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Sometimes It's Ok To Not Be Ok

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's one of those annoying quirks in life that the more stuff I absolutely HAVE to do, the less I'm able to do it. Sometimes I just let the deadlines and the expectations and the worries get to me, and then I sit on the couch all day mentally paralyzed and eat a half pint of New York Fudge Super Chunk.

(Ok, ok, fine. Three quarters of a pint.)


With our five-week book tour only four weeks away, I've started keeping a "to-do" list open on my desktop. I honestly can't tell if it's helping or driving me to the brink of sprinting naked through the streets with a song in my heart and chocolate in my hair. Except I wouldn't really be sprinting because I'm too dang tired. And I'd probably eat the chocolate. And grab a sweater. So really it'd be more of an aimless meandering through the streets while eating chocolate without any pants on, which, come to think of it, sounds kind of fabulous. (Who's with me?!)

Anyway, yesterday while I was sitting and thoughtfully contemplating my mountain of "MUST DO NOW"s the way I imagine a wild rabbit thoughtfully contemplates an oncoming semi, I kept remembering something I saw on Jennifer Lawson's (aka The Bloggess) Pinterest account. This:






And after a while I fetched my nail kit, and I painted my toenails bright green.

I've never done that before, so then I sat and admired this ridiculous color on my toes. I even walked into other parts of the house to admire it in different lights, and did a little photo shoot with Kermit in my office:

I thought about tweeting this picture with, "All I've done today is paint my toenails. Someone please tell me that's Ok," but that seemed really needy, so instead I went back to my couch, fetched my ice cream, and watched seven hours of Stargate Atlantis.

If that seems anticlimactic, it's because it is. Sometimes, there is no immediate fix. Sometimes there's just a temporary reprieve in a day of yuckiness, and you grab on to it, and you suck all the joy you can out of it, and then you just keep breathing and waiting and hanging on for tomorrow, when you hope things will look better.

And today, at least, they do.

Plus my toenails look kind of awesome.

In fact, I'm going to go add "paint toenails" to my to-do list and then cross it off. Booya. Productivity win.

Posted by Jen at 6:52 PM Labels: , ,

153 comments:

  1. Speaking as someone who can eat entire pints of ice cream (store brand, at least) in those situations: you're not alone. Also, that completely describes my yesterday, except I didn't paint my toenails.

    Which is to say: thanks for saying this.

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  2. I have the same "problem" over here and I ALWAYS put at LEAST one thing on there that I've just done or am about to do to give myself a little boost. And, who cares if that's 'all you did'-you did that and it was pretty awesome! It made you happy and THAT'S what counts in the long run...getting over the bumps. Sometimes all it takes is a little green (or bright pink) nail polish) :-)

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  3. Does it make you feel any better to know that "re-watch SGA" has been on my to-do list for a while and is just not getting done? No? I didn't think so.

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  4. To-do lists are paralyzing. The best advice I can offer is to make several SHORT lists, and work on one page at a time, so you're not looking at a legal-size sheet of small print Things That Must Be Done.

    "Just Breathe"(ing) is not a bad thing at all. And your toes do look kind of awesome. :D

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  5. Love the green toenails...bright shiny toenails cheer me up. :) I hear you on the to do list...I'm taking a quick break from endless studying to catch up on my blog reading, and the darn list isn't getting any smaller, but sometimes you JUST have to take a break or you really will loose it! :P

    VW: 'strange'
    The way items on a to do list mulitply like rabbits...

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  6. I always like to add things to my to do lists that I already did or have no choice about to motivate.

    Shower - CHECK!
    Pee- ON IT!
    Yawn- x2! I RULE!

    And I totally would have told you it was okay, and wouldn't have thought you needy at all... but also because all I did yesterday was cook dinner and watch videos.

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  7. I sympathise with this SO MUCH. Glad to know I'm not the only one -- but way to go for finding a bright (green) side! =)

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  8. Sometimes, as women, moms, and business women; life conspires to tell us, "You're not Superwoman because you can't do it all!" I'm so glad some gals have that moment of clarity that it's all right to NOT have to do it all, and then shout it from the rooftops for us others. I picked up something similar from SARK. Some days, it makes all the difference.

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  9. Can I just say, "thanks"?
    I'm sitting at my kitchen table with a mountain of well-deserved Chinese take-out after a long, hectic 10-hr day at work, so let me just say you're not the only one.

    In fact, I think I might just catch up on my breathing tomorrow. That'll keep me busy. :)

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  10. That sounds kinda like my days lately--just not motivated to do anything... But have to make myself -- for the paycheck and taking care of my son...

    Don't let the to do list get to you. And YES, if painting your toenails is all you accomplished, then that is fine. Some days it's the little things that get us through.. . Just ask an Abbdict... :-(

    Thoughts are with you, Jen...

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  11. I think I needed this today. Thanks. And your toe nails look fabulous. Hope tomorrow is brighter.

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  12. Thank you for this post, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now! In fact, I think tomorrow morning I'm going to go and buy myself some bright green nail polish.

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  13. One of things that I've found helps is to sometimes keep an "I did" list... and then add simply everything to it that you did that day. Once I've started, I've always found myself strangely motivated to try to keep adding to the list.

    Of course then husband looks at me strangely when I point to my "I did" list and tell him excitedly, "See how much I did? I ate breakfast and took a shower and cleaned one of the counters in the kitchen!"

    But at least I don't feel like it was a wasted day!

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  14. I <3 This! I feel exactly the same sometimes but it's usually some kinda of crazy cracking toe-nail polish (sold at walgreens and super cool) and some of The Office for hours on end haha.

