liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
[personal profile] liv
I'm in a kind of weird emotional place when it comes to thinking about 2015. I had the best Christmas holiday in years, like a proper school vacation, nearly three weeks in Cambridge when I got up when I felt like it, and had lots of chances to spend time with friends. Proper extended time with [personal profile] jack, enough that we didn't feel like we had a huge pile of leftover conversations we didn't have time for, which is a very rare state in our long-distance, two-career relationship. I saw my parents and Granny and all of my siblings, though serially, not in a huge Christmas gathering of the whole clan at once, and we had good conversations rather than shouty chaos. And I had time for proper conversations with [personal profile] khalinche, [livejournal.com profile] blue_mai, [personal profile] mathcathy, [personal profile] doseybat and [livejournal.com profile] pplfichi, and even [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo by phone, yay.

And even better, most of this was in a popping round eachother's houses kind of way, nothing that required hugely complicated logistics and travel. We saw a fair bit of our excellent neighbours, especially [livejournal.com profile] ghoti and [personal profile] cjwatson, and their children whom I'm enjoying getting to know better. And we had several fairly low-key houseparties, [personal profile] jack's pre-Christmas thing, my birthday, NYE, which included lots of opportunities to talk to people I really like. Which is definitely one of the things I hoped for when I spent so much money, time and effort moving my life to Cambridge last year.

I came back to uni a week ago and I crashed hard. I've had a week of really struggling to motivate myself, only getting things done by means of last-minute panic at urgent deadlines, and just feeling undirectedly gloomy. This in spite of some really fun things, good conversations with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel, and a completely lovely weekend in Lancashire with [personal profile] jack's family who decided to invite us for his birthday instead of Christmas. I think it's partly come-down after having too much fun, generally missing my friends, it's partly that this time of year when I have a lot of busy-work going on but no actual teaching until next week is always a bit unsatisfying. And partly hormones.

I've been kind of fretting about the usual sort of new year thinking. Every time I try to contemplate my goals and so on for the coming year, I feel anxious instead of hopeful. I think it's partly that there's this huge great lump of career angst sort of sitting there in the back of my mind and getting in way of thinking about plans and hopes for the year. I don't want to brain dump that here at the moment, but the short version is that I really like my job but I am stressed about broader higher education politics. Also I think I'm getting itchy feet, a bit, this is now the sixth year I've been doing a lot of the same things and, well, I've never been in a single job that long. (This is part of the reason I have never wanted children, because I know I get bored and restless after a few years of doing the same thing, and parenting is a much longer commitment than that.)

I can also feel myself being drawn into the trap of making a whole bunch of un-compassionate and infeasible promises to myself about how I'm going to magically become awesome this year. Part of this is actually a problem of plenty; I have pretty much exactly the life I want: a job that's worthwhile and stimulating and pays so well I've basically stopped budgeting, a husband I'm very content to be in a long-term relationship with, a home of our own even if I only live there part time, lots of really wonderful friends who are part of my life, a Jewish community that isn't perfect but fulfils a lot of what I want from religion. And it's easy to feel a bit, now what? Especially since both being 36, and the year being 2015, are further in the future than I ever really contemplated when I was thinking about "when I grow up" or otherwise looking ahead.

It's not that I have a pressing need to make my 90% perfect life 100% perfect. It's just that pesky boredom thing again, if I don't actually move forward and learn new things and have new experiences, I'll start to value less the good things I have, just because of the sameness. So, aside from stuff that will hopefully lead to progress in my career (for lots of reasons, staying static isn't an option), which I'm scared of thinking about in case it's not achievable, I want to set out a kind of, well, wishlist for 2015.

[personal profile] jack's cousin said that his NYR was that he wasn't going to get involved in things that are not his concern. And I tossed that idea around a bit because I think it's a very plausible suggestion. In the end I decided it's probably not right for me at this point, but I can try to let go of being stressed about things I can't control. Whether that's work or social group drama, or political things, or depressing international news.

