Captive Land Specimen

Good morning, captive land specimen, is the oxygen level in your air tank adequate today?This week’s image and caption is mostly nonsense, except that it isn’t because of the very high humidity we’ve suffered through this summer. According to hubs’ acupuncture training, there is actually a fifth season–hot and humid late summer/early autumn–that according to ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners causes stagnation and illness in humans, and requires a particular set of treatment protocols. Luckily we haven’t faced real illness, but the background sense of depletion and an ongoing minor headache makes getting through the weeks feel like a slog.

Hubs reports having read an article recently that characterizes this summer in the DC area as one of the worst in the past fifty years. I wasn’t able to find a link, but I did find a climate scientist describing what “oppressive heat” could be characterized as. I can confirm that in the past month, it’s been vanishingly rare to see humidity below 90 percent by the weather station we have set up at our house, thus meeting one portion of the oppressive measures outlined.

Which means that when we go on our daily walks, we’re all huffing and puffing for what feels like a lack of oxygen. Humidity is NOT our friend.

Still, with the knowledge that we have a hard deadline to earn our steps for the wellness bonus at work, we’ve been religious about taking long walks. The Fitbit app says I averaged 5,722 steps a day last week and 8 hours and 14 minutes of sleep.

I also made it through my entire WIP, and even added a few hundred words. I’m moving a lot slower on this than I’d hoped, but at least I’ve dipped my toes back in the creative stream.

Interestingly, an HBR article recently talked about the importance of curiosity, which is, to me, a key aspect of being creative. My creative work is almost entirely driven by asking “why?” (For a very different, NSFW view on creativity and body positivity, the @whoresofyore Twitter stream recently has been posting messages about and by sex workers.) The counter-point to that is an article in Vox that discusses why it’s scientifically inexplicable that a desk job can be so exhausting. One of the most memorable conversations I had during my orientation training for my current job was when new colleagues said, “I wish I were that creative.” I got to sit up high on my hobby-horse and remind them they ARE creative–every time they solve a new problem. How do you deal with a traffic jam in the morning? Creative new route to work? How do you solve any new problem? It all takes creative thinking.

Similarly, I’ve run across articles about small habits that promote productivity, behavioral economics and the likelihood that research from that field can help us manage our finances, and a football player who’s doing his best to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged kids. Each one reflects components of choices I’ve made and reminders to stay focused on my priorities. And writing remains a priority–especially when I get random feedback from unexpected sources, in which someone tells me they particularly enjoyed one of my stories. I’m still working on not feeling utterly flummoxed by someone saying they savored my words. And I’m very proud of my brother, whose words on an entirely different topic will be featured during the Atlanta Code Camp.

Hubs and I are also trying to be patient about having our Milwaukee house on the market. Our realtor held an open house yesterday and reported some interest. No offer yet, so if any readers are interested in the place where I wrote my first six books… it’s available.

In the meantime, I’ll be back to balancing day job and noveling. Next week is the end of this Round, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be churning out 10K words a day to meet one of my goals (finish drafting Team Alpha), so I need to discover my latest writing pace and figure out what a realistic, new deadline is. Until next week, then, consider checking how the other ROW80ers are doing on their goals.

Your Two Cents

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