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  15. just had to let you know that the add on the side was for nail fungus and it was even with your picture with kermit. made me laugh, thanks for that. D.

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  16. "So really it'd be more of an aimless meandering through the streets while eating chocolate without any pants on, which, come to think of it, sounds kind of fabulous. (Who's with me?!)"

    I am so there :-) That sounds fan-freaking tastic!

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  17. Yep. I'd say it's a win. It's more than I've done today. LOL

    Netflix is devil. Hulu+ is the devil's advocate.

    I'm OK with that.

    Good luck on your book tour !!!
    :hugs:

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  18. Absolutely fantastic and timely post! I was just starting to feel guilty about the 7 hours of British comedy and Doctor Who that I watched today, when I was supposed to be cleaning the house before I have guests over tomorrow evening. I did however give myself a mini-facial. I will now check that off the list. Thanks for reminding me we all have days like this!

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  19. You go, girl!

    You spend an awful lot of time trying to make us all happy - but I think you need to know we'd be sad if we thought that was making you sad.

    Blog vacations and late book-deals are perfectly OK with me, in case it matters.

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  20. Amazing! It's always good to know that you are not alone... and well mine wasn't ice cream but a ton of oreos, but you are not alone!

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  21. It is totally okay! God knows I have enough days like that. I was proud that I actually made dinner tonight that required a recipe and cutting up chicken and everything. Maybe I'll get around to sticking nail polish on later. Have you tried the Sally Hanson stick on nail polish? Comes in all sorts of really cool patterns!!

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  22. As a college student singing in choir three nights a week, teaching ESL two nights a week, teaching Sunday school early in the morning, taking 5 (really hard) classes, and trying to sleep and, you know, have a life in the meantime, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this. I spent the majority of Thursday afternoon reading a mediocre Firefly fanfiction in which Wash was alive the whole time and the guy who died was an impostor. And I have to tell myself that's ok. (The reading it, not the plotholes.) As always, thanks for making me smile.

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  23. Jen...I'm going to paint my toes and eat ice cream with you!! And I'm gonna post it on my blog...after I get my four sick children in bed, of course. But, I will do it!

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  24. I just want to tell you that you are awesome (and so is that polish color!). Don't ever feel guilty for just taking time to breathe. Your tour will come together and I have no doubt that it will be an amazing experience for you and John, both (and I mean that in a positive way!). Hoping to see you in Baltimore!

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  25. As someone completely overwhelmed by a dissertation (along with all the other madness life likes to throw at us), I was particularly touched by this post. I feel ya, dawg. I'll be joining the chocolate-eating, pants-less street meandering parade.
    Thank you for this post. It reminded me to breathe, which is so important and so easily forgotten. Best of luck to you, your work and your tour. You'll be fabulous.
    And my toenails are dark blue, with some glitter accent on the big toes. ;)

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  26. What a perfectly timed post. I have been struggling with catching up/getting ahead productively for a while now...so. Yeah.

    It's nice to know that we're not alone in our "unproductive" days. I feel much better about my donut eating, Starbucks guzzling, puppy petting, Star Trek watching (alternating from TOS to TNG and back for going on 6 hours now), didn't even cook dinner day. Now, instead of feeling wasted, it feels perfectly spent. Thanks. :)

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  27. It is completely ok to take days like this! I know exactly how you feel! :) Plus, Stargate Atlantis can make anything better!

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  28. Absolutely inspirational. How you ask, when all you did was paint your toe nails? Because I feel like most days all I do is forget to breathe as I jump from one task to the next.

    I need a day to breathe...and paint my nails. Screw it, that day is today.

    P.S. Yay Stargate Atlantis!

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  29. May I say that

    a) that is fabulous shade of nail polish you're wearing (I'm sporting a very similar color)

    and

    b) Been there, too. Way too often. But ya know, it's okay. Some times you need a breathing day.

    Good luck with the tour!

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  30. I have the premier party for my next short film scheduled for October 14th. Everything is arranged for the party. The band is scheduled, location planned, invites sent....the problem? I don't have a movie yet. Yup. It's only half filmed and half edited. I haven't even begun work on the sound and I have to record all of the actors dialogs again, because the sound from the production shots is horrible.

    I have so many things to do on that film that absolutely must be done right away. But for the life of me I can't bring myself to do them.

    So, yeah.....breathing is good. Might have to do that toenail thing too. Sounds wonderfully productive and something I could feel good about. :-)

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  31. Oh em gee. Sometimes the ice cream and the seven straight hours of tv and the not even getting out of your jammies is the only thing that keeps you sane. SO WITH YOU.

    Hang in there. :)

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  32. In my family, it was always peanut butter in the hair - who'd want to waste perfectly good chocolate? :) And as someone who woke up at 9, then took a nap at 12 because the to-do list was too darn big, I am right there pantsless meandering with ya. I did manage to vacuum the living room so I'm calling today a productivity win as well. I appreciate this post so much and I'm glad you're enjoying your day.

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  33. I think I'm broken... I don't ever get to sit around eating ice cream, (which I totally could, you know, if I had the gumption to go to the store and get it), I have a to-do list, that never gets smaller, but I totally do the whole 'adding the things I actually did and crossing them off' thing. I think I just have unrealistic goals for doing the things that need to be done for my satisfaction, and things that need to get done because I feel guilty, am having guests, might end up in jail for if ignored much longer......
    ps, wv.. chedi... I wish I could just sit around and chedi today. (:

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  34. Since painted toe nails are a given for me (you should try the crackle glaze; although avoid gold over teal- awesome in theory, strange toe fungus look in reality), I'm going with "watch seven hours of Stargate Atlantis"

    As a mom of a daughter with ASD and ADHD (throw in any other letters that look pretty), I get the "overwhelmed with too much to do" thing. One way I breathe is to read your blogs... so, you know, thanks

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  35. I sit here in awe of everything you do (2 blogs, clever crafts and books!) and feel like a slug. I just sit here and admire what you do. From a dedicated fan: you have my permission to do diddly squat at least every other week!

