Category Archives: sleep


My new year’s resolution was to get more sleep. Specifically, I was going to do this by Going To Bed Earlier. Before 11pm if possible.

So how is that working out for me?


Plan: 95% by 11pm. Reality: About 4%. And the peak is around 1am.



Posted by on April 28, 2012 in grand plans, sleep


School holidays! Yikes!

So, I haven’t been posting much lately.

Here is what I have been doing a lot of: WORK.

Here is what I have not been doing: SLEEPING. Also, RELAXING. Also, READING.

The situation is sufficiently dire that Fraser has finished a book before I have even started it. (To clarify: Usually I finish the series before he finishes the first book. And it was not a SHORT book, either.)

The good news is that I now know why. After doing all my bajillion invoices for the past year, I have earned about the same as usual.

Except that, ooh yeah, I WAS IN GERMANY FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR. And was not working.

Which means that earning the same as usual is sort of good news. And also explains why I have been feeling so crazy busy.

I had planned to take time off these school holidays, but a colleague has gone to France for 7 weeks. So I am both busy AND envious.

The girls spent 3 days of last week at mum and dad’s. Mum commented that that was about all she could take, much as she obviously adores her granddaughters.

And apparently it really WAS about all she could take, because she now has a filthy cold … and cannot mind them THIS week! Yikes!

Here is what I have done to try to solve the problem:

  1. Texted school outside-school-hours-care worker (possibly ex-worker) who babysat them in January, asking whether she is free.
  2. Considered ringing our regular babysitter … then remembered that I got her work at MY work for this week! Ooops!
  3. Asked the girls who they like at outside-school-hours-care … then walked to the local ice-cream shop where one of Otto’s favourites works part-time. The plan was to ask whether (a) she was interested or (b) she would pass on my number to another staffer, who Otto adores. Sadly, she was not there. The ice-cream was good, though.
  4. Otto’s new plan: “We should go there tomorrow, mummy. She might be there, then.” (I asked the other staffer, who said she only works Wednesday and Friday. Sigh.
  5. Advertised for a GERMAN SPEAKING babysitter in a support group for German people.
  6. Considered emailing the Outside-school-hours-care co-ordinator (whose email address I have but possibly am not meant to have) to ask whether she would pass a message on to Otto’s favourite. As in, I have the email drafted … but it feels like I would be abusing the email address to actually use it for non-school-stuff. Curse my overdeveloped sense of privacy.
  7. Warned work that I may not make it in.
  8. Emailed a colleague to ask if she can do my 10am interview on Wednesday, just in case.
  9. Warned Fraser (who is unbelievably stressed as his work is craaaaaaazy too) that he may need to take a day off. Felt hugely guilty about this but really, my work is as important as his work, and they are OUR children.
  10. Got Fraser to take Otto out today (Biggie lazed around in her bathrobe and read) so that I could do a full day’s work. I did it, too, although I have more to do now and I am procrastinating a little. (This would be more laudable if I hadn’t already planned to work all day today so I can go out to a friend’s tomorrow)

Here are my goals for the week:

  1. Get to work. At least once, but particularly to the Important Meeting on Tuesday and the Important Meetings on Thursday.
  2. Clean the study. Yeah right … but at least I got to give the dresser/change table combo to friends. They will get good use from it, and I won’t have it any more. A double win.
  3. Get to bed before midnight. At least once.
  4. Stick to my Jenny Craig diet. I have been slipping.
  5. Get back to Curves. See #4, above.
  6. Win the lottery and buy a beach house to store all some of my books.

Just thought I would sneak that last one in.

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Posted by on July 4, 2010 in sleep, work


Going to bed early

Fraser will recognise this conversation:

xkcd cartoon


Posted by on February 25, 2008 in meta, sleep


It’s all in the timing

Feeling really smug last night, because for the first time in ages (possibly months) I was in bed by 11pm.

Then my mobile phone started buzzing at 11.25 – work colleague looking for some work I had sent her at 8 (apparently her email was on the fritz). Briefly considered playing the sleep card, but got up and IM’d with her, transferring the file while we did.

Of course, part of the reason I was in bed so early was that I had been to the dentist.

I have this image of myself as a competent, professional person who can deal with anything.

Well, almost anything.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 19, 2007 in health, sleep, work


Loose ends

I realise that I have left a few issues hanging, without ever responding to them, or explaining them properly. (Thanks to Jon, who pointed this out ever-so-nicely)
Local Council job

I spoke to the woman at my local council, and they are not paying enough for me to be interested, even after I factor in the nearness of the work (I have spoken to other people and they agree that the council is under-paying). She was very nice, though, and there may potentially be some outsourced components of their project, so she asked me to send something through to her.

