Settling down?

I’ve been on the Vyvanse for a while now. The emotional roller coaster has settled some, and the appetite has returned. Have I been binging? Not like I was, though I still haven’t done much exercising and my sleep is still not what I’d like it to be.

The point where the drugs wear off seems pretty predictable; if I’m still at work when they wear off, I’ll likely be there a lot longer, both distracted and glued to my desk.

I’ve accomplished a lot since I started taking the Vyvanse – my productivity is up, and at a time when it was crucial to be so. Not distraction free by any means, but the job has been getting done better than in the months leading to the change.  I’ve reduced a lot of distractions (podcasts, news feeds) which helps – there’s less to be distracted by. Though I continue to be astonished by the number of tabs I’ve OneTab-ed for later. Hundreds of those. And email can stack up, though when I go all at once it probably takes less time than when I’m camped out, checking for new messages.  I’ve been purging mailing lists I don’t care as much about, though those I do still chuck a crapton of offers (amazon local, groupon, livingsocial, stacksocial, cnet…) fewer sources but what seems an endless parade of “bacon” – not quite spam, but not personal mail. I’m also not nearly as hooked into Facebook as I have been, though that fluctuates.

Marie is gone for a week in Colorado, for a reunion and to spend time with her sisters and friends.  She rented a car and was amused that one of the options was a green Kia Soul. She had the option to go with a Sonata, a more opulent car, but she has been a Soul fan for years, and the alien green made her feel at home.  It has a backup camera, which we regret not getting, so she said she’d get full use of it and let me know what we missed out on.

The big news, aside from getting a new dishwasher and a bunch of estimates on flooring and the likely purchase of a new toilet for my bathroom, is a long, long delayed decision to go to Ireland. We’ve talked about almost since we first met, but there’s no getting around how expensive it is – thousands for the tickets, then more for lodging, food, and travel while there.  It can be a bank-breaker, but even trying to be frugal won’t be cheap.  But…I’ve missed it ever since my two weeks sleeping in a castle (Fitzpatrick) and working in an office with a postcard-worthy view of the Dun Laoghaire harbor. We got a few hours in Dublin Proper before we left, and a few nights in pubs, but for the most part it was a working trip in the Celtic Tiger period – and even that was enough to enchant.

So…we’re a little more stable financially, and preparing to adopt, and the time seemed about as good as it’s going to get. We found the cheapest tickets of the year (after tourist season, mid-November) and booked a flight. Nothing else is planned yet, but the plane and the vacation request is done. There is so much that could be seen, that narrowing it down to what’s doable AND enjoyable in 9-10 days is not easy. There’s the places she wants to revisit – where she went to school, where she taught, landmarks of particular memory – and the places she hasn’t seen before, that we can discover together. My company has an office in Dublin – different from where I’d been before, but doing much the same work – that I’m hoping to get a chance to see. The Dublin folks are coming here at the end of this month so I plan to float the idea past them. Would love to get a feel for the place. Maybe, just maybe, even see if a transfer would be possible one of these days. Much easier to travel in Ireland if you’re there already.

Anyway – lots of stuff happening. One reason for pulling the trigger on Ireland was motivation for getting serious about health. The smaller and more active I am, the less uncomfortable the flight will be. I remember how little I could do when we went to China, and how frustrating that was.  Getting started is the hardest part – at the moment it would feel like a start, rather than getting back to it.

I’m also continuing to push my language learning efforts. I’ve been at Spanish for quite a while now – stalled out at “50%” in Duolingo, but refreshing lessons almost daily. I can tell the lessons that are more muscle memory now, and those that I still struggle with. But when I move past the “past tense” lesson I think I’ll be in good shape for a new push. At the moment I feel that 50% mark is a good place to get as solid as possible. I can read some basic things, like billboards which are everywhere. I want to be able to read things like the Book of Mormon in Spanish. We have a Spanish branch in our building, and one of our neighbors attends it.

But…with Ireland looming, I’m also dipping my toe in the frigid Gaeltacht waters. One of my deep pet peeves is trying to read anything even remotely Irish, only to have Marie endlessly correct me. There is zero consistency to the anglicized pronunciations (the ‘gh’ can be silent, mild, hard, clipped, soft, etc. no way to know unless you just know). I’ve been listening to podcasts discussing the language, including with Americans who have taken the time to learn it, and they say there actually is a consistency in the non-anglicized Irish, and that learning the rules helped them learn faster than just encountering the incomprehensible signage.  So, with a few months to go, I figure I can learn a few things.  Knowing that there’s English and Standardized Irish as well as three major dialects is both a comfort and a deep frustration to my ocd, adhd brain. When I was in Korea, I struggled a lot with “enough to get by.” I tended then, and tend now, to be more all-or-nothing. I hate to be wrong, and I hate to be uninformed. which is odd, because I really do love to learn new things.  The language learning helps in a way because there’s no way to be perfect from the get go. It’s a process, line upon line, word upon word, phrase upon phrase.