    -Barbara Anne

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  36. Alyssa: I *love* your idea of the "I did" list. Think I'm going to start keeping one of those.

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  37. with you on the pantsless meandering parade! Tell me when, and I'll put it on MY to do list!

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  38. SGA is a perfect way to spend a day!

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  39. Thanks, I really needed a post like this today. I've done a..l.o.t in the past week but I still feel a mountain pressing at my back.

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  40. It's my opinion that days like that are not only good for, but quite necessary to, ensuring continued sanity in a fast-paced world.

    I get to the point that on my days off, I tend to do absolutely nothing (and by nothing, I mean watch movies and play video games). My brain needs that mindless time to recoup -- and wants it.

    That reminds me, I need to paint my toenails. Maybe blue this time, hmm?

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  41. Oh Jen, I feel the same way, thank you so much for your post! Between tutoring, house repairs, wedding planning, daily cleaning, and my actual JOB, I feel like I'm not actually getting anything accomplished at all. Sometimes it really is necessary to chill and read or watch TV and forget you have a to-do list at all.

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  42. it's totally okay! I did the same thing today - I thought about the unending list of to-dos, then put on 'Freaks and Geeks' while I painted my nails teal. Sometimes that's all you need :)

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  43. It's totally OK to feel a little overwhelmed when you have a lot to do. I was feeling that way this week and when I got home, the next movie in my Netflix queue was in my mailbox. "127 Hours" the story of Aron Ralston, who was hiking in Utah when a loose boulder pinned his arm against the side of a canyon wall. He was there for 5 days with very little food or water and ultimately had to decide to cut off his arm to survive. Made all of my problems seem rather small in comparison. At least you're not in a situation where you have to contemplate cutting off body parts.

    Break your to-do list down. Put the date out to the side that you want/need to have each task completed and then work toward those short-term goals of completing those tasks by their respective dates. It's way less overwhelming that way.

    New York Super Fudge Chunk is my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor. Sadly, I've never been able to not eat the whole pint all in one sitting. At least you have some self control.

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  44. Okay, I'm totally guilty of adding things to my to-do list AFTER they are completed just so I can cross them off. It's a self high-five.

    I also very much agree with the occasional mental health day. Sometimes you just need to take a break from life, you know?

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  45. My three kids are young, thus I'm usually frazzled. It occurred to me a few months ago that I need to put "happy" on my to-do list. So sometimes, instead of scrubbing things, I spend a chunk of hours sewing or gluing or painting something, just because it's pretty and it makes me happy.

    I've decided it's cheaper than therapy.

    I should probably learn to give the grace I offer my friends so quickly to myself now and then...

    I'm big into red toenails, but next time they need polish, I may go with green, just for solidarity! :)

    Thanks for the post today.

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  46. Doing absolutely nothing...but painting your toenails, is a great day.

    Sometimes we need to slowdown.

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  47. i'm in grad school. and this is the most beautiful thing i've read in a long time. my to-do list has paralyzed me all day, and sometimes it's good just to know that someone else is there with you.

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  48. I needed this too. The past two days have consisted of me sitting on the couch and watching my husband do absolutely everything, from taking care of our 17 month old and grocery shopping to cooking dinner and scrubbing dishes. Although, in my defense, I am currently incubating an 8 lb baby and can't breath, or move, or bend at the waist or get out of the bathtub without assistance. It still doesn't keep me from feeling like a large tub of useless goo with about 498 things on my "Before the baby gets here to-do list".
    :(
    Some days it's definitely enough to just breath (when said baby isn't shoving her feet under your rib cage) and paint toenails, as long as you can still see them. :)

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  49. I have an anxiety disorder and have been so bad the last few weeks that I have had trouble eating or sleeping. I really needed to read this post. I have been stressed over things I can't control, and sometimes I do need to remember it's OK to just breathe. Thanks so much for posting this. I think I'm going to go eat some chocolate now!

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  50. I love adding things to my to-do lists that I've already done just so I can cross it off. Makes me feel so much better, more productive, and less overwhelmed. Glad you go to do something to take your mind off your to-dos for a while. And yes, your toenails look awesome. I did bright green on my toes then did the OPI black shatter over the top a couple months ago. Looks great and fun either way.

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  51. A friend and I were talking about this today... she was telling me that the only thing she accomplished all week long was to sew one curtain. Everything else just kind of fell to the way side... and we chatted about how sometimes, for your sanity, it just HAS to be that way! So, kudos to you and your bright green toes :)

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  52. LOVE the green nail polish and I highly recommend (if you can find it) Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream.

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  53. Whenever I need to chill, I go find a black and white movie, a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cheesecake Brownie, Pepsi and a stuffed crust pizza and hole up for the day. I get nothing accomplished, carb it up, and recharge!

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  54. Hey! you wrote a blog and took a picture and got it posted on said blog. That's a lot of stuff to cross off your to-do list! Don't be hard on yourself.

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  55. You are a wonderful blogger, but you are clearly not a nail blogger...you didn't tell us the name of this awesome Kermit green polish!

