Wednesday, November 30, 2011

pigeons + my evening routine

i absolutely loved gretchen rubin's blog post yesterday, in which she asks: what's your pigeon of discontentment?

at first, i was put off by the idea of a negative topic on her happiness blog -- but as long as the focus is on proactively seeking out and eradicating these [virtual!] pigeons, i think it's a great idea. her definition:
A Pigeon of Discontent isn't a major happiness challenge, but rather, an ordinary problem that has settled into roost.
commenters came in droves, and i found it interesting that many people [including myself!] suffer from a few very common PoDs.

a few examples from her comments
being alone too much [not having enough friends or a significant other]
habitual procrastination or being late
repeated self-sabotage of efforts to be healthy [skipping exercise, eating poorly]

spending too much time in front of a screen [laptop or tv] because it's the default
getting into a pattern of rushing [often for no real reason]
having expectations about what 'should' happen at work, and getting heated when things don't go exactly as expected or planned
lack of a viable evening routine

did someone say 'routine'?
i know. for someone who has put a lot of thought into how i spend the morning, my evening routine -- well, currently it's pretty terrible. here's a snapshot of last night, which seems to be the [unfortunate] pattern lately:

somewhere between 5:30 - 6:30: arrive home from work [i know -- i work really decent hours these days!]

6:15: flop down in front of computer, procrastinating because i know i have reading for work i should do. often i am super-hungry, so i scrounge up something small in the fridge. this is never satisfying because really i want dinner already. text josh, who says he will likely "leave at 8" [why yes, that's a 15 hour day. glad i'm not a vascular surgery fellow.]

6:40: actually start doing reading. find it's not so bad once i start . . .

7:05: ahh, that's enough after a long work day. make dinner.

7:35: dinner's ready! and i am ready to eat it. in fact, the baby is TELLING ME i need to eat it in the next 5 minutes or we will both surely perish. i text josh to see if he's on his way soon.

7:40: receive text that he has a couple more patients to see

7:50: receive message from brain that my blood sugar is reaching critical levels. distract myself with TV/computer/etc to keep from gnawing off my own hand.

8:05: give up and eat dinner by myself. realize that eating this close to bedtime while pregnant = foolproof heartburn recipe. yay!

8:45: josh arrives home. accompany him at the table for dinner for a very brief period while trying not to pass out asleep

9:30: BED.

there are certainly variations on this theme. but the overall gist is that there's a lot of waiting, a lot of wasteful killing time [mostly because i'm too uncomfortably hungry/tired to feel like doing anything else!], and not much else. please note that i am in no way blaming my extremely hard-working husband, and i understand that he needs to wrap up care for the patients on his team, as long as his day is. but i'd still like a better solution for the time being.

a delicate balance
i am lucky in that i think [hope] this situation is fairly temporary. josh will only arrive home so late when he is on service, which is 50% of the time [and only 1.5 years left!]. obviously, i'm going to be MUCH busier in a few short months, and i will probably be happy if the only thing i achieve in the evenings is getting baby SHU to eat and fall asleep without incident. but those facts don't mean that now doesn't matter, and really i'd like to enjoy now a little bit more.

so, what to do? not sure! i think that i may have to eat earlier and accept that it's okay. i can still hang out with josh when he gets home [and honestly the outcome is usually the same whether i attempted to wait or not!]. i also would like to find some relaxing evening activities that DON'T involve a screen of any sort. i don't knit, but i do read and like music and love to bake. a restorative yoga practice or relaxing podcast could be nice. and this time of year, i can work on getting some holiday tasks done [gift shopping, cards, etc] -- yes, a screen would be involved but these activities are still fun and more worthwhile just surfing mindlessly.

so: i guess i've found my december goal -- or perhaps it found me!

questions for you . . .
-- what are your PoDs? [personally i found it very helpful to take a moment to lay mine out]
-- any suggestions to help me take back my evenings?



workout: 30 minutes elliptical while reading whole living mag

the dinner i was waiting for

i don't know if this just tasted extra-good due to my hunger, but i LOOOVED this moroccan-style beef with chickpeas [yes, the original recipe is lamb, but i had to substitute because whole foods was out!]

this recipe is essentially meat/beans/veg/spices, served with arugula-spiked couscous. it was warm, comforting, and tasted like it was loaded with nutrition. it's funny to think that a few months ago i was in the midst of crazy food cravings and aversions and now i'm almost the opposite -- i just want nourishing FOOD and a good amount of it. i am loving vegetables and also meat, whereas before i could sort of take it or leave it. i also feel like i'm continuing to grow every day [i'll try to do a picture for tomorrow]! hopefully my body knows what it's doing . . .

spanish: check

reading: 25 minutes on neonatal hypoglycemia