Barker suggests resolving simply to treat yourself more kindly, and I think probably I want a variation on that. I think my plan for 2015 is going to be deliberately putting time into things that actually make me happy. I don't have a lot of free time, but a lot of what I do have gets frittered away refreshing social networks, or playing grindy casual games for short-term reward, and feeling vaguely guilty that I'm not being productive. Some of the stuff that's more fun and satisfying than that has set-up costs, so perhaps what I'm resolving to do is, where relevant, to actually do that set-up so that I can in fact do more happy-making things.

And what makes Liv happy? Two broad categories of things, really: anything to do with connections with other people; and novelty, especially learning new things and making noticeable progress. I get a lot of both of those at work, but my tendency to want to spend all my time doing the fun satisfying bits of work, leaving too little for the boring but necessary parts and too little for my own leisure, is not a healthy approach.

So, in the connections category: I want to spend not necessarily more time, but make sure I always set aside enough time, for blogging, commenting on other people's journals, just being present in my online community. I notice that when I'm productively busy I manage to find time to dash off DW posts somehow, and they spark conversations and those are sustaining. But when I'm feeling low as I have been this week, I feel like I have nothing much to say, or that all the "should be doing" things are more pressing, and that leads into a negative loop.

I want to continue working on ways to keep in touch with my distant friends, especially those who aren't on DW. I know this is a perennial resolution, but I am steadily improving at this even if it's still something I struggle with. With some people I've had a bit of luck getting into the habit of chatting by text message, because that's just low pressure and keeps up a nice bit of contact. I want to make specific arrangements with people to make phonecalls (whether by landline or VoIP or video chat, I don't make much distinction). The point is that I really enjoy planned phonecalls, even if I hate being randomly interrupted! And I know that some people dislike phones altogether, but still, for those who don't, it's a good way to keep in touch. I want to keep up with making plans to visit friends in person; I keep being daunted by the logistics, and particularly my Birmingham crowd I haven't seen for far too long. But actually, if I do get over the activation barrier it's always more than worth it.

I do want to write more emails, but in the spirit of self-compassion, I want to stop getting mired in guilt about not doing so enough, because that doesn't actually help. I would rather find alternatives to writing regular long chatty emails to all the people I want to keep in touch with, than drift away from those people. One option is that I might write postcards some, perhaps virtual ones which don't require the faff of getting stamps and finding people's physical addresses and remembering to mail the cards. And for those who don't positively hate the habit, maybe start top-posting or otherwise writing brief replies to the gestalt of a message, instead of feeling like I have to make a useful comment on every line of someone's email to me.

Also, continuing the habit that [personal profile] jack and I have started, of inviting people to our house. Hosting small, low-key dinner parties and house parties, and not getting worked up about the fact that I'm not a brilliant cook and the house is not perfectly clean and tidy and generally I am in fact never going to be able to host at the standard my mother does. Just about all my friends would rather spend time with me in a somewhat messy house than not see me at all until I learn to make a perfectly presented dinner party, or see me only when I'm really stressed about falling short. And those who do object to my low standards of domesticity, well, I'll go to their house or we'll go out for a meal, and that'll be fine too.

Reconnecting with people I haven't properly communicated with in ages. Again, most friends are glad to hear from me and the whole guilt about the fact that it's been months or years or whatever is mostly in my head and not actually a barrier to re-kindling a friendship.

Just generally being properly present for my friends, appreciating them, listening to them, not taking them for granted, basically.

And novelty. I realize this list is way too big and I'm not going to manage all of it, but let me just list a whole bunch of options for things I might do so that I don't sit around thinking, I want to be doing something fun but I have no idea what / the set-up is too complicated right now.

I probably want to read more (and talk about books). I really, really do not want to make this into a chore or a goal I have to achieve; I don't think there's any way that reading a novel a week plus makes me morally virtuous. The only reason I want to do this is because I generally enjoy reading, doing more reading of actual novels with stories in will make me, I think, happier than, say, reading too much Twitter and following random links because at least that puts words in front of my eyes. I think the biggest barrier last year was that I kept thinking, I only have 20 minutes, there isn't time to get stuck into a story. But maybe I should just try reading a couple of pages when I have breaks like that, and see if that gets me back into bookworm mode. And if it doesn't, well, I will learn that I have changed from a person who needs to be constantly reading to be happy to one who doesn't, and that's useful data.

