We're a little crazy, about science!

Midway through summer

Well in about a month and a half we’re going back to school! Wait… oh no. Okay the good news is I’ve accomplished a lot this summer! The bad news is I had no time for myself yet. That will change though, I plan on taking a few weeks for myself right before classes start back up again and since we’re at about the half way mark, I figured today we can look at what I’ve done and what I plan on doing. Today is where I force myself to take a damned break… eventually.

Today is a review of my lazy goals (here). It’s been almost two months exactly since I wrote out my plans for the summer and I’m happy to say I checked off quite a few of the things I wanted to do, but there are still a few lingering things left on that list that I want to tackle. Okay, I had like three things on the lazy goal list this year and one of them would be done by default. Still, there is one thing in particular that I’m excited about. It’s enough that I plan on taking a week or two off from work before the term starts again to finish it. Of course, there’s also something looming in the background that I need to deal with, but that topic is tomorrow’s post since it’s long.

First let’s start with the good, I played (and thoroughly enjoyed) the new Mass Effect legendary edition. In fact, I spent about a week just blowing through the entire game when summer first started. It was a good stress relief after the end of the term I had. It also helped me refocus on some of the other projects I had going on in the lab, things that took a lot of mental effort that I wouldn’t have been able to apply otherwise. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m big on walking away from something I’m doing if I can’t actually put the effort into doing it. It makes no sense to wait for my brain to want to work. So walking away is never a bad thing and in this case, it worked out I got all the work I needed to do finished, plus I got to play one of my favorite games!

Next up, my reading progress! I’ve done a lot of reading this summer. My goal is 30 books by the end of the year and I can comfortably say that I may end up hitting double that. I’m “only” at 20 books right now, but I’ve been reading a few longer novels. Normally books take me 3-5 days to finish depending on the length, this series is taking double that easy. Nighttime is my traditional reading period and I’ve also been pretty tired as of late, so my reading progress each night has slowed somewhat.

Each chapter in the series I’m reading is between 30-60 minutes long at my reading pace and I finish two or three a night, so not terrible, but I’ve also been known to blow through a book in a couple of days. I’m okay with the pace I have right now, I mean reading is a hobby, not a race so even if I only hit my 30 books this year goal, I’ll be happy. I set the goal for fun anyway, not because I had to hit some number to feel good about myself. It just helps remind me to take a little bit of time for myself and setting a firm goal like this is a good way to make sure I set time enough aside for myself. If I didn’t I would be semi-worried that I my personal time would go by the wayside in favor of work.

I do keep track of days I read and so far I’ve read every day for almost two years now. Since I read on my phone (kindle), I get a track of my days just like I get a track of my books read. I’ve been reading for 239 days straight, which would be almost double that, but at day 200 from the last count, I didn’t read because I was dealing with post surgery issues (I had to stay overnight at the hospital for that one!) so definitely not going to be reading!

There were a lot of unexpected surprises this summer. From the surprise extra classes I had to teach (here), to the surprise experiments I got to do (here), it’s been a wild few months! I like planning things out, so having all this thrown at me was definitely a test of my abilities. On the bright side, it gave me a chance to post a semi-condensed intro to MATLAB course for anyone wanting to learn (here). The feedback I got from teaching was awesome too, most of the people who took that course said that they wished it was longer so I could go into more detail. Still, all these surprises threw off a lot of the stuff I wanted to do.

Which brings me to the last fuck you on my list. The one thing I really want to get done that is still sitting in my garage waiting for me to finish! The woodworking project I started last summer. It was a slow and somewhat tedious process because I had never done anything close to what I was attempting, but damn it, it came out amazing… so far. There was still the matter of hanging the doors and staining the wood before I could put it all together. So I would guess a week, maybe two worth of work left for me. It would probably be a few days worth of work for someone who has more experience than I do, but I’m slow at basically everything I do. It’s okay though I would measure ten times before making a cut as long as I know the cut is the correct one to make.

My baby just sitting out in the garage waiting for me to finish! This was me test fitting the doors, notice one is almost falling through. I didn’t have the door hardware yet so I couldn’t actually install, this was just making sure they fit, which it was a little tighter than I wanted.

The plan now is to take a couple weeks next month to myself and finish it all. This depends on a lot of different things, but the biggest one is the two papers that are due by the end of the month. Okay, one paper is due, the other is just the draft. If it weren’t for that I would be taking time now, but since we’re in a crunch (when aren’t we!) I am going to have to focus on that for now. My Co-PI is on vacation as we speak so I’ll be talking with him about my plans when he returns. There’s also a few other things we need to discuss, ASAP, which will be the topic I keep eluding to for tomorrows post.

So with that, I think considering we’ve hit the halfway point (probably a little more) I’m doing okay with all my goals! I am determined to finish the vanity project so I can install it in my bathroom, it was a fun little thing to do in my free time and while it wasn’t easy and certainly didn’t save me money, I’m really proud of how it’s come together. I’m looking forward to the day where I can show it off in all it’s glory! Basically it’s been a good summer, I may even say a surprisingly good summer (see what I did there?) so I can’t complain too much.

While the lazy goals aren’t finished yet, neither is summer and I still have time to wrap them up. Creating my lazy goals have been a lifesaver, so I hope that I’ve inspired some of you to make your own. Mental health is important, this is just one way of prioritizing it.

But enough about us, what about you?

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