Don’t be scared

Found yesterday via WordPress’ Freshly Pressed:

3. Back up your work. […]

10. Don’t be scared. So many people have a guttural fear of technology—a fear of doing something wrong and messing up the whole computer or phone in the process. The truth is that it’s pretty hard to do anything that would permanently damage a computer or phone. Don’t be afraid to play around with things, make mistakes, and then figure out how to fix them. That’s how you learn. […]

Check out and follow all Pam’s “Top 10 Things I’ve Learned from Living with a Nerd”!

Routine and Resolutions

Fireworks

Happy 2012!

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. Why should the calendar decide when I’m supposed to improve my life in some way or another? However, once I was back from the holidays, ready to dig into work again, I thought about what I wanted to change. Along the lines of “life practice” that I recently read about. There are two things, I am trying to add to my routine: regular exercise and practicing the flute.

In 2010, I did manage for a few weeks to get up really early in the morning to go rowing even before breakfast. The reasons this ever worked for me were strong peer pressure (7 other rowers, cox and coach would not be happy if you were late) and knowing that this would be over in just a few weeks after Summer Eights. When I’m on my own, the nice, warm, cuddly bed is irresistible compared to going outside for a run.

Makro shot of a flute in it's case

I also picked up the flute again a few months ago, after years of not having practiced at all. My dear, did that sound horrible at first. Luckily, my college has this nicely sound isolated music room that all students can use, so my neighbours don’t hate me. On the other hand, that means I can only practice when the music room is free. If I remember correctly, there’s about 700 students in my college …

The solution was to swap exercise and flute practice. I get up a bit earlier in the morning to practice the flute. Nobody else ever wanted to use the music room at that time. It makes me happy because it’s fun and I already have something accomplished before breakfast. A perfect start of the day! In the evening, I do at least some small exercise as soon as I get back from the office. I wouldn’t want to do anything that involves thinking anyway. So far this routine is working well for me. Unfortunately the early flute practice likely won’t be sustainable when I leave college.

What do or would you get out of bed for just a little earlier?

“Old women’s summer”

Indian Summer (Wikipedia)

Indian Summer (Wikipedia)

 Altweibersommer, aufgenommen in Niedersachsen im September 2006, trees and gras with cobwebs

Altweibersommer (Wikipedia)

It’s warm! We’re in the middle of “Altweibersommer” (German: old women’s summer). The phrase probably comes from the word “Weiben” for weaving or cobwebs, and not “Weib”, that is wife or woman. In either case, it’s related to the silks, which some spiders use to fly to a new place, particularly this time of the year. They do look a bit like the hairs of old women, don’t you agree?

If you want to know more about Altweibersommer, you can check out the German Wikipedia, or look for the equivalent phenomenon called “Indian Summer” in English.

And don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine!

Note to self: Coffee does not help

Roasted coffee beans

Roasted coffee beans (Wikipedia)

I really should have learned this by now, but I seem to still need this reminder: When I’m tired and unmotivated, coffee will not increase my productivity. It does make me more awake and alert, but not necessarily in a good way. I also get jittery, less focussed and more easily distractible. Small and ultimately unimportant things keep popping up in my mind, when they should be buried in the subconsciousness for the time being. They are usually tasks that can wait until the evening, the next day or whenever I have scheduled them. Coffee seems to be an ally to these small tasks against me and my big goals, such as my DPhil.

So, no coffee whatsoever for the next two weeks! I have just stocked up on tea bags, so I should be fine. 🙂

Goodbye, Post A Week

So, I guess, I failed the Post A Week challenge, massively. My last post was in early March, almost 10 weeks ago. Well, never mind. Like I said in the beginning, I do this mainly for fun. Recently, I just preferred other things to writing blog posts. That doesn’t mean that I have to stop completely, but I allow myself not to have a target schedule anymore.

Thank you, WordPress.com, for the idea and the challenge! Maybe, I’ll try again next time. To anyone who is still on the Post A Day/Week challenge, keep up the good work and enjoy!