I would like to travel some, and this is likely to happen in 2015, but what I need to watch out for is that I don't get into a state of thinking, ugh, I'm too busy, I'll put off booking time off work and dealing with trip planning and stuff. Mostly [personal profile] jack is pretty good at prodding me out of that attitude, but it's an emotional trap I do fall into sometimes.

I want to keep up my regime of regular exercise. I've fallen out of the running habit over Christmas, which is normal enough, but I'm finding it hard to get started again. It's not that I enjoy running, particularly, but I do enjoy being fit, and it's more than worth the effort it takes. I need to do some tweaking to make it possible to keep up exercise while I'm in Cambridge in winter, either buying some home exercise equipment or joining a gym or finding a routine I can do in a smallish house. Other than that glitch, I think basically my running thing is largely working well for me, and I have several systems to make it rewarding, Fitocracy, [community profile] runners and [community profile] c25k, the Zombies, Run! app, generally gamifying and trying to beat high scores and so on. I think I need to get some (possibly one-off?) coaching in order to get back into lifting weights again, because I really like strength work and getting muscles as a result.

The other big thing I want in 2015 is to learn some new stuff. I still want to learn how to bake, which I resolved a while back and my intention got disrupted by confidence issues, then guilt at not getting started, then 2014's housemoving. The kitchen in my tiny flat on campus is just too small and ill-equipped to try to learn new skills there, but I do have a very nice kitchen at Pumbedita and [personal profile] jack is very willing to encourage me to spend some weekend afternoons just having a go at baking something.

Coding. I am pretty certain I want to carry on contributing to real OS projects, and not just follow courses of toy exercises. Even if they're gamified like Code Academy, I don't feel motivated enough to get very far with projects like that. And probably that means Dreamwidth because there's nowhere else that is nearly as welcoming to newbies. Though I am kind of frustrated with Dreamwidth-the-project at the moment, for a bunch of reasons that I don't want to go into in this already rambly post. So maybe I should seek something else I can get involved with, and if being somewhat more fluent in a programming language than I am is a requirement, well, maybe that'll give me the motivation to learn something more thoroughly.

Knitting. I want to learn to knit and / or crochet, because once I have the basic techniques I can do that in fairly brief moments of downtime or even at the same time as some other things, and I think it would be very good for me to be able to make things.

Languages. It's probably enough to keep on with what I've been doing, as long as I actually do it and don't get distracted by less fun things. Poking at Swedish on Duolingo. I'm making up the weird deficits I have, where I can have a fairly fluent spoken conversation but can't really spell or conjugate at even quite a basic level. Also keeping on reading some Swedish media, there's plenty on the internet, and my reading is ridiculously ahead of my productive Swedish, so I can do the beginner basic phrases on Duolingo and the advanced trying to read broadsheets etc in parallel. Also Arabic on Memrise, I'm mainly trying to get to the point where I can read well enough that I can start actually learning the language properly, and that really just needs drilling. I might try to take another course if one comes available at my university, too.

I seem to be writing a little bit of poetry again, lately, and I should probably keep on doing that and not worry that I'm fairly rubbish at it, being a little bit creative is really good for my happiness. And writing bad poetry is a pre-requisite for writing good poetry, and yes, my brother is a professional poet, but that shouldn't prevent me from being an amateur poet. If I get really confident (and write about non-private topics) I might post some here; you can always skip it if you hate bad poetry on your d-roll!

I want to talk about religious stuff too but I have run out of time because I have in fact a Hebrew lesson to go to now. So that can be for another post. Thanks for listening, DW, I feel better for writing that out.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 06:06 pm (UTC)
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
From: [personal profile] hilarita
I only tend to read during lunchbreaks and in the bath - neither routinely gives me more than 20-25 minutes to read in at a stretch. But I found that it was enough to turn me back into someone who reads new things. (Not necessarily massively complex things, but there are enough books that are still good and interesting, and can fit into that. I mostly read Ancillary Sword during my lunchbreaks.) I still don't necessarily manage to blog about everything I read, though I hope to get back to that this year.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 06:26 pm (UTC)
rysmiel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rysmiel
Every time I try to contemplate my goals and so on for the coming year, I feel anxious instead of hopeful.

