2015-01-20 22.10.04 2015-01-20 22.10.53 2015-01-20 22.12.19This week…

Knitting: I finally finished the back of my Crew sweater, which seems like its been on the needles for for-ev-er. This is not a difficult knit, but my inspiration to work rows and rows of plain stockinette comes in bursts and spurts. One such spurt came this last week, when I finished up the top half of the back. So now it can join the front of the sweater in my knitting basket while I work up the inspiration to churn out two sleeves. But the end is in sight, so by the end of the month, I’m hoping this project will be off the needles and in my closet.

Reading: I finished Eleanor & Park early last week. I was in the mood for a more traditional fantasy, so I went through my library Wish List and chose to go with Queen of the Tearling. I feel it is a little slow currently, as the world and characters are established, but hopefully things will pick up a bit more as we get more action in the mix.

Feeling: I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed as the semester ramps into gear. I feel a bit like there is too much on my plate. I’m a person who prefers to have things under control, put into its specific place and time. I like schedules and predictability. I’m still trying to get my feet under me as I juggle my research load (which seems to increase more and more as my Ph.D. goes on), teaching two courses (one that is brand new to me), taking my last course (in a field I have relatively little experience in). I know I can’t let work/school overload me otherwise I will be pulled too thin and spent. Then I’m good to no one. So I’m working to fit in some down time, me-time, dedicated knitting/reading/relaxing time. And the cold, dark winter is not helping me much, either. The countdown to spring starts now!

Cooking: I got a new, programable crock pot to help remove one thing from my to-do list. I’m exploring all the great, yummy recipes out there and trying to stockpile a reliable list of go-to dishes. What are your favorite crock pot recipes?

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

17 Comments on Half a Crew

  1. Me-time is very important to get through busy times, and mostly those busytimes feel so busy and overwhelming because there’s almost no amount of time you can spend relaxing or recovering. Chin up, buttercup! Your sweater looks awsome already and Spring is on its way!

    • Thanks, Ine! I truly believe in the need for downtime and a balance between work and play. Sometimes it’s just hard to fit everything in. It can be hard in the field of science to keep that in check because you seem always pressured to put work above all to succeed and be competitive. But that type of lifestyle has never worked for me and I still think I do pretty well for myself most of the time.

  2. It think a lot of it is the new year mentality with work. You still all the same to-do list items and expectations hanging over from last year but now there’s not only extra classes etc but also the new expectations (these experiments before the end of the month) or it’s 2015 we need to get this paper out….so it’s just more more more….

    ….I’m struggling big time to get back into the flow of work-life balance and my motivation is in a real lull right now. Science sucks some times!

  3. That crew sweater is going to be so pretty once it’s done, good luck with the final part!
    And I know what you mean with getting a bit overwhelmed. I currently have several new experiments starting up and teaching starts again next week. I didn’t do any teaching at the end of of last year and I probably should’ve appreciated it a bit more.. Luckily we have knitting to keep us a little sane.

  4. it’s true, self care really helps during the busy times, and your crockpot is a great way to help make sure that even though you are busy, you have awesome food ready when you are! I know people always think of crockpots in the winter, but if you have ever lived in an apartment without air conditioning,m they are genius for cooking in the summer without turning the stove one. I relaly like this chicken noodle soup recipe in the crockpot: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/82894449367781101/

  5. The sweater is a lovely pattern. I like the colors you selected too. As for crock pot recipes. .. I like to concoct soups in mine. Its hard to go wrong (see how I just tempted fate!) If you pick ingredients that you are fond of and know work well together. Ps nice to meet you and thanks for swinging by my blog and leaving your kind comment.

  6. I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling overwhelmed. Well done you for realizing that these are the most important time to take care of yourself!
    I too, go through times where stockinette stitch feels laborious and other times it is just what I need. Your Crew is going to be beautiful!

  7. So may favorite crock pot recipes – I use the Canadian living slow cooker collection I cook once or twice a week, freezing batches of what I have made so I don’t need to cook again for a few weeks! I love slow cooker soups best of all! I also have limited patience for stockingette! My zigzagular socks are finally getting there now 🙂

    • I’ll look into that book. I have one slow cooker cookbook I’ve been making my way through lately. Tonight is New England clam chowder in the crockpot. 🙂

  8. Oh, I hear you on the beginning of the semester … it’s probably the new prep that’s pushed you over the edge … that always does it for me!! My best advice is to try to get as far ahead on the prepping as you can, because feeling behind just ramps up the stress. 🙁 Do you have blocked off writing/research time in your schedule? That’s the only way I can be sure to stay on track with research myself. Otherwise I let little silly things like class administration/tweaking whittle away at that time. Hopefully it’ll calm down and you’ll feel more in the swing of things in a week or two!

    • Great advice, Emily. I’ve made set out specific days that are my “working in the lab” days. Much of what I do in the lab has long times in between activity, and I can do some prep or grading in those times. It’s just I don’t have much flexible time in the schedule, and things always go wrong in the lab, which can really add to my stress levels while I try to juggle everything. I think I’m starting to get my feet under me more now. And I keep telling myself next year, I won’t have to have as much prep time, so it’ll be worth all the work now.

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