Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A sugar pill works sometimes.

I am starting to feel much better. MUCH Better. See herehere and here for a history.

This is probably due to several factors:

1. I have learned a strategy to help the baby fall asleep and stay asleep. Hub and I went to the library and got several books on helping your baby sleep. The books range from the tough "cry it out" (Ferber) to the middle of the road (Weissbluth) to the gentle no-cry sleep solution (Pantley). Even though we could identify the symptoms described in the books, none of the solutions were exactly right for our lifestyle. For example, when single parenting, you can't put two babies down when they show signes of tiredness, not when they do so simultaneously. So its a matter of triage-- toddler down first, because he sleeps soundly once down and otherwise will interfere royally with the bedtime ritual for the baby, whereas the reverse is not true.

So even though the baby doesn't always go down and stay down, she does so more than before. The important thing here is my ILLUSION of control over the matter. That makes all the difference in the world.

2. I have crossed off some very major tasks, and the ILLUSION of my workload has decreased. May term- done. Prep for Summer Science camp -done enough. Heavy meeting schedule- over.

I still have straggler work to do, and then this summer's big tasks: Write a manuscript, Prep for Fall Classes, Prepare poster for Fall meeting, and OH, prepare my tenure dossier for October.

3. I am getting more regular exercise, the kind of exercise that is very powerful in decreasing stress. I do yoga at least twice a week now and an regularly getting my heart rate up through Zumba or whatever to release those happy hormones. I am very blessed to have a physiology that rewards me richly for exercise, because otherwise I wouldn't have the discipline to make myself do it.

4. Little things:
A. we have a new housekeeper and she is very, very good. I know this is a WhiteWhine, but our last one made a lot of extra work for me by putting stuff places we couldn't find it, etc.
B. the summer's fruits and vegetables here are just soooo delicious. I've been pigging out on healthy foods that give me great pleasure to eat.
C. not small: but my husband's unflagging support.
D. no more swim or music lesson obligations to get kids to. Yes, swim lessons (bad idea) and music lessons (great idea) for a 2 yo. They seemed like such a good idea during sign-up.
E. My term for certain committees is coming to an end. Simply having an obligation to them, whether we are meeting or not, gives me the ILLUSION of burden.

Some of the point here is that even if you KNOW that you are feeling better due to a placebo effect sometimes it does not rob you of the lovely effects of that sugar pill.


  1. nothing like the illusion of control to make you feel better. Seriously sometimes I tackle a super easy task first if only to give myself some fictive sense of accomplishment. And yes NOTHING like having no more lessons, games, or other mandatory places to be. Let the summer begin!

  2. Just out of curiosity, what made swim lessons so much worse than piano lessons? (thanks)

  3. sleep!!!! it's magical.

  4. Anon Tues 3:26-

    Someone from church offers music lessons for littl'uns. We've always thought that we don't want to be "those" overscheduling parents. However, hub and I are both musically stunted due to childhoods with no musical training. So we were probably overcompensating when we signed him up for music class. Well, the music class is masterfully run- a lot of activity, a lot of variety and fun music we can use at home "pick up toys, pick up toys, now's the time to pick up tooooys". Boy asks if it's Tuesday yet, Tuesday yet, Tuesday yet, because he LOVES music class. Its also paid off. Dude's got quite a rendition of "Take me out to the Ball Game" and "Home on the Range". He matches pitch very nicely.

    Swim lessons were instigated because last summer our normally fearless child seemed terrified of the water. The swim lessons were clearly designed for kids older than Boy, becuase they did not take his two-year-old millisecond attention span into mind. OK, now swim on your back- kicking- for another lap, another lap, another lap, another lap. He grew bored with it very easily for the end goal was to get the kids to do a formal front crawl. Moreover, it was in a lap pool, which is pretty darn cold if you have the surface/ volume ratio of a 30-pound two-footer. He, of course, can't do a front crawl from those five lessons, but we did get want we wanted...he's not afraid of water. So now we have a kid fearless around water who can't swim. Anybody else see a problem with that?