Too tired…to…write

I would write a nice long post, but I’m too tired. Here’s what has happened this week (nothing bad, mind).

I haven’t lost any weight. But all my clothes are too big for me, so that’s ok. Even my size 8 pants from Laura Ashley are too big. I’m exercising regularly 3 times per week, aiming for 4, except I’m not really managing 4. We ARE walking the dog quite fast, though.

I’m working very hard. I have started teaching again, so my timetable is looking horrendous. No time for shopping or relaxation. I will have 37 hours teaching per week over the university semester. That’s one-to-one singing lessons and 2 tutes. Ugh. I love teaching, but even I’m feeling the pinch this week.

I’m finishing off a thesis edit and formatting the document, messy stuff. I’m writing a glossary, coordinating staff to get them to add to the glossary, and compiling the results for the Musical Theatre students. I’m TRYING to write the first chapter of our singing book so that I don’t have to worry about that again. This paragraph should be over by next week.

And I’m trying to finish off my PhD.

No way, Jose. So, there it is. And Poppy the dog is gorgeous, but very nippy for a little puppy. Annoyingly so.

And now: bed. Night night.


Back to the grind, in every sense!

DH and I arrived home from our Christmas holiday and we’ve returned to the usual grind of New Year activities. Today, I’m talking about grind. The grindstone, hard work, honing and polishing and refining of New Year’s resolutions and other travails.

I’ve identified four main areas of grind for me. The first is, of course, my health and fitness. Like so many during this holiday season, I’ve eaten and drunk way too much, and I’ve done no more exercise than an elegant stroll down the beach. Well, ok, the stroll was 8 kms long. I’ve probably put on half a kilo, but I’ve stuck pretty well to a pared down diet, with dessert being the main culprit. DH and I were married 5 years ago December 28, right in the heart of the festive season, so all our revelries occur in one week. Cunning, huh. And, of course, far too much drinking. Less than I would have this time last year, but still! So it’s back on the diet wagon (and aren’t I relieved about that!) and I have my first personal training session tomorrow afternoon. Ugh. That’s gonna hurt.

The second grind is to complete the works on the house we’ve organised. For me, that means sanding and painting during VERY hot weather. It’s going to be vicious. But it’s important to get a start on it before our carpenter comes back to build the remaining fence.

The third grind, and probably the hardest, will be to start up my reading and writing for my doctoral thesis, which is due to begin again in February. I had a lovely break from it and I feel much better now, but it’s time to get cracking again. I tried some of it today and boy, all I wanted to do was get up off the computer and clean the house or literally do anything other than study. That was hard. But it’s a resolution I’ve made to myself to complete it this year, as expected. So I’m starting with my methods chapter, because I need to do the reading for Narrative Inquiry methods again, and start to shape the chapter from its rather bloated state at present.

The fourth grind, and one much easier to sustain, will be to begin my singing teaching again. I love my teaching and while I’m enjoying the holidays, I’m looking forward to developing my practice for the year ahead. My times are quickly filling up and then when uni starts: whew! It’s gonna be a challenge to maintain the study and the teaching, as I’ll be teaching about 30 hours per week. In fact, I have to do as much study as possible before teaching begins because it’s so hard for my brain to switch from one activity to the other. I’m dying to do some professional development n singing teaching but until I finish the PhD I won’t have the time – or the money! So I’ll have to content myself with some reading instead this year.

4 grinds. A big year ahead.


Ch ch ch ch ch ch changes!

This morning I woke up and my stomach was flat. I love it when this happens…Even SH noticed and commented it had changed since yesterday. I’m even loving this exercise thingy. Not only do I have more energy than ever, but my clothes are falling off me now and I feel like I’m getting my old body back.

Today after rehearsal I’m going to the gym, then swimming as I won’t have time to do the boxing class. SH is taking me out to an early dinner, followed by a play by the 1st year Musical Theatre kids from our Conservatorium. I’m also trying to correct 70 remaining essays that apparently are due this Friday (no-one told me) and write some articles. I think the articles will have to wait until next week – it’s getting hairy in workload time! So much so that any plans of doing exercise on Friday is impossible unless I do some after about 6pm, which is NOT my finest exercise hour, it must be said.

The weather is becoming sunnier and hotter now, and I must have acclimatised a bit because I feel like this a good thing! It hasn’t been overly warm this year – at least, not by my reckoning – so I’ll be interested to see how I cope with the summer humidity. I think swimming will definitely my preferred summer exercise!



Shooting down the deadlines, one by one!

So, I have an ARC proposal to submit to the Chief Investigator for editing; I am giving a 3 hour lecture/tutorial tomorrow afternoon; I have a meeting with my supervisor on my PhD project on Tuesday; I am teaching allĀ  day Monday, Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday; and Friday morning I am heading south for my sister’s wedding. Too much. Too much. But, happy to say, I have now found all my songs for week 2 for my score reading and analysis course. Unfortunately, the students will just have to put up with them all being American songs performed by men, with the lonely exception of the lovely Miss Patsy Cline, who sings Crazy. Oh, ok, and Kylie Minogue, who sings Can’t get you out of my head. Oh! And also Mama Cass, who sings Dream a little dream of me. Otherwise, all the songs are sung by men. And written by men. Which is worse, in a way.