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  56. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. That's what I do whenever I'm down. I always wear polish on my toenails, or happy & fun socks.
    Then, when I look at my feet, I don't feel quite so down.
    In fact, I'm going to polish my toenails tomorrow. :>)

    Rock on, Girl!

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  57. Your toenails do, in fact, look completely and totally awesome. I call it a day well spent!

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  58. You DO know that OPI will soon be selling Kermit nail polish right?
    In fact, there are TWELVE Muppet colours due!

    -Bobina

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  59. Not that i enjoy hearing how overwhelmed you feel, but i enjoy knowing there are others who feel the same way i do and deal the same way i do as well....i understand the paradox of the list, good to put things down somewhere but sometimes the list is so long it is too much, perhaps we should write to do lists on big print on small pages that way we can only see 4-5 things/page and it doesn't look like so much :) or as my wonderful man says just do one thing at a time and worry about the next thing after that.
    P.S toe pretties can make most people's day, i love going to get a pedicure with nail art as a treat...after i've had my ice cream of course ;)

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  60. "I get so much done at the last minute, imagine what I could do with the other 59."

    It's not the end of the world if something is postponed or not done at all. There are more days in the week than just today. Plus there's next week too. Anyways, you're a night owl. You're more productive at night.
    Speaking as a cancer nurse, breathing is an absolute. Everything else on your to-do list is negotiable.

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  61. Thanks you made me feel so much better about not feeling better if that makes sense. I appreciate your honesty and the wonderful gift you have that can make us smile about not being happy!!!

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  62. I take it you also allowed John and your cats to breathe? That's a major thing too! You 'da woman!

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  63. Sometimes at the end of the day I think, "well, everyone around here is still alive and today that's good enough!"

    Also, I'm pretty sure you need to add "Watch 7 hours of Stargate Atlantis" to your list and then cross that off. Because that takes some dedication. And it maybe needs to be on my list in the near future. (Despite owning all the seasons, I haven't actually seen all the episodes, only my husband has.)

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  64. After finding out my mom has breast cancer this week and literally gasping for breath during all of the bad news, shock and fear, I thank you, Jen. You are my Yoda and wise giver of advice today. I just need to breathe.

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  65. Thank you. I needed this today. It was a long and frustrating day and my to-do lists for our work events & upcoming visit to family (which includes taking a 2.5-year-old on airplanes) were exhausting me. Repinned the poster and now I'm shutting off my computer and either grabbing some chocolate chips or sending my husband out for Blizzards.

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  66. Thanks for this post, I had exactly this kind of day. Ive done 14 hours of 'work' over the past two days and maybe finished two out of about 10 tasks. Right now my unwind is Food Truck Race (and good internet blongs ;))

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  67. I LOVE your Kermit! He is my favorite! And I have many day's of not doing anything! We need it from going INSANE!!!

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  68. If 7 hours of SG:A is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    Also, cute feet. And no, I'm not a freak. Seriously. Well, not for that.

    We're all freaks in our own quirky ways. That's what makes you so awesome.

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  69. Stargate can fix many problems, either Atlantis and SG-1

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  70. Jen, I have those days every now and then. I work 40 hours, go to school, and help my husband with his job of mentoring about 20 high school students. Life gets BUSY! lol Anyway, some days I just can't do anything. I can't work, can't clean, can't do homework, can't talk to people, etc... Those are the days that I just turn on a stupid TV show and eat a lot of sugar. And while it might not be the most productive day, it at least makes me feel better and renews my energy to keep going on. I'm glad you had a day to just paint your toenails. That's one of my favorite things to do on my "can't do" days!

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  71. Earlier this year I was hospitalized for pneumonia and as I was in the ICU I kept thinking of Allie's Productivity Chart from Hyperbole and a Half and how I couldn't even accomplish the first task on my own. When I got released from hospital I still had to be on oxygen at home and carry an oxygen tank when I went out for a couple of months.

    Now I'm healthy and I've buried that scary time in a corner of my mind. I get caught up in all the daily hassles & frustrations but sometimes I take the memory out & think about the hours my husband held my hand, trying to just WILL me into getting better. Think about wanting to stand up or shampoo my hair or being able to focus enough to read a book and the incredible relief when I finally could do all those things on my own. Think about all those tiny little tasks and the support and love I took for granted. Sometimes you just need to appreciate what you can do, what you will do, when you decide to.

    I'm now able to do the most basic human function - expel air from my lungs and inhale without assistance. And that's pretty fucking amazing. I'd say the fact we can all do that deserves pretty nail polish, or ice cream, or a day of fantastic laziness.

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  72. I love deadlines. I like the wooshing sound they make as they fly by. - Douglas Adams

    Print and read on a regular basis. :)

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  73. sometimes, in the great words of kermit the frog, it's not easy being green. i think we can apply that saying to many hard times in our lives. but just getting through the day is sometimes just the best thing to do! especially if it involves kermit green nail polish ;)
    wv- ingist
    sometimes we just need to ingist some air :)

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  74. Thank you so much for posting this. "Mentally paralyzed" is exactly how I would describe myself in the past few weeks, and then I get into this fabulous guilt trip cycle to add on top. Not only did I get nothing done that day, but I feel terrible about it! Yay!

    It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way from time to time. (And the toes look fabulous! Time for me to buy some green polish!)

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  75. ...Painting my toenails tonight after my shower.
    YEAH!

    ...I pied my store manager in the face too. That's doing something.
    collymau

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  76. You have no idea how much I needed to hear something like that right now...and I, for one, will proudly meander the streets with you as long as it's a long sweater;)

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  77. I just reposted that saying to my Facebook for all friends to see. I really needed to hear that too. Thanks.