*hug*hug* you have my sympathies, there. I don't really have many well-defined goals this year; job thing is kind of hanging over everything else. And finishing the current writing project but I really hope that can be done in the next two months or so and won't still be outstanding by the time my current job ends.

Also I think I'm getting itchy feet, a bit, this is now the sixth year I've been doing a lot of the same things and, well, I've never been in a single job that long.

I honestly don't know whether I would do that; I certainly was not feeling any urge to move on after eight and a half years at the previous job.

I can also feel myself being drawn into the trap of making a whole bunch of un-compassionate and infeasible promises to myself about how I'm going to magically become awesome this year. Part of this is actually a problem of plenty; I have pretty much exactly the life I want: a job that's worthwhile and stimulating and pays so well I've basically stopped budgeting, a husband I'm very content to be in a long-term relationship with, a home of our own even if I only live there part time, lots of really wonderful friends who are part of my life, a Jewish community that isn't perfect but fulfils a lot of what I want from religion. And it's easy to feel a bit, now what? Especially since both being 36, and the year being 2015, are further in the future than I ever really contemplated when I was thinking about "when I grow up" or otherwise looking ahead.

Heh. That's a feeling I know very well, because I have in very many aspects a really wonderful life, and when I look at the life goals I had in, say, my early twenties, I've pretty much hit all of them that are within my control even slightly, and had a bunch of additional excellent stuff as well.

It's just that pesky boredom thing again, if I don't actually move forward and learn new things and have new experiences, I'll start to value less the good things I have, just because of the sameness.

Is that an expectation based on experience? I've not found it the case with me, but then I don't seem to get bored with good things - the contrast with points in my life when I did not have them and wanted them has not dimmed enough to make some specific values of good thing any less pleasing after fifteen or twenty or twenty-five years.

In the end I decided it's probably not right for me at this point, but I can try to let go of being stressed about things I can't control.

I hope that helps; it is a thing at which I am really bad.

Barker suggests resolving "simply to treat yourself more kindly", and I think probably I want a variation on that. I think my plan for 2015 is going to be deliberately putting time into things that actually make me happy.

Sounds very good to me. *hug*

Just about all my friends would rather spend time with me in a somewhat messy house than not see me at all until I learn to make a perfectly presented dinner party, or see me only when I'm really stressed about falling short.

+1 for that sentiment, as the young people say these days. I'm far from the most houseproud person in the world so it would be ridiculous for me to expect it of anyone else.

I probably want to read more (and talk about books).

*bounce* yay!

I really, really do not want to make this into a chore or a goal I have to achieve; I don't think there's any way that reading a novel a week plus makes me morally virtuous.

That makes eminent sense, yes.

I think the biggest barrier last year was that I kept thinking, I only have 20 minutes, there isn't time to get stuck into a story. But maybe I should just try reading a couple of pages when I have breaks like that, and see if that gets me back into bookworm mode.

I am finding my reading pattern changing recently partly because reading on public transport (or walking along) works fine with A-format paperbacks and not really at all with hardcovers or C-format paperbacks and that's tending to prompt me to be reading more than one thing at once more than I used to; also, as I get older, my back is less comfortable with lying down to read all evening and then going to sleep, I am finding myself in need of sitting up at the computer for at least half an hour and often more after reading however late it is, and that is slowing me down, and tending towards me following much more visual media than I used to even a couple of years ago. (The problem of downstairs neighbours being grumpy about late-night noise, which headphones do not solve because I can't wear them, turns out to respond well to watching subtitled anime that does not need sound). I am still trying to work out how I feel about this and what to do about it if anything. It's not helping that my inpile at the moment is very full of "volume N of a set which I really need to reread from the beginning", so it has a virtual pile associated which is much bigger and more looming than it looks. The failure mode I am watching for here is "I am in the middle of X things, none of them seem appealing right now, let's do something fun instead -> I am in the middle of (X+1) things, none of them seem appealing right now" repeating to the point where things I am doing for enjoyment's sake start feeling like obligations.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 07:21 pm (UTC)
wild_irises: (vegetables)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
One way I can reply to long posts is to pick something short out of them that I resonate with, so I want to applaud you and [personal profile] jack for inviting people over more.

