Turning the corner

Man, what a week.

Check that… what a couple of weeks.

OK fine. What a month. In that case… what a year. Already.

2006 has not been kind to me health-wise. First the kidney stone, then the worst cold I’ve had in recent memory. The kidney stone was painful enough, let me tell you. But this cold was dreadful. Two weeks of misery– the worst of which was this past Sunday into Wednesday. It’s been going around my office at work and through my friends as well. Chicago winters– gotta love ’em.

But I’m turning the corner and I’m finally feeling better. Just in time for the weekend, of course. How convenient!

So it’s officially Friday, which means it’s Friday Flesh time. But I haven’t really given any thought to a Friday Flesh Foto for today, so I’m just going to wait until next week for the next installment. Besides, I haven’t blogged much in a while and I have a few things to write about.

Lately I’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to say the word “no.”

I do graphic design for a living, and as the years have gone on, and people have seen some of the work that I do, I get requests to do projects for this, that, or the other thing. Usually the project has a very noble cause behind it, and is something I can get into and put a part of myself into in order to make it work. Other times it may be for a friend or for a friend OF a friend. Sometimes the project is for myself… this blog (the look of it), for instance, is of my very own design. And if money is thrown into the mix, I’m ready to jump head-first into the project.

Now I’m not saying this to say that “money talks” with me, because history will show that this isn’t necesarily the case. But for far too long I have been doing jobs without any monetary compensation or even bringing up the subject of a payment plan.

So lately I’ve been seeking out projects that will pay… and so far, it’s going fairly well. I’m working with one group at the moment, I have another client I’ve been working with for a year now, and today another opportunity fell into my lap.

My problem is, at the same time as all of this, I have other dedications– work, the choruses, and basic life in general. And then of course there’s my blog, finding time to read other blogs, and my participation in Discuss It.

When something slams in my face, like being sick or feeling run-down, I stop and ask myself “Am I doing too much?” “Do I expect too much of myself?”

The answer to both questions is yes. But when I look at what I’m doing, I enjoy it. I like the challenges. By pushing myself to complete a task or accomplish a goal, I’m proving to myself that I can do it. There have been far too many times in my life where I wasn’t sure I’d ever accomplish anything. I know I can do it now.

The question, therefore, is… how much longer can I do it without burning out?

And the answer is… wait and see.

Have a great weekend!

Feeling SAD/Quit Lurking!

Waking up in the morning and looking out the window at the day ahead has proved to be more depressing than necessary lately.

The weather has been downright dreary as of late, save for an hour or two of sunshine late last week. It’s making it hard to even get out of bed in the morning.

Which would explain why I’ve been at least 15 minutes late to work each day this week. Well, that and the fact that I’m not going to bed when I should be going to bed. But that’s my own fault.

It’s about this time of year each year that news reports and “clinical studies” seem to talk at length about Seasonal Affective Disorder, which affects many people during the winter months. According to the National Mental Health Association, symptoms of SAD include:

  • regularly occurring symptoms of depression (excessive eating and sleeping, weight gain) during the fall or winter months.
  • full remission from depression occur in the spring and summer months.
  • symptoms have occurred in the past two years, with no nonseasonal depression episodes.
  • seasonal episodes substantially outnumber nonseasonal depression episodes.
  • a craving for sugary and/or starchy foods.

Oh yeah, that’s me in a nutshell.

There are various ways one can combat SAD– most of which include light therapy– but I don’t think my SAD is all that strong. Although I have noticed that when I’m home at night, I have just about every light on in my apartment. I don’t do it on purpose, it just ends up that way.

I can’t imagine what people in far northern areas must go through at this time of year. You hear stories about people in Alaska or the far reaches of Canada that suffer from major SAD symptoms. It’s not quite so bad in Chicago, but up there it’s got to be a nightmare (for lack of a better term).

Thankfully, though, it’s January, and the days are getting longer as each day goes by. Which means spring is right around the corner, and then of course, summer. So there’s no use in my getting too sad about being SAD. Everything will be much better soon.

Come Out of the Lurker Closet! Tuna Girl mentioned a couple days ago that this is “De-Lurking Your Blog” week. So if you’ve been reading my blog for a while in seclusion, avoiding the comments… now is your time to speak up! Who are you? Where are you? Tell me about yourself! I want to know you! And while you’re at it, check out my Frappr Map and mark your location down.

Mornings like this…

**Riiiiiiiing**

**RIIIIIIIIIIING**

I hear the phone ring as I drowsily lift my head off the pillow. I notice it’s bright outside… much brighter than it should be. In a panic, I check my alarm clock.

It’s blinking 12:00.

SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!

I answer the phone and tell my co-worker that there was a power outage and I’m on my way. While in the kitchen, I glance up at the battery-operated clock on the wall. 10:30. CRAP. An hour late already.

I jump in the shower, shave, dress, and bolt out the door. In all, it took about 30 minutes.

I hate mornings like this.

And how was your day?

Up to Speed

I haven’t been a good blog boy lately.

So to bring you up to speed, here is what has been going on lately, and some updates on things I’ve written about in the past few weeks:

The Guy
We had a nice time, but it’s over. There just wasn’t a spark between us, and I knew it. Problem is, instead of actually coming out and saying “it’s over,” he just stopped communicating with me. But that’s fine. I was intending on talking to him about it anyway. He was nice, we had some nice times and some good dates, but if you know it isn’t going to work out, why prolong things? So I am back on the market. Again.

The Windows
They are in, they look fabulous, and I am so glad all that crazy drama is over. Pippin and Screech stayed with my friend for two days and it felt like two weeks. It’s amazing how much they mean to me… and this proved it. Here are some pictures of the new windows. It’s amazing what a difference they make!

The Apartment
The landlord was paid the money I owed her and all is quiet now. Thank God. I won’t let that happen again.

The Goals
I haven’t sold the car yet because I haven’t got the dents repaired yet. However I did fix the headlights. By myself. That’s right, I changed my own headlights. And they work. So at least I can drive it at night again if necessary.

I am keeping better track of my money. The check registers are almost up-to-date. … just have to add a few things.

So that brings you up-to-speed on those things…. here’s what’s on the horizon:

Chorus
Auditions were held for our CGMC show, “CGMC World Tour” and I am feeling cautiously optimistic about my chances. I will let you know more once the cast list is posted. Why get anyone’s (including mine) hopes up?

We are also going away this weekend for a retreat. This is an annual weekend-long event filled with rehearsals, talent shows, etc. It’s always fun and I look forward to it every year.

Work
Work has been absolutely insane lately. In fact, as I was typing this, they called to see if I could come in early. So I am cutting this short.

See why I don’t blog much lately? Always on the go! That’s me.

Friends
Finally, all my love to Pua and Karen, my blog gals… Pua for her husband Charlie’s mother, who is in my thoughts, and Karen for the return of her hubby.

And it’s Karen’s birthday in a few days so I am wishing her a happy birthday as well.

Love you guys.