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  78. That sounds like my Saturday almost. I had an Angel marathon, watched part of season 1 of The Guild, and Megamind. My toes are still painted in Sally Hanson X-treme Wear in Crushed that they were for Dragon*Con.

    That's a cute green, by the way. What polish is it?

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  79. Dear Jen,

    While TO DO lists are great they can also be overwhelming and depressing. IT IS totally OK to take a break from them. One thing that helps me with my list (when I feel buried) is to figure out what absolutely must be done today, make it the ONE (and I mean only one) that MUST be completed today. Make sure you do at least this ONE thing. Once completed, if you can, Do something else from your list next. If you can't, the world will not end. Set a limit of say no more than a total of five TO DOs from your list. That way progress is being made, you are NOT overwhelmed, and anything else that may/can be completed is a bonus. It feels awesome to look at your list and see a couple of other items banged out, knowing that not only did you get done what you had to absolutely do, you got even more than that done. This makes you a list "tearer-througher" and an awesome job completer. By the way, I, unfortunately, CAN eat the entire pint and my current fave is the Chunky Monkey. I use the Super Chunk Fudge for fights with the husband and hormonal days. Love both of your blogs, read them daily and can't wait to see you in Pittsburgh.

    Love, Maureen

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  80. Your blog posting has given so much...we forget to take care of ourselves in the most basic manner! You've gotten some wonderful advice on managing to-do's. But no one has mentioned "Not to-do" list. That's where I put the should's, want-to's, OMG-that's-a-great-idea-and-I-want-to-do-it-now-cause-i'd-be-so-fun, etc. I feel a good sense of accomplishment - and don't loose some of those great OMG moments! And the should's just seem to fade away...

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  81. I must say, the toenails-kermit picture is kind of wonderful :) Congratulations on painting your toenails and breathing! hurrah hurrah!!

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  82. This.

    Exactly this.

    also, love the nails. I'm hoping to come to the Hartford signing, can't wait!

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  83. I know very much what you mean by just wanting to breathe. Being the super-dork/teen-who-can't-play-sports-but-needs-to-get-into-a-good-college that I am, I volunteer FAR too much. Some of it's fun, some of it's too much work, and right now most of it's both. I've been an hour away from where I live practicing battling for a massive Harry Potter event(We made Muggle Net!!) and moving things for it.
    Dorkiness aside. I. Am. Beat.

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  84. Thank you Jen. You can't know how badly I needed to hear this today.

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  85. You know how to make a person feel better, even as you are having a bad day! Thanks for that! BTW, your toes rock...and as long as we were all wearing REALLY dark sunglasses(and maybe those glasses with the mustache), I'd be in for the pants-less walk with ice cream.

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  86. How is this the first time I'm hearing of New York Fudge Super Chunk? Please let that be a real thing. I'm going to google it immediately and then pick up a pint because almost everyday is a day like that for me.

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  87. Oh, for sure! And, Amen, sister! And, I feel ya! If I could think of any other affirming statements, I'd include those, too. We've all been there, and we all get outta there, too, eventually. :) Oh, yeah, great job on the toenails! How's that?

    Anyway, sometimes life is just overwhelming. And, it can be weird when you are worn out by things that are theoretically awesome (book tour!) that you chose or created yourself. It's okay. Good job on the breathing today. And super awesome tv skillz/productivity you got, too.

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  88. I love crossing off to-do list items that I've just added...it's totally legit :)

    Oh, and the green is awesome!

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  89. Jen,
    I love every single thing about this post. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Sincerely,
    Stressed college freshman

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  90. Epbot and the Bloggess are my two very favorite blogs, and it makes me squee when one is mentioned on the other. I think if the two of you actually met one day everything nearby would start to sparkle from the awesomeness.
    Also: green toenails and SGA, wonderful combination. :)

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  91. Fabulous post. EVERYONE is allowed days like this. Thanks. x

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  92. Wonderful post. We all have days like this. About a year ago, I began starting ALL my "To Do" lists with "Make list." It's great, because it's not padding the list with stuff you've already done so you can cross it off (which I also do, btw.) Instead, it's an actual task that you get to cross off as soon as you finish writing the list. Some days, it's the only thing I cross off the list, but it's something. Now, go hang out with John and pet the cats, and you will have accomplished two of the most important things. Thanks for all you do, get done what you can, and we'll spot you the rest.

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  93. Everyone needs a break sometimes! What better way to relax than with ice cream and Col. Shepard? That's my favorite way to relax!

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  94. Well, in honor of your introducing me to Portal this weekend, here is some related epic cheeriness.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m5TuxdkfkE

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  95. i was so excited that no one else had posted this idea...until the very last post :/ but it's worth repeating...my dad always told me to start my to-do lists with "make a list" so you've already accomplished something. it totally works :)
    also, breathing is good! i work nights as an ER nurse and care for my 7 month old during the day while my husband works, too. i'm also crazy enough to have both a full-time job and a part-time job. not to mention making baby food, keeping the house clean, keeping up a blog, and trying to have some sort of social life and maintain a relationship with my husband. when i get overwhelmed? i bake cookies. and watch disney/pixar movies. and read epbot :)
    thanks, jen. keep up the good work..er...breathing!

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  96. I have tears of gratitude in my eyes reading this...our second baby is 3 months old and it's seriously a miracle if I manage to shower every single day of the week. I am so fried all the time and it's really been getting to me to not have control and be able to accomplish things the way I'm used to. Normally I'm a pretty productive individual...