That is my and [personal profile] pokershaman's favorite way of socializing, and I find it awesomely connective. I think many people crave it.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-16 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
Yes. I find large groups often stressful and have been trying, with varied success, to get back to friends-to-dinner.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 07:45 pm (UTC)
randomling: Zoe (of Firefly) looks confused and disgusted. (zoe)
From: [personal profile] randomling
I too would like to get back into coding this year! Though I keep putting that off because I feel like I have to get my working life in order before I take on "extra" stuff, and right now that's sort of not happening.

So, I totally applaud that, and if you find another cool project to contribute to, I'd love to hear about it!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 07:51 pm (UTC)
vatine: Generated with some CL code and a hand-designed blackletter font (Default)
From: [personal profile] vatine
Weirdly, I have found that doing my bookmeme posts, I am more likely to post about other things (and given how infrequently that happens, you can just about guess how seldomly I would otherwise post). I don't know if they make me read more, or less, but it does make me slightly more conscious about what I read, which isn't necessarily bad.

I've not done new year's resolutions since basically forever, so I think I shall keep that part up, though.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodpijn.livejournal.com
Yay for lots of low-key parties! I was sad that we were away for both the ones you had around Christmas, so it's nice to know we haven't missed the chance until the following year.

I think the biggest barrier last year was that I kept thinking, I only have 20 minutes, there isn't time to get stuck into a story. But maybe I should just try reading a couple of pages when I have breaks like that, and see if that gets me back into bookworm mode.
I find that unless I have a hard deadline, it's a bad idea for me to read during those times because I do get too stuck into it and keep reading - if I only have 20 minutes because I'm tired and really need an early night, and I start a good book, I'm still reading 2 or 3 hours later. So I tend not to start, which is a bit sad.

This is part of the reason I have never wanted children, because I know I get bored and restless after a few years of doing the same thing, and parenting is a much longer commitment than that.
Not trying to change your mind at all, just observing; but I think it feels like a very different job every year or so. There's fairly reliable career progression, so to speak, from parent-of-baby to parent-of-toddler to parent-of-preschooler and so on.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 08:33 pm (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
An idea that was helpful for me when I only had twenty minute windows for reading was Charles Dickens. Because his books were serialized with incredible elegance, I find that reading a chapter of Dickens is a profoundly satisfying thing that I can get into quickly and put away at the end of my break without qualms. I read David Copperfield over a period of several months, reading every single day, and it was a very satisfying reading experience. YMMV.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 09:38 pm (UTC)
cjwatson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cjwatson
Come-down from holidays is rotten, isn't it? I tend to get it more from post-netmeet or post-conference kinds of things, but it's certainly the same species of crash. And many of the things you say resonate with me from the malaise I started verbalising around October last year and am still generally working on, especially things about reconnecting with friends, reading, and languages. So thank you for writing that out in detail, because I found it helpful too.

Coding: I wish I had suggestions for other open-source project environments that aren't toxic in some way or another. Debian is the community-of-my-heart in a lot of ways, but its social environment leaves a very great deal to be desired, plus it's just huge by design and thus hard to find one's way around. I suppose the follow-up question is, do you have specific things you're motivated to improve, or are you motivated mainly by the process of learning itself? (This is partly from helping [livejournal.com profile] ghoti; I'm very strongly motivated by the former to the point that for a long time I always advised people to find something they wanted to fix, fix that, and repeat, but [livejournal.com profile] ghoti is I think more motivated by the journey than the destination as it were.) I'm sure there are plenty of helpful and supportive programmers around here but I'm certainly willing to help out here and there if that would be at all useful.

And you have indirectly prodded me into finally signing up for Duolingo as another avenue for learning Irish, so yay.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 10:03 pm (UTC)
jae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jae
I have a rather different approach to new year's resolutions than you, I think. I don't do the Big Infeasible Promises thing, either, but rather than opting for general "outlook" kinds of "this is the direction I want to go in" things, I make very small goals that are easily achievable with a bit of effort like "do X easy thing every day that will make my life better" or "finish Y medium-sized work-related or hobby-related task that I need a bit of a push to get back to." I also take stock at the end of the year to see the extent to which I managed to achieve the goals, but more to see whether those were reasonable goals than to beat myself up about them.

