Gratitude and Groans*

* Formerly “Likes and Dislikes” because it took me three weeks to come up with a catchier title!

Gratitude: 1) &2) I am going back to work on Tuesday (wish me luck!) and I’m glad to have a job. I am also glad that said job allows me to have long stretches of time off, even if I don’t get paid. It’s a chance for me to recharge my batteries both physical and mental. I also find that a little time off does wonders for my ability to teach–I came up with an idea I think will work for citation, for instance. If I were constantly teaching with no time off, I don’t think I’d be able to do that. Because I had a break, I could watch some films, read some books, get some writing done (not as much as I would have liked), start a blog, and exercise (not as much as I’d like).

3) This whole adult coloring trend? I love it. I have so many interesting and lovely books waiting for me to fill. It’s stress-relieving, meditative, and fun. In case you’re interested, I like the Dover series and Johanna Basford’s books.

Groans: 1) I never do get as much done in my off time as I want to. When there’s a break coming up, I think of all the interesting things I could fill it with, but I don’t always get there. This break I did more than I sometimes do, though. And I have to remember that resting is a thing I have to do.

2) Winter is here. Snow, shoveling, rain that freezes, slippery slush, cold, and gray skies. Into every life some winter must come, I know. Actually, I don’t think I’d mind so much if I didn’t have to go out in it. As far as I’m concerned, those of us with SAD are reacting sensibly to winter–we should all stay inside, eat carbs, and sleep a lot!

3) Migraines. I have mine almost under control with diet, exercise and magnesium supplements, but my mother keeps having them–primarily because manufactures put palm oil (and sunflower oil) into EVERYTHING. This is because the government told them to get rid of transfats in food (like in shortening), which was apparently killing us all slowly, but they replaced it with palm oil, a trigger for migraines. Not only that, but orangutan habitats are being razed to grow the palm oil trees. Not good!

4) The many, many words that I can’t spell. Part of it is that English isn’t particularly phonetic–when I was taking Spanish in high school, I hardly had any spelling problems because Spanish, sensibly, spells things as they sound (after a person learned the pronunciation rules, of course). English spells things like they used to be pronounced centuries ago (knife, knight) and the way that people who thought Latin was cool believed it should be spelled (debt used to be spelled det)/ English speakers also stole from every language they encountered (and sometimes reflected the spelling in that language, sometimes reflected how the English speakers heard the word, and sometimes “fixed” the spelling, just to make things interesting). And sometimes I think that English just messes with its spellers (“We’re going to have a sound–schwa–that will be represented by a, e, i, or sometimes a combinations of those letters! Mwa-ha-ha!”). The best thing about this whole mess is that we’re so used to it that simplified/corrected spelling looks funny, so there’s no solution. We’ll just keep having spelling bees for the people who are willing and able to memorized thousands of words and rules, and the rest of us will just hobble along with spell check. Assuming, of course, that a person misspells the word well enough for spell check to fix it. Sometimes, I misspell so badly that the checker just shrugs.

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