    It makes me feel so much more sane to know that I'm not the only one, and it's NOT just a new-mom phenomenon.

    Thank you so very much for sharing. And honey, YES, it absolutely is okay if that's the only thing you got done today.

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  97. Sounds like a day off was just what you needed. NEVER feel guilty about taking some time to yourself every now and then. Just remind yourself that even G-d took a day off after creating the world. I hope you are feeling better tomorrow (today??).

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  98. The beauty that is Joe Flanigan and the snark of David Hewlett make any day better. Besides you joined a multitude of people on the internet who are currently rewatching SGA from beginning to end. It's called Stargate Rewind. And since the show is over you have to get your fix for McShep somehow. I haven't yet seen Rise of the Apes and have to wait until next month for David Hewlett's movie, but I am looking forward to this weeks season opener of Fringe. Joe Flanigan and his hair are on it. Sweet!
    Also, have you seen the photos of JF with the tattoos? It's for the movie he is currently shooting with Jean Claude VanDamme.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=239713196071956&set=a.192350604141549.42372.188836814492928&type=1&ref=nf

    Also I like the green.

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  99. Jen,

    Thank you so much for this post. I am the single mother of a 5 year old, and have just started graduate school after many moons away from college. I have a pile of homework to do, the house is a wreck, and it's my birthday today. I think I'm going to make sure I carve out some nail painting, ice cream (or cake) eating time today! And thank you so much for your awesome blogs!! It's how I start every day :) Yay for wrecky cakes and steampunk!!

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  100. I know exactly how you feel, I make costumes for a living and I totally feel the pressure at this time of year! I broke out the green toe nail polish to give it a whirl but my 3 year old saw... at least his fingers and toes look spectacular! But the little man and I now have a full day of just breathing while we watch Doctor Who and eat pizza and Schweddy Balls ice cream :)

    wv: Slart: when you're just too lazy to start :)

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  101. I was flipping through a magazine list recently (I think it was Real Simple) and they suggested making a To-Ignore List -- things you have no intention on getting to today -- in order to help make you To DO list a bit more manageable and less frightening.

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  102. Jen, you may have a solution to this already, but I really like http://teuxdeux.com for to-do lists. They have an iphone app too. it's easy to move stuff around in priority and you can add rows of ~~~~~~~~ to divide the absolute-MUST stuff from the important-but-not-today stuff. the website is free. the iphone app is $2-3.

    Keep your chin up! the tour will be worth all your hard work! You won't see me, but hey, i'm sure there are other fantastic people out there who can make it :-)

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  103. I like that idea. I was sacked last Thursday (though I still have to go to work until the end of the week to "transition" my workload to someone else) and have been obsessing over fixing up my CV and finding a new job AS-freaking-AP, but tonight I think I will paint my toe nails green (good for prosperity from a wiccan point of view) and try to give myself a break. I can always obsess tomorrow.

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  104. I want a like button. Or a win button. And I think I need that quote on my wall...it would cheer me up. I totally feel ya, and hope things look up for you today. :)

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  105. I would have totally watched all seven hours of Stargate Atlantis with you!
    My dear friend is waiting for a heart AND liver transplant and I'm trying to organize the help she needs right now to function while she waits. And there are moments when my brain just shuts down.
    I think it's a built in self-defense mode that MAKES us stop, breath and recharge so we don't end up naked in the street with chocolate in our hair.:)
    Hang in there, it will all get done. (or it won't and it will still be okay.)

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  106. Jen, thank you for posting this. I'm supposed to be writing a paper for University and with less than a week to go the pressure of it being no-where near finished is, as you said, paralysing. I've even resorted to writing really bad poetry about the experiments rather than analysing the results. It's nice to know everyone else, even people with lives I envy as much as yours, can do little more than breathe and arse around all day.
    Much love! Don't rush yourself, you're at your best when relaxed.

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  107. I LOVE that you are going to add "paint toenails" to your list and then cross it off! I need to do more of that with my list too. Thanks!

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  108. Ha! I know just what you mean! If there is something Really Big I have to get done, the more likely I am to distract myself with 100 little things that don't matter ("But I MUST organize the junk drawer TODAY!"). Also, I *have* been known to add things I have already done to my to-do list just so I can cross them off. It makes me feel more productive! Good luck!

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  109. It is absolutely okay that all you did today was paint your toenails. You go, girl! haha

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  110. Right with you on this; sometimes it's just not a good day for major tasks; sometimes it's just a day for taking care of yourself and keeping your stress down to manageable levels. Sometimes you get to dinner and know you should eat somethibng healthy but come to the conclusion that you really just need a small but tasty snack and healthiness be ****ed. And that's fine.
    With long lists, i do find it helps me if instead of looking at the whole big massive set, i mentally pick about 2 smallish things i need to get done in addition to the regular stuff and just say, "OK, these are my tasks for the day." Calling my landlady and asking her to catsit while i'm gone, for instance, would be one thing; if she can't do it, then calling other people about catsitting are an additional task, probably for some other day. Large things like going to get a new bathing suit almost count as two tasks because they take so long.
    Sometimes i get both tasks done, sometimes i don't, but it feels a little less scary to me if i'm only asking myself to accomplish two small extra things and letting the others wait for another day.

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  111. I actually have to put "take a shower" on my to-do list, otherwise I won't bother. I usually manage to cross at least that one off. Usually. Right before I pour myself a bowl of cheerios for supper.

