like "dammit, I don't need to make my money back, I'm spending money that I have to spend."

The energy companies can have my surplus for free if it means other electricity user get to pay that little bit less. Think outside your goddamn pocketbooks people!

[1] I know very few people who claim to enjoy being in debt, but several who claim that despite their dislike of it going into debt to get the things they want and then having to pay it off is the only way they can maintain financial discipline. I can sort of see where they are coming from, but it's like peeking into an alien dimension.

This post hasn't quite gone in the direction I intended but I'll leave it here and hopefully retain the enthusiasm to make another sometime soon.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
After work on Friday I firmly set aside all work worries and as many others as I could for the next 3 days the better to enjoy (and recover from) the 48 Hour party.

Unfortunately the main effect of that seemed to be the creation of a void which was quickly filled by older angst bubbling back to the surface again.
mostly downs with a few ups for variety )
This post has been me trying to set aside all the old crap again so I can maybe sleep and then focus on work tomorrow.
marsden_online: (skull)
when everything goes just not quite right and you just start failing to cope.
Negativity dump )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
This Queens Birthday was a much needed break from work but not particularly rejuvenating. On the one hand it was Buckets of Dice weekend and I had carefully avoided putting my name forward to run anything supposing (correctly) that I would be pretty wiped out after a month with two programmers away from work and would have had no time to prepare. This theoretically left me free to apply my (minimal, as those I gamed with on Saturday can attest) brainpower to board gaming. Saturday in particular was expected to be free of Hall-related interruptions. It was not to be.

I'm not going to type out the whole saga but multiple of my Saturday games (which, as mentioned, I had precious little brain and spoons for) were interrupted by phone calls and txts related to people randomly deciding they would turn up to the Hall /then/ contact us and see if they could be let in to take photos. There was a flow-on effect to this which meant it also happened again today (Monday) causing me to be able to play one fewer game than I would have otherwise. Some damage overnight on Saturday also caused me to stay behind after a (booked) tour Sunday afternoon which may have caused me to miss someone who stopped by BoD specifically to see me :( (But who left chocolates and literal spoons in my mailbox today anyway <3 ). And again today a short-notice (but at least made last week) request for access to the Hall to retake some photos for a project saw me sacrifice a games worth of time in the morning.

The games which all this was interspersed with were nevertheless good and I even won several of them. I was introduced to ... four? new games one of which I had considered purchasing from the sale table just for the art on the box and another which had it been on the Games Depository stall I probably would have bought / will buy next time I am deliberately spending money on such things. I only once found myself in a game with someone I really prefer not to play with if possible and many times in games with people I preferentially play with.

I did not even try to take photos this year, not even of the usual excellent LARP costumes (and there were two flagship LARPs this year to boot). I just did not feel the effort was worth it.

I have marginally improved brain/spoons over each day but I'm still not looking forward to the rest of this week. For tonight: the next thing I am doing is making for a really early bedtime.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
The vague blog-silence has not, this time been because things have been going well. Rather it is because mornings have pretty much been ceded to the depression. Although my mood is generally OK I am now consistently spending 10-11 hours a night/morning in bed, generally only finding the impetus to emerge about 10am (consistently, which is something). This has resulted in a massive reduction in the amount of time I have available to do anything, with
- work getting all the weekday afternoons (and sometimes as far as evenings when I have no other commitments),
- gaming three evenings plus prep time (you will have noticed that the logs are on hiatus ...),
- the Hall a few hours even on a quiet week (and we haven't had one of those for a wee while, even though our number of sensors as been further reduced the incidence of alarms is up /and/ there are a steady stream of photography requests)
- the essentials of living, keeping up with the world and social events squeezed in around the edges.

A fairly substantial head cold last week during which I worked from home*, when I could brain to, certainly has not help. I'm still shaking off / coughing up the dregs.
* made my minimum hours without burning my last half-day of sick leave; through the joy of statutory holidays.
Despite this I have managed to make small progress on a couple of ongoing "projects" and not take on any new ones (that come to mind) although there is one which is definitely noted down for later exploration.

Against that, positive things which my FB wall tells me have happened over the past month:
... Not a lot really. It's mostly a stream of links; many about what could be fixed in the world; some about more positive happenings.

Some definite wins in gaming especially in the Sunday game where the PCs accidentally released "Duke Vlad of Dracul" (completely mummified fellow with an interesting dental condition) from centuries imprisonment in a sealed catacombs. (Players' expressions totally worth it.)

Less of a win my first-in-all-my-years-gaming in-campaign attempt to kill another PC (but he deserved it).

Going to be an uncle again, youngest sister and her husband.

Contact from ECan after a submission I made, soliciting another one on a different plan. Nice to feel wrote something worthwhile.
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Jotted in my Fb this morning:
Feels stuck in a holding pattern destination unknown.
This is not doing any for the areas of my life which require me to be self-motivating. Which is having flow-on effects for others ...

