Last Day

•September 25, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Welp, this is it: my last day at my current job. I’m sad to go, but the time is right, so I don’t feel overly distraught about it. Still no new job lined up yet, but I did spend my lunch hour in a Zoom seminar with recruiters for another animation studio to try to get some insight into other opportunities and ways to pursue them.

Right now, I’m in a funny twilight time: I’ve finished my work tasks for the day but I’ve got another hour-ish before I plan to go running. There’s lots of little things to take care of: clearing personal information off my work laptop, copying down contact information for people I want to keep in touch with, sorting out when insurance will end, figuring out when unemployment can begin, etc. Not big stuff, but enough little things that I keep getting distracted before crossing any of them off my list.

Needless to say, I’m in kind of a funny head-space at the moment.

History Loop

•September 22, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I make an effort to avoid Doom Scrolling as much as possible: it’s painfully easy for social media to get under my skin and in These Times there’s just too many things to worry about. Yesterday, I made the mistake of reading up on one theorists projections on how the various results of the upcoming election could lead to civil war. Only it wasn’t “could”. All the options led to civil war. None of the options were good.

It’s not that I’d prefer to hide my head in the sand: there’s plenty in life these days that deserves attention and action. But when it comes to the outcome of the upcoming election and whether or not it will lead to the collapse of America As We Know It, there’s not whole lot I can do besides vote and worry. Neither of which feels like it is likely to have a big impact.

My impulse is to contingency plan. Stockpile supplies. Figure out people and places to go to. Learn survival skills. I want to believe it won’t come to that, but I also want to believe I’ll be okay if it does. But really there’s no way to plan for every scenario and I’m once again being faced with my own relative helplessness.

I’m trying to redirect my focus to history: to all the ways that the circumstances of 2020 are mirroring the circumstances of 1920: not because I want to re-live the early part of the twentieth century, because those were not tranquil years in world history, but because the fact history is repeating itself is proof that humanity survived the first go ’round.

Anyway, just trying to learn how to let go of the things I can’t control. It’s a process.

Job Joy

•September 21, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe I’m in the last week of my current job. On Wednesday, I will have been with the production for exactly one year, and on Friday I will be wrapped. It’s only been one year, but it feels like it has been a lifetime.

This time last year, I was DEEP in depression. After a lifetime of resistance, I had finally committed to therapy. It helped, but my depression at the time was still severe enough that I finally gave in an asked for medication: something I never thought I would do. I thought anti-depressants would numb me out. Or perhaps make me so chipper as to be obnoxious. Neither of which turned out to be true: mostly, my experience with medication is that it just got my mood back to a normal, level, playing field. “Normal” was no longer six feet under water.

But the biggest life-change: the one I think made the most difference, was changing jobs. I’d been working for a payroll company for several years and it wasn’t a bad job. I liked the company. I liked my coworkers (except for the loud eater- but only because of the loud eating). The work was tedious, but not difficult and I never had to bring it home with me. I had paid vacation and health insurance and a 401K for the very first time. All in all, it was a pretty good gig, but it just didn’t pay enough and I spent every minute of every hour of every day feeling the life being crushed out of me.

If I learned one thing, it’s that a good job can still be bad for you if it’s not the right fit.

So, getting this job was a dream come true. When I interviewed, the film was described to me as “monsters wrestling” which might as well have been “stockcar parachuting” or “soap opera dance competitions” for all it meant to me. But it was a production job on the lot of a major studio in the script/story department so I was IN. And I don’t regret a minute of it.

It took me fully three and a half months of working the new job before I really felt like myself again: I knew I’d finally turned a corner when the Editor commented, with apparent surprise, that I was “chipper” one day. And I realized I was. And not just chipper, but actually happy. And even in spite of the pandemic and the riots and the blazing heat and the oppressive smoke and the extremely volatile political climate, I’ve been happy ever since.

I spent an hour or so this morning writing thank you notes for my co-workers. It made me realize how incredibly grateful I am that fate saw fit to put me with this particular team on this particular project at this particular time in my life.


•September 18, 2020 • 2 Comments
Tomato for scale

I didn’t have to get up early this morning to go running, so I had this idea that I might sleep in a bit. Somehow, my body decided instead that Today Was A Good Day To Get Started Early. So I got up.

My plan for the morning, as much as I had one, was to try to go get a flu shot before work. My employer sponsored health insurance will be expiring in a week and I wanted to be sure to get it done sooner rather than later. The Medical Center opened at eight. I got there at eight-o-one.

Even at the crack of dawn there was a five or ten minute wait. The jab itself, of course, took less than thirty seconds from rolling up my sleeve to walking away with a band-aid. Afterwards, I rewarded myself with a trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up *a* birthday card for a relative’s birthday later this month.

And maybe some greeting cards too.

They’re cheap- they’re only a dollar…

How often do I even GO to Trader Joe’s anymore? Better stock up…

How many is too many?

Don’t care. It’s 2020. Life is short. Buy the greeting card.

I walk back out the door with an embarrassing number of greeting cards tucked discreetly in a paper bag as if to hide my shame. And I’m lamenting about it, but in truth I’m pretty pleased with my new hoard. I felt like a trick-or-treater coming home with my bag full of goodies.

All before nine in the morning.

Not bad for a Friday.

Night Run

•September 16, 2020 • 5 Comments

I’ve been living a “keto-adjacent” lifestyle for the past six months in solidarity with the Curmudgeonly Lion. “Keto” translating roughly to “avoiding carbs and emphasizing protein and fats” as a form of weight maintenance. And it has been a great help in These Times- both as a way of keeping us from snacking ourselves into oblivion and as an interesting excuse to try new foods and recipes.

We’ve reached a point in our keto adventures where the actual weight loss has leveled out, so the Curmudgeonly Lion sought the advice of his doctor to find out what else we might be able to try.


Intermittent fasting.

I mean: these are easy “changes” for me to make because I’m already doing them. But I did find one helpful kernel of advice in the mix: to do my exercising at the end of a period of Intermittent fasting, right before eating a meal. Apparently, this is supposed to be more effective at charging the metabolism by an order of magnitude. Was it true? I didn’t know, but it was worth a shot. Heck, it might even be more convenient.

All summer I’ve been getting up early to go running. Partly, this was due to temperature: with days getting up into the nineties and hundreds, it’s a LOT more pleasant to drag my ass around the block before the sun comes up. And it was a good way to charge my daily routine: get up, go for a run, plank, shower, coffee, begin day. Five things to cross off my list before the first daily meeting.

Now, though, the days are getting shorter and the dawn is coming later. More often than not I’m running in the dark, which I don’t mind, but it’s a lot harder to get myself going when it still feels like the middle of the night. It would be easy to shift my run to the end of the day: to right before dinner.

So, I gave it a try.

Running after a day of fasting presents its own forms of motivational challenge, but it did feel pretty good to get away from my desk after a long day of listening in on recording sessions. I was still just as hungry for dinner, but I was less desperate to eat- and less inclined to keep eating like I sometimes am. And it was easy to forgo the evening glass of wine, which has become a quarantine-routine.

It’s hard to say if it is actually making that much of a difference yet to the amount of impact my running has on the, no pun intended, bottom line. But it was an easy enough change to make, so I’ll be interested to see how it plays out.

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