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  112. The only reason I'm commenting is to share my love of New York Super Fudge Chunk. That stuff is like heaven in a cup. (And let's be honest, I've eaten a whole cup before....)

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  113. It is wonderful that a blog can bring emotional support to so many people. Jen, doesn't it make you feel super-amazing that by simply sharing your overwhelmed condition you have made so many other folks feel less alone in their overwhelmed conditions? I think it's fantastic! Put that on your list and cross it off.
    Also, on my to-do list today are:
    -enjoy how comfy the couch is
    -watch my son watch TV
    -attempt washing dished telekinetically

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  114. My "done" list today:
    • Get out of bed
    • Take puppy out
    • Clean up after puppy
    • Watch the new My Little Pony episode on YouTube
    • Feed puppy
    • Walk puppy

    I still have homework (team project and my emails come back as failed to deliver) due tomorrow, no groceries, paperwork to deliver, drooping plants, and a filthy house.

    Next on my to do list (after checking blogs) is re-watch a bunch of Slings and Arrows or (if I have the energy) play a video game. I may even make some soup.

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  115. Glad to see your post. I've had "take off old chipped and horrendous nail polish and put new polish on" on my list since I returned from Alaska on Aug 27th. Still haven't done it. I just might be inspired to do it tonight. Along with helping the sis-in-law with Geology homework and making dinner and maybe getting around to that custom Star Trek LCARS theme for my Thunderbolt. (I will be sure to send pictures when I get it done)

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  116. I'm in the process of opening a bakery (here's fingers crossed that none of my creations end up on your other site!) and there have been days lately where I just sit and watch hours of Food Network until my husband comes home. I think sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to NOT stress. The stress will be waiting for us. Why give it more attention?

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  117. Oh, Jen. So glad you took a day to paint your toes. You're kinda rockin' that Kermit green!

    And why isn't "Watch 7 Hours of Stargate Atlantis" on your To-Do list, anyway? Seems VERY important to me. (I love David Hewlett)

    I know us CW fans can be really demanding and always eager for cool stuff (like Carrot Jockey Necklaces!), but we also understand you are just one person (well, two people, really; counting John). So, I give you permission to slack off a bit (see, one more think you can check off your list!).

    Good luck getting everything done, and have a great trip!

    Andrea

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  118. PS: I realize "Read Epbot Comments" is prob'ly not real high on the To Do list, but there are so many great posts here. Bask in the love!

    Andrea

    PPS: thanks to i-cant-talk-now for the JF Fringe newsflash. And to Ashley the new mom - I remember those days. Hang in there. It gets sooo much better very soon!

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  119. Thank you for this. Believe it or not, it actually mentally freed me up to get something done that's needed to be done but I just couldn't get myself to do. So thank you.

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  120. Oh, thank you so much for this liberating admission! I so needed it today. In fact, I think I'm going to go paint my toenails, grab the cookie dough ice cream, and make major life decisions (IV, V, & VI or HP 1-7.1 marathon). Thanks again for this levity.

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  121. Story of my LIFE!! Mine generally involves plans for making jewelery (I am an artist), that get shunted aside because of my sons schooling, then I come home and take a nap from mental tiredness.

    Love the toenails. My kiddo is currently enjoying his lunch break from school by watching Spongebob. I really should be working (but am doing THIS instead...heh)

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  122. Thanks so much for posting this! Completely turned my day around. And I love the green toenails. Might have to do that myself soon. :)

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  123. Of course it's okay! Meandering pantsless around the streets eating chocolate sounds like a fantastic idea. It should be a national holiday.

    I love to jump-start to-do lists by putting easily finished tasks on them. Don't underestimate the power of achievement and satisfaction =) I don't know if you've ever read the book "Getting Things Done", but some tips from that book: break bigger tasks down into smaller tasks until you have actionable items. For instance: "write to-do" list could be broken down into "look for pen. look for paper. write down major projects. break into actionable items." I find that small language changes can make things a little less intimidating. Also, prioritize the to-do list and just go down it. If you find that you want to skip an item, figure out if you're missing something for the step and/or if it can be broken down into more manageable pieces. If not, just do it. Best wishes, you have a lot of support available, should you need it =)

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  124. The best way for me to feel better about accomplishing nothing is to think of the small things I did accomplish, put them on my to do list and then cross them off! At least something on the list is done!

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  125. Thank you. I needed this today.

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  126. I feel inspired to paint my own toenails bright green. c: Have you got any tour dates and locations up yet?

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  127. Oops - Elinor/Ashira above. Posted on my mum's account by mistake!

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  128. I can't tell you HOW many times I've gotten lost in Stargate DVDs....

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  129. Candace, the tour line-up is in the CW sidebar. We'll have RSVP pages up in another week or two.

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  130. I understand. I'm pregnant and due in March, supposed to be finding a house before the snow flies and nobody will want to help us move, and trying to finish my master's thesis before two members of my committee retire in May. I WANT A DAY TO JUST BREATHE (without being driven to it by a complete disaster.)

    Got any more ice cream?

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  131. So many times I sit on the couch all day holding my baby and watching my 2 year old run around making messes. I then lay the baby down and clean up about 15 minutes before my husband gets home. That way he can't tell I did nothing all day. Don't forget to add photo shoot to your list. You did that too!!

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  132. All I did yesterday was PLAY PORTAL because you told me to.

    And it was awesome.

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  133. While in grad school I found that nail painting is the world's best form of procrastination. When you have on wet nail polish, you can't possibly be expected to do anything. That was also the only time in my life that I have ever had the desire to paint my nails robin's egg blue.