Tomorrow I hope to send through my agenda item (1 only) for my supervisor, and if I am really lucky, I may even have 30 minutes tomorrow night to finish my idea for her. Urgh. I have not had one minute to think about my own research this week. My fault – I don’t prioritize it enough. After next week, though, it’s all mine.

This week has been beastly, too. Not for fun stuff – my sisters came up to visit and I have enjoyed taking them around the place, exploring Brisbane, but I have had no time for my own work at all, and I’m panicking about what I need to do. It’s March already!

When the weekend boredom beckons…

So, I guess my husband and I are workaholics. This was brought home to me on Saturday afternoon, when I spent 2 hours trying to figure out how to work the MYOB First Edge accounting software I bought for my business (Plainsong Enterprises – anything for a quick plug). We both agree that weekends are difficult to get through. There are weekends when our children are with us which is a whole world of inexplicable events, and then there are the OTHER weekends. You know, the ones where you wake up Saturday morning and you have no social functions to attend, no concerts or films to see (because you’re on a budget so spending money on fun is not within acceptable parameters) and there is nothing on TV worth watching. That sort of weekend. We have a process emerging for these kinds of moments. We wake up, hubby buys paper and maybe croissants, we drink coffee and read the paper until mid-morning. Then we go to half a dozen open houses to do our house purchasing research – my parameters are becoming more defined now. By this time the coffee has worn off, the car air conditioning doesn’t work any more (something to ask my motor mechanic about….) and it’s time for the shopping. Grocery shopping. But somehow, amongst all our declarations of non expenditure due to no money, we still manage to buy business equipment (for the business, it’s a business expense, I need a home binding machine for all my music and reports, I really do, and I’m sick of people not bringing water, so I need a water chiller in the foyer, yes I really do). Oops. This is alongside the $200 I spent on an accounting package I don’t know how to use, and the Australian edition of Bookkeeping for Dummies, 2010. I should never be let near Officeworks. My husband now realises it’s a sickness for me. I am heavily addicted.

Saturday evenings are now a wasteland of me trying to get Accounting software to work, and my husband writing more grant proposals and answering emails and putting out spotfires. And occasionally I give up, and play Sims3, which unfortunately is now more boring than real life. Just when you think academics don’t do any work, you find my hubby putting in 14 hour days, 6 days a week. He wades through and corrects his students’ PhD or DMA work, he reads or plans operating manuals for the university, he answers a thousand emails. He goes to retreats and important meetings. He told me this morning before heading off on a 3 day management retreat that it was expected he would change for dinner, because wearing day clothes at an evening function is not a good idea.

We have ceased to function as a unit. We are now working machines. So, as I say, Saturday has become about buying stuff. Houses to buy in future, groceries ($170 – down to a dull roar); office furniture, and GIFTS. Who knew gifts were the killer? Trying to buy a gift for my little sister Nell’s wedding is impossible – we may have to go for the gift voucher like everyone else – and then there are the children. My stepson is turning 13 this Saturday. Of course, he had made no plans for a party so it will be a pretty ad hoc sort of affair, I’m afraid. I think they want to do the go kart racing thing. Fine by me. But what to get a child who has everything he needs? (except War Hammer, and neither his mother nor his father are getting any of THAT! Overpriced plastic crap) I thought a phone might be a good idea. He is attending high school now and what with all the travel and the too-ing and fro-ing, I recommended it. Also because his mother won’t let him call his dad and his dad is sick of having a gatekeeper monitoring his calls to his son. So, without revealing what we finally got for this child, let it be said that here now begins the lifelong commitment to communication of an electronic nature.

So Saturday and Sunday become about shopping, getting out of the heat, and working. Because when we get home from the shopping, hubby goes into his room and I go into mine, and we don’t see each other again until dinner. And that’s the weekend.


When working and weekends don’t mix

I’ve had a beauty of a weekend. Saturday was a real doona day, where most of the day was spent flopped on the couch in my pjs, playing Sims3 and annoying the crap out of my husband, who is a workaholic and does not see the point of playing games. I have to work very hard to keep my game play out of the weekdays, but it is important to my sanity that I have down time from the week, which has usually involved my head exploding from too much convoluted thinking. Hubby huffed and puffed his way around Saturday, meaning that he put clothes on the line and got grumpy because I hadn’t DONE anything. At least, that’s my reading of it. I think he thinks I am lazy, which I am, on the weekend at any rate. Saturday night I cooked food, we ate, I watched the third in the series of Jurassic Park, which I had been half watching all day. Sunday was only marginally more productive. I managed to arise, eventually, hubby having gone to adjudicate singers on the Gold Coast, and spent another lovely day messing about on the computer, doing some light housework, going shopping ($400 on food alone!) and, when hubby arrived home, taking the dog for a walk. I needed this weekend to be like this – I had too much work during the week, not much of it my own PhD.

Speaking of which, now is the time to get back to the grind. Getting my hair cut today, so didn’t travel into uni, but am now procrastinating about doing the next transcription! Oy vey. Will I never learn.