Monthly Homework: Comfort and, well if not Joy, let's say sanity

This month's homework assignment from our dearest professor is to talk about what we do to relax and seek comfort during the stress of the holidays and whatnot.  Personally, I don't find the holidays stressful.  I looove Christmas and all the Christmas-y business, but that "whatnot", well there's a real grade-A bitch.
As a grad student I don't usually have finals, but instead final projects, which I find personally take a lot more time.  Maybe I am too much of a perfectionist (when it comes to my writing anyway, not really anything else, really), maybe I procrastinate too much, probably both.  Regardless I have been working on said projects pretty much constantly for the past month.  I have a few rules to stay sane: if it doesn't get done before midnight it doesn't get done, always get a real night's sleep, eat three actual meals every day and take at least a half hour break to do so.  The other rule is to occasionally (usually after finishing a project, regardless of how many are left) take actual, notable amounts of time to relax.  So, what do I do during those times:
1. Read: but here's the important part (I read all the time, obviously), read for fun.  I always have something on the go that I am reading for fun.  I usually only manage 10-20 pages a day, but it gets read.  Currently I am reading The Eyre Affair; a delightful book of such insanity I wan't even try to describe it, but suffice it to say it has enough literature in-jokes to keep me giggling.

2. Knit: I tend to retreat into selfish knitting at these times.  Don't get me wrong, I am a selfish knitter most of the time, but it's right before Christmas when most knitters are working full tilt on gift knitting and I ...well I have a stocking on the needles, it's nearly done and all, but what I have been spending most of my time on are heavyweight kicking around the house socks for meeeeee!
Wool socks are an important part of my barely turning on the heater survival strategy, but these are especially satisfying because socks usually take me a 4-6 weeks but because these are thick yarn I should have them done in 2-3 with much less knitting time than usual.  While I am knitting I like to:

3. Watch TV shows (on Netflix, usually.  I don't have a TV) or random youtubery.  I can't talk myself into setting aside enough time to watch a movie, but a 45 minute break or two in the middle of a 16 hour day of writing is acceptable. My current favorite thing is Rebecca Watson explaining how lying to children is fun and makes them smarter, also how awesome and messed up Iceland is, great, neglected Christmas traditions like Krampus and the Yule Lads, and the murderous Feline fashion police.  It is hilarious (if you are somewhat twisted) and very NSFW
4. If all else fails:
Remeber: Peppermint Mocha in the morning, Bonnard's Buzz at night
Category: 7 comments


Anonymous said...

I used to love knitting. I hope to one day get back into it.

If it wasn't so drafty in my house, I could totally go for either flavors of ice cream.

Tenebris In Lux said...

Ice cream for the win!

I could use some Ben & Jerry's right now ^_^

Anonymous said...

Sabayon, this is excellent advice for anyone studying for finals or finishing up final projects. I never took breaks -- I ate at my desk, I barely slept, and I still don't know what fun reading is. hmmm ... that needs to change this January. I think some Oscar Wilde will do the trick. Ooooo, or maybe Whistler's "The Art of Making Enemies." :)

I also think it's time I learn how to really knit. I know the basics but can't follow a pattern to save my soul. hmmmm .... I think I'm going to bug my Mom to show me how to read patterns. Thanks for participating!!!

Chrys said...

I know what you mean about selfish-knitting, I started learning selfish-sewing in August ;-) A few friends have asked if they could commission me to sew things for them, b/c I have a jewelry bizness that I take commissions for. But it just takes me so much time and energy that sewing for other people would really stress me out.

Electrobat said...

That is good that you take time to relax but still get your work done. "If it doesn't get done before midnight, it doesn't get done" is a great rule and one I should adopt.

VictorianKitty (Sophistique Noir) said...

Hooray for no TV!! We actually own a television, but only use it once or twice a week for a Netflix or two (it is hooked up to a laptop as needed). We don't have cable/satellite and refuse to be slaves to a "TV Schedule." Our lives have been so much more fulfilling since we made that transition!

I wholeheartedly second the "If it doesn't get done before midnight, it doesn't get done" rule. Except I would have to modify it to 9:00, at least during the week! :)

Sabayon said...

Oy, I thought I had responded last Wednesday, but apparently that was a theraflu induced delusion. Sorry for the late response.
siouxsie- I don't know why but no matter how cold it is, I am happy to eat ice cream
Tenebris- yes! Ben and Jerry's is the best!
Le Proffeseur- Oscar Wilde is always great fun reading. I especially like his fairy tales for that.
Chrys- the idea of commissions stresses me out. I always refuse them and just make gifts for anyone I am willing to knit for.
Electrobat- I got that rule from a good friend and it has been a total lifesaver. I would swear I get just as much work done but waste less time putting it off because I have a firm daily deadline.
VictorianKitty - yes, I think not wanting to be tied to a TV schedule is a big part of why I don't care about having a real TV.

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