07 September, 2017

Brain like mush

My brain feels like mush, the headache doesn't help. These last couple of weeks have been more highly pressured than I like. I'm going to write down some of the things I've been doing so that I can get a handle on what exactly I've been stressed about.

As sometimes happens, several unrelated things all collide at the same time. So in recent weeks I've been:
  • finishing up the editing of the Autumn issue of the magazine (20+ articles) I manage so that I could hand it over to the designers
  • walking through the design/proofreading stage of the same magazine issue (which means answering questions from my proofreading/design team and making final decisions)
  • acquiring articles for the Winter magazine, which has involved lots of email as I communicate with and chase people
  • writing two of the articles myself (the Good writing column that I've been doing for five years now and the editorial)
  • organised who (in my team of six editors) is doing what in the editing phase of the Winter magazine (see something of how that happens here)
  • organising the publication of a greeting card for OMF (surprisingly complicated when you are printing it in three languages and have multiple people with multiple ideas of what it should say)
  • continuing to oversee the start-up of a blog and become an administrator of a new Facebook page (it's called OMF Japan), which has also involved acquisition of articles, editing them, finding photos to go with them, etc.
  • the new website went off-line for several days around the weekend, which curtailed my work on that for a bit, but also put things behind a little (I have about 40 former posts to do formatting etc. on)
  • I also discovered, a bit late, that in the updating of the website at the beginning of August, we lost an important link: Contact Us. Well, we didn't actually lose it. People were still contacting us, I just wasn't getting their emails: several dozen were located, but I haven't managed to reply to even a dozen yet
  • I wrote and sent out our monthly prayer/newsletter and today have made a start on our quarterly kids one
In the midst of all this intense desk-work I've changed my workstation, which hasn't been easy either. It began with a "new" desk, something I've been needing for a while now, one that gives me more space in my little corner of the dining room. Alas this catapulted into needing a new keyboard and mouse to keep me from getting muscle aches and pains from a non-ergonomic set-up. That wasn't so easy because it turns out that I need to try a keyboard out at home before I buy one, but you aren't allowed to do that. I've also not used a mouse regularly for many, many years. So, now we have a spare barely-used (non-Mac, Japanese) keyboard for sale if you're interested.

Yep, looking back at the 211 emails I've written since August 28 (first full day of school) and 111 just this week, I think that covers the majority of what I've been dealing with.

But I'm badly in need of some exercise and have struggled to fit that into my weeks, with all these things pressing down on me. Thankfully I've had a couple of "coffee" times with friends and been able to download a bit on them.

The other thing that presses on me right now is that I'm going away to a workshop in Manila on Sunday (as I wrote about here). I'm looking forward to it, but know that the travel will be tiring and I will not have much time to get to my other responsibilities, so I am trying to do what I can before I go away.

It's amazing at times like this when a small thing can pick you up. Yesterday, I received this message mid-afternoon:
Hi Wendy!

Just wanted to say that I read your blog from time to time and really enjoy it. I'm amazed that you write so often while managing to share something of value to other people, plus keeping it concise. Please keep sharing your posts 😀
What an encouragement! Not just that, but this lady is an editor and had some time available to take on a couple of small jobs for me. Just knowing that she could do that took a little bit of the load off.

I'm not cooking dinner tonight! It's our 18 year old's turn. So I guess I can relax a bit later this afternoon. I'm looking forward to another episode of NCIS this evening (David and my current evening entertainment) and also to finishing my latest Baldacci thriller in bed this evening. So life isn't really that bad, just a bit extra pressed than usual. I keep reminding myself: this too will pass. I certainly hope this headache does!

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