The area in particular is work where I am managing closer to minimum hours than maximum; which means that projects I am working on are not being delivered as quickly as they might (should) be; which must flow on to the client's perception of the company.
I am managing good periods of focus - the hours I am at work are being well spent and the work I am doing at present is challenging and a learning experience. But I might describe it like a favoured food - it's still not something you want to eat every day. This is in comparison to a staple food, which you can have for e.g. breakfast every day. As my source of income I really need to be able to chew through work every day.

Planning to do other things before work isn't helping; do things (housework, writing) before work and I am afraid I will be out of spoons before I get there. The result is I cannot be bothered getting out of bed until not only is it to late to do whatever I had planned but too late to get to work at the time I would like to (not that I am achieving that with any regularity anyway).
Scheduling things after work is a little better; but the usual pattern is I am a little less late than usual and work harder down to the wire where I have to leave.

Before work also usually means someone at the Hall (because for it to be something I have to keep to there have to be other people involved). And for all that many people are enjoying their association with that place and I still feel it is where I can make the most difference right now - as a project it's not returning/achieving what I'm looking for and I feel hamstrung by others lack of commitment and follow through.

And for all it feels like a holding pattern objectively most areas of my life are progressing nicely.
- Gaming continues to be excellent, with the recent, possibly temporary; addition of non-junk-food/meals to my mid-week game making it feel less like a group of over-aged teens and more like a group of actual grown-up friends socialising (this is a new experience).
- A deposit is down for solar panels to be added to the house, measurements taken and it is currently at the design stage; I don't mind if it's stalled there as I wasn't originally budgeting to initiate the project until next spring/summer.
- by my maths I will finish paying off my student loan this month and be properly debt-free - plus an effective pay rise of some tens of dollars a week.
- even the recent plumbing issues may have a silver lining in that I may discover that the next major project *needs* to be the kitchen; which would simplify certain decision trees.
- I have built a small reserve of money and investments - a long way away from closing off the mortgage aka emergency fund or living off the interest, but it feels those might one day be possible.
... if I can keep myself working and earning. Back to the start.

There's a little ... verse I found running around in my head in the car on Monday -
"Want to make a difference;
need the resources to make a difference;
back to working in an attempt accumulate the resources;
will I ever have enough to to make that difference?"


Mar. 16th, 2015 09:50 pm
marsden_online: (Sisters)
I am trying to take this week easy, not because of any lack of things to do but because my emotional energy levels have reached critically low levels. To the point where last evening I found myself lying in bed enraged and repeatedly rehearsing responses to a completely hypothetical situation generated by my own brain.

I had not even noticed that was a thing which had /stopped/ happening as I got "better".

crash )

In unrelated positive news, installers will becoming around tomorrow morning to measure up my house for solar panels.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
The past couple of weeks have been absolutely flat out with beginning-of-University-year events and other occasions, trying to complete a major project at work, and sundry disappointments. I have really been feeling very low throughout and only this week have I managed to overcome the spoon-and-time-debt enough to almost catch up house-and-garden chores. At the moment I don't actually have any unscheduled time until Saturday at the earliest.
disappointments )
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
The weekend started as planned, in that I got to the airport and parked in good time. After that things went a bit awry. It turned out that fog had prevented some earlier flights landing so (at least) three flights /out/ of Christchurch had been cancelled, including mine, due to not having the aircraft available.

elsnippo )
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
I was planning to spend this evening writing. I have a backlog 4 or 5 gaming-related posts in mental draft. This is none of those posts but is the one I have found the energy to write.

My journal has been quiet lately but life has been busy. I am now in 3 games a week (DMing a new story in my Broken Kingdoms setting as well as playing in the two campaigns I am journalling). Russian lessons have resumed. Work has started back busy and for the most part I have been putting in numbers of hours which I consider good. This week I started training a new hire straight out of study - this is somewhat of a new (and learning) experience.

I have literally been cleaning house - freed up much space in the hallway wardrobe by by taking the accumulation of obsolete appliances (VCRs, CRTs etc) away for recycling and last weekend I finally hired a truck and cleared the 20+ years of accumulated junk out of the garage and back shed. They feel ... kind of empty, but in a good way I guess.

This included the washing machine which blew its circuit board (again) at the end of January. It was only 10 months since the last time and I had the money "spare" so I bit the bullet and purchased a new one (ex-display, commercial model, good power and water efficiency ratings (for a washing machine)). Spent more than I intended to but expect it to have a long life under domestic conditions. I also replaced the lounge suite which while in as-new condition when it came with the house 20 years ago had seen hard use by gamers over the years, with several broken springs and other metal poky bits where the covering had worn through at the corners. I have replaced that with a cheap trade-in 2x2 + 1 suite as a bit of an experiment in space usage that I can flick on with no remorse if it doesn't work out.

It was a pretty big effort coming off the back of a very full work-and-other-things week (very grateful that D. turned up to help out) and I've been paying for that this week I guess. Emotionally I'm feeling pretty shattered and weak right now. Other contributions to this include hall dramas and stepping up as emotional support for various friends.

This coming weekend I am in Wellington for a wedding - flights mean it looks like I'm going to have a lot of downtime (like maybe all of Sunday). I am taking my Russian notes with me and maybe I will find the inspiration to actually start those other posts.

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