Weeknotes 4 – 2019-05-13

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. And I give absolutely no fucks.

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May 13, 2019


This week I acquired not one but two flamingos for my garden. They’re both metal and have little solar panel and LED lighting in their bodies–so they glow at night. They make me happy. My garden, in general, makes me happy.

I also went to The Head Nut with my friend E! this weekend and bought entirely too much tea. So far, it’s all delicious. Since hot coffee doesn’t really agree with me anymore and while I can and do drink cold brew, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea and tisanes because they tend to be a bit easier on my stomach. My morning wake up tea is usually either St. Dalfour Ceylon or Darjeeling and I’m trying to switch to tisanes in the afternoon and evenings. I like berry and citrus tisanes the best, so if anyone has recommendations, I’d love to hear them.


It’s been a slow week on the media consumption front–I’ve been spending a lot of time playing a jigsaw puzzle game on my iPad. It’s oddly soothing. I also just downloaded Stardew Valley because I like games where you build things.

I’ve been listening to podcasts here and there, too–mainly Productivity Alchemy and Design Matters.

I’m still plugging away at Astounding and find myself utterly fascinated by what an uptight jerk Heinlein seems to be. Like he pushed Isaac Asimov to come to work on Yom Kippur after Asimov had signed a letter proposing that Jewish employees work on Christmas and instead get Yom Kippur off–which seems entirely reasonable to me. But because Asimov wasn’t an observant Jew, Heinlein basically backed him into a logical corner on the subject. Nevala-Lee calls this “a certain meanness of spirit” and he’s absolutely right.

Rachel Held Evans’s Searching for Sunday is also in regular rotation. It’s really interesting and it’s making me think a lot about intentional communities and how we welcome new people into them. There are a lot of connections with fandom, I think.

And finally, I’m reading a book on instructional design for work, Design for How People Learn and it’s really great. Very engaging and I’m learning a lot. And that’s a great way to segue into how work’s been going.


The trainings I’ve been writing are almost done. I spent most of the week working on them and while I have a little bit more work to do on them both, I feel pretty good about what I’ve accomplished. My focus on the training is basically “what do the users need to learn to successfully complete tasks in these systems” so I’m leaving out a lot of the whys and history of the tools, which means I’m butting heads with a colleague who feels the need to go into long-winded explanations about why things are set up the way they are. We’re so lucky to have an experienced instructional designer on our team; I’ve learned so much from her.


I made a few ink and wash drawings this week that I’m really happy with; one was on a notecard which has been sent to its recipient and the other is in my sketchbook where I look at it with satisfaction every so often. I’m also fiddling around with drawing cartoon people and animals, so that’s fun.

I read Austin Kleon’s Keep Going last week and it really drove home the rightness of my decision to stop sharing my art on Instagram. I think I’ve managed to unfollow all the people who made me feel insecure in my own voice and my feed is now much more inspiring–my friends’ art, their kids, flowers, that sort of thing. I think I’ll start sharing again eventually, but for now, my art is for me.


I only had one medical appointment this past week! It was my usual weekly hour with my therapist. My therapist is so great, y’all.

But it was so nice to not feel like I had a shitty second unpaid job and on top of that, I felt pretty good for most of the week, even though I’m accumulating fluid in my abdomen (again, still). Three weeks until that’s (hopefully) resolved.

I only have a therapy appointment this week, too. Next week I see my psychiatrist and have my first appointment with my hematologist. Whee!


As you can see, I got a lot done. I experimented with putting only my three highest priority items each day in my Hobonichi and that worked out really well. I helped resolve an irritating situation at work with aplomb and I’m keeping up with things. around the house, I managed to so some weeding earlier this week, but as I said above, spending a lot of time with the jigsaw puzzle game on my iPad, so while it’s technically wasting time, it also helps me to feel calmer and like I’m accomplishing something, so it is useful.

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