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  134. As someone who has ADHD, even medicated there are days when everything seems just so overwhelming. The to-do list is too long and I don't know where to start and it's easier to just say F+$k it than even attempt to make any progress. I'm glad to know that I am not alone in getting paralyzed when there's too much to do. Thank you for sharing. And take it easy on yourself. You are such a rock star!

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  135. I have a quote that I say from "Tootsie"; when Teri Garr is doing her rant at Dustin Hoffman. (I quote just the first part.)
    "I have to feel this way until I don't feel this way anymore!"
    That gets me through some days/times.

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  136. I so totally get it, Jen. I'm in the midst of wedding planning (25 days? What do you mean 25 DAYS?????) and I'm more inclined than before to pretend it will take care of itself...please pass the Pride and Prejudice DVD please...and the nachos.

    We just had a talk like a pirate day...maybe we should have a walk aimlessly and eat chocolate day?

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  137. I love Atlantis. I could never get into Universe. The cast was too big, or there were no readily likable people, or no giants with dreadlocks to swoon over. I don't know. Maybe too much Red Dwarf without enough Red Dwarf. But I could totally join you watching 7 hours of SG-A.

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  138. "Sometimes there's just a temporary reprieve in a day of yuckiness, and you grab on to it, and you suck all the joy you can out of it, and then you just keep breathing and waiting and hanging on for tomorrow, when you hope things will look better."
    I needed this today. : ) thanks HOpe your day of suckiness is over and your day of abounding joy is here. hugs

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  139. I've have "toes-green" on my to-do list for almost a week. I found some beautiful grassy green polish earlier this summer but it takes like 6 coats and I've been too lazy to get even that much done.

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  140. You definitely deserved a day off! And green toenails are fantastic! I had a similar day recently that resulted in glittery green fingernails!

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  141. Thanks for posting this! Sometimes, we all need a reminder that all we have to do is breathe.

    I'm in my last semester of graduate school and there's *SO* much to get done. And there are days when nothing gets done.

    So I'm right there with you and appreciate the reminder with the little graphic that all I have to do is breathe.

    And the toes look awesome! :)

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  142. I am so glad it's not only me this happens to :)

    The nails rock!

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  143. My mom always said that sometimes all you need to change your mood and perspective on life is a really funky and different color on your toes. You have found the proof! And for those of us with less funky 9-5's there are closed toed shoes for a reason. ;-)

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  144. I never put more than ten things on a to-do list. Otherwise I get overwhelmed.

    A "what I did" list sounds fabulous@

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  145. I've never commented on your blog before, but I had to after reading this post. I'm about a quarter of the way through a postgraduate pharmacy residency right now, and the projects and stress and responsibilities and stress and presentations and STRESS are all adding up. On Tuesday I actually had to type a reminder into my iTouch to breath and just take on one task at a time. So I guess my point is that I totally feel ya. Sometimes you DO just have to take a break. Maybe I'll print that image and set it by my bed so that I look at it before going to sleep every night.

    I'm a big fan of Cake Wrecks and Epbot. Thanks for doing what you do.

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  146. Dear Jen

    I'm a regular reader and occasional commenter.

    I’d just like to say I loved this post.

    Recently I have had the overwhelming feeling that my life is a freight train travelling at 100 miles per hour in the wrong direction and if it drops below this speed then everything and everyone will explode.

    I read your blogs (both this and cakewrecks) because it makes me smile.

    I shall keep repeating “it’s ok to not be ok” to myself.

    Thanks xxx

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  147. Law student here...
    and I write to do lists with things I will do, just to cross them off and feel a sense of accomplishment.

    Wake up--check.
    Eat breakfast--check
    Shower--check
    Drink coffee--check

    See? Four things done already!

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  148. This is a wonderful post. I love both of your blogs, of course, and I think you are so cool and wish I could take you to a pub quiz when you come to Austin again sometime. I know that sounds stalker-ish, but it's the truth.

    I had repinned that poster from someone's board on Pinterest the other day because most days I feel like doing nothing. And doing only one thing has got to be enough.

    You're an amazing person, Jen, as far as I can tell. Thanks for sharing your life with us on the Internets.

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  149. Sometimes we need those days when all you do is breathe in order to handle the days when you get a shit ton done. Try to be easy on yourself. Says the lady who always feels like there is more to do and she needs to be getting something done right now.

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  150. OH. And I always paint my toes blue, and that makes me feel better. My best friend always has blue toes, and she lives like 1000 miles away, so that makes me feel better too. Never underestimate the power of pretty toes to make everything better.

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  151. I know that I'm way late to this, but I came to this post because the link was at the bottom of your "we promise we're not shutting down CW post" and it really hit home.

    It is so frustrating that when I have the most to do, I am the least productive. Right now, I am in the middle of writing report cards for my class. They were due today (Tuesday), but I just couldn't do them. I sat on the couch and worried about them over a three day weekend. I stressed and made to-do lists and told myself and my husband over and over, "I really need to get to work. I have so much work to do."

    But I didn't. I played point 'n click games and read the internet (again), and joked about procrastinating. I even wrote lesson plans (which I rarely do) just to feel productive without actually getting the important work done.

    I have four reports (out of twelve) left to write. I will probably finish around 2am if I can limit the distractions and caffeinate myself.

    And that's OK. They will get finished, and I will collapse into bed feeling too exhausted to be angry at myself anymore. Tomorrow will come and go. I will bask in the immediate relief of a large task completed. I will suddenly realize I have about ten unrelated things that I need to do ASAP.

    But, thanks to you (and Jenny), first I will breathe. And that's ok.

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