-J

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 10:08 pm (UTC)
withagreatlove: (sky)
From: [personal profile] withagreatlove
First of all: *hugs*

Second of all: as the Good Book says, 'V'ahavta lare'acha kamocha' - 'love your neighbour as yourself' (Lev. 19:18). In order to love someone else properly, you have to love yourself first. So go easy on yourself and be kind to yourself! (AND I got some of that religion in there for you! :))

Third: your immensely intelligent and complex brain is overcomplicating. And I think that is actually a factor in your gloominess. There are so many variables you're trying to balance here. Would you be open to simplifying things? Imposing some boundaries? Finding strategies to make things more manageable?

Since this is all about unsolicited advice, here it goes :)

- Get rid of your phone games. Takes one to know one. Life improved considerably for me after I deleted my games from my phone. (I'm looking at you, Candy Crush Saga). It's true that they are cute and relaxing but the short-term gain doesn't outweigh the long-term detriment.
- You are not your mother and don't berate your 'domesticity'. Your friends love you for who you are and won't give a hoot about your cooking skills or cleanliness. Besides, friends like myself love taking over your kitchen and cooking with you! (Too bad we live far away).
- I'd love to text with you but I always feel bad about 'imposing' myself so I never do :)
- Keep emails short. I think you tend to go through this cycle of non-response > guilt > email frenzy > loooooooong (and lovely) emails > feeling overwhelmed > non-response. :) A short email is fine. Use the email to schedule in an appointment (phone, Skype, chat, face-to-face, whatever) and leave the actual conversation for when you meet (virtually or in real life).
- I'd love to learn to knit/crochet too but silly old me is intimidated by online tutorials. How about a knitting chevruta?

I hope any of this is vaguely helpful and not intrusive or annoying. I miss you and it's good to be back on DW and whatever you do, your friends will love you just the same!
Edited Date: 2015-01-14 10:09 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 10:38 pm (UTC)
ursula: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ursula
I am moderately involved with the Sage math software community. The barriers to contribution are probably higher than Dreamwidth, but if you are interested in python and scientific computation it might be a good fit.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-14 11:45 pm (UTC)
khalinche: (Default)
From: [personal profile] khalinche
I would love to crochet with you. I have lots of spare wool and hooks, and also would like to have some one-on-one time with you, having had to rush off last time we saw each other - so maybe there's some tea and crochet and nattering in our future.

A few random things

Date: 2015-01-15 08:33 am (UTC)
emperor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emperor
I have no idea where my career is going (even if I have one right now), so I'm sorting leaving that to "get through re-organisation" FTTB.

These days I mostly read on the train to/from climbing, which isn't ideal, but at least gets me reading. Yuletide was quite good at getting me to sit down with a book, but I only really found time to do that at the weekend or on evenings "off".

I doubt I have much to offer that [personal profile] cjwatson couldn't re Debian, but it is the sort of place where you can do small part-work quite well.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-15 10:06 am (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
I gym at Nuffield Health on Coldham's Lane; if you wanted to try it guest day passes are easy enough to get. But maybe it's not the closest to your place (nor the cheapest). Running outdoors in January can be a bit miserable (I only do it with other people).

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-16 09:58 am (UTC)
draigwen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] draigwen
I know the feeling about being in a job too long... until my pre-maternity leave job I'd only ever been in a job for a year max and I was thoroughly bored when I went on maternity leave with Sam... luckily with where I work and what I do I was able to switch to a different job when I went back to work (well, same job, different department so different challenges). Funny you saying that about being a reason for not having children though - it's the children that now help me not be bored of work!

You should definitely crochet... I've only been doing it a few days but it's so therapeutic. I only started on a whim when I saw the "Make It Today" magazine in the supermarket, which is a crochet special with yarn and hook and lots of projects. Figured it was a cheap way to try it out.

And coding... wish I could find a project that doesn't demand too much time and would allow me to learn... I find codeacademy too simple for me, but don't have time to commit to anything more involved. So if you find anything let me know!

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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