I put together a bit of a prospectus about my skills & the clients I have had (more detail & more overt sales pitch than just a CV) and sent it to her. We shall see what happens – at least I have the prospectus together now 🙂

Work stuff

Other job hunting is mostly on hold at the moment, due to my mother’s health (see below). I’m just wrapping up two projects but I have a few things to go on with:

  • Content Management System training – design a training/user manual for a content management system, incorporating not only what the users have to do in the system but also best practice-type information about how to make the CMS work for them. Approximately 8 days’ work to go on this, will put a lot of time in next week.
  • Online teaching system – last year, I redesigned their training manual and also developed an implementation workshop package to expedite the process of – well, of implementing 🙂 The workshop means that, instead of a flurry of emails and missed deadlines, the initial planning session elicits all the information that the implementers need. They have just moved to a new version of the base software so I need to refresh what I did last year. 5 days’ work.
  • Information portal development – we developed a strategy for a client to implement an information portal for collecting relevant research  & sharing it with an online community. The client wants us to manage the implementation. Unclear how many days’ work or what my exact role will be.
  • Implementation & process manual development – a client has a new product that revolutionises the way that fast food restaurants deal with their reporting. They retained me to write a user manual (delivered) and now they need me to write their implementation manual. This will be interesting because I will be going on site with the techs to see what they do and then describe it.

I also have a bid in for 100 hours’ work rewriting a system manual for a government department. They apparently only had 2 bids so I hold out some hope, although the company has had no work through this department for about 3 years and something like 17 unsuccessful bids.
It’s weird that I am getting all this writing work, when I think my strength is more in analysis. It’s good, because writing work can be done in chunks and even on-site, so I don’t lose all the down-time. The concern is that it doesn’t look great on my projects record – I need to do some more analytical and strategic work so that I don’t start to look like a tech writer with ambitions above her station 🙂

I am also doing two voluntary projects:

  • Design a new IA (Information Architecture) for Biggie’s school – this will be as big or as small as the principal wants it to be. I want it to be reasonably big as there are a lot of interesting things schools can do with their websites if they want to – and our school’s families are typically highly educated and internet-savvy.
  • Design an IA (including content templates) for a volunteer group. This is about 70% done (needs refinement). It’s a good project, because the content is interesting and because most groups in this area have really lousy site architectures. Really lousy sites, even. I expect I will end up building the site, too, so I am trying to learn more about Joomla and other free CMS tools.

My mother

The full story here, because I have only touched on it peripherally.

In late December, she noticed a swelling and associated soreness on the right side of her face. She ignored it, because she thought she had toothache and she hates dentists.

She finally saw a dentist in mid January, and was referred (the same day!) to a cranio-facial surgeon who sent her for MRI scans. They found that her entire right sinus was blocked by  “a mass”. (It was amazing to see on the scans, actually – there was no hole at all where the sinus should show up as a hole). She was referred for a biopsy.

The biopsy showed that she has a quite aggressive “diffuse large B-cell lymphoma”. She was referred to another specialist, who admitted her to hospital the following morning.

The lymphoma is quite advanced, and it’s very close to her brain, possibly already starting to establish itself (not entirely clear). This type of lymphoma grows very quickly, so it is a risk to her, although the fast growing-ness makes it easier to treat.

She’s having to go through 6 months of chemotherapy, which has (her doctor estimates) a 50-60% chance of curing this lymphoma. They administer it through a lumbar puncture, so it will get straight into her central nervous system.

Even if that works, her doctor told me there’s a high chance that it will recur, and it’s likely to recur in her brain or central nervous system.

A website I read suggested that people over 65 who have recovered from normal lymphomas have a 56% survival rate at 5 years. I gather that my mother’s chances are much, much lower than that. She’s 70 and has diabetes, and there’s the complication that it may get into her brain.

It’s extra complicated because she is the primary carer for my father, so we are having to arrange care for him at the same time as making arrangements for her. Knowing what I do about her prognosis, I also need to think about longer-term plans for dad (One nurse said to me, quite bluntly, “you need to understand that your dad is, barring accidents, going to live considerably longer than your mum”)

I feel I can hardly look for work when I’m having to take time off to go to her medical appointments with her, etc.

And the really important question

Did I get to bed by 10pm on Wednesday 7th March?

Well, no. But I was in bed before 11.30, which is a start.

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Posted by on March 16, 2007 in parents, sleep, work


Sleep, or lack of it.

When I write down my goals, I feel more committed to them. I’m all about the accountability, baby.

In the last 66 hours I have racked up a total of less than 8 hours’ sleep, even counting the brief nap this afternoon. This is the third night in a row that I have worked past midnight, the second that I have worked past 2am. Going back a couple more days, it doesn’t get much better. I’m not getting good quality sleep when I do actually get to bed, which doesn’t help.

Weirdly, I am doing pretty well. I don’t have the extreme tiredness that I was feeling last year, although that was after a month or more of these late nights. I look about 5 years older than I am, though, and my emotions are pretty close to the surface which I don’t like much. Tomorrow (today) I have to work on site for a client, at least for part of the day, interviewing some technical staff about an application for a training manual I am working on – I find that’s sometimes when the tiredness really starts to tell. Before I go in, I have to generate some reports from an app that I am running overnight for a different client. I’d planned to do their work later in the week, but they are running a training session tomorrow afternoon and it makes sense to give them a copy of their documentation for that. Hence, 2am.

So my goal. It’s a pretty simple one. On Wednesday 7th March 2007, I will be in bed at the ludicrously early time of 10pm.

Let’s see how I go. 😉

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Posted by on March 7, 2007 in sleep, work