Travel Work

Ominous Feelings

June 7, 2022

A Stoicism-demanding sort of day . . .

Yesterday was a bit tough. On paper, it shouldn’t have been, but Stressful (and ominous/mysterious) Emails struck again* and I felt disappointed by some things and I was really distracted and emotional. I am also a bit worried one of my kids is getting URI symptoms (please not COVID, not now!) at an inopportune time.

But I did think about my current readings on Stoicism and I do think it actually helped a little. I thought about how certain things are beyond my control and therefore not really worth dwelling on, and that even if the work stuff has the worst possible outcome and we do all get COVID, we will still be very lucky in the grand scheme of things, and nothing that truly matters will be impacted.

I also came to the conclusion that it is best to try to distract myself by moving on and really working to FOCUS ON my regular activities which is something I very much struggle with when things are up in the air or I feel a shoe about to drop. I may feel my attention drift over to the email, but I can gently notice it + redirect. Like an all-day meditation exercise . . .

*Side note – this email was sent on SATURDAY and thus I’m so glad I didn’t check my work email until the work week! Let this be a lesson (to myself) because it would have been even more annoying to think about all weekend.

Today’s Activities

Run (30 min + strides). 76F and 90% humidity. At least we haven’t hit the 80s at 6 am yet (though we will)!

Patients + notes

Email cleanout / work catchup

Home w/ kids

Relax & read while they watch a show

Kid bedtime (possibly solo again as Josh on call. I am ready for a night off of bedtime duties; maybe Weds).

Williamstown temps for our trip – basically the same as our winter. I feel challenged from a packing perspective! Everyone definitely needs jackets . . .


  • Reply Aly June 7, 2022 at 6:57 am

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve been doing the same thing about email (I’m a teacher and no matter how irrational a parent’s email, after 18 years I still take them personally and let them distract me). I’m going to try to employ some of your techniques!

    • Reply Coree June 7, 2022 at 8:22 am

      I’m a university lecturer and have vowed to stop reading my teaching evals. I’m going to send them to a friend to see if there is anything I need to know, and go from there. The mean comments – about accent, appearance, personality – really stick with me in unhelpful ways. People who have observed my teaching say I’m great, engaged students love me…I can’t let an 18 year old mad they have to do theory into my head.

      One of my tasks for the day is to send a difficult email – I gave a student the benefit of the doubt and I am now suffering the consequences.

      • Reply Humanities Prof June 7, 2022 at 11:28 am

        I have not read mine in years. (adjunct instructor) We do two types of evaluations- a 1-5 scale of fairly objective questions, and then the comments. I look at the number I get for each class (it’s aggregated). I have a “decide once” number (TM The Lazy Genius) of if I get the below a specific number, then I will look at the comments, but I’ve never gotten below that number. I got sick of reading the comments on my appearance, personality, etc- and my male colleagues rarely seem to get those types of comments. So nope. Not reading them unless there seems to be a problem with the more objective issues.

  • Reply Gillian June 7, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Ugh! Yes that feeling of waiting for the other shoe is terrible. I try to employ a little CBT in these situations. Thinking about the worst case and how things would still be okay, but also trying to think about the REAL likelihood that the worst case outcome will happen.

    On a cheerier note, so funny how relative weather is. My kids (born and raised in the northeast) would never deign to wear jackets in that weather! My 14 yo went to school in shorts this winter when the high was going to be about 40.

    • Reply Coree June 7, 2022 at 8:23 am

      True! I grew up in California and would happily have worn a puffer this am (about 55) and my son was in short sleeves and a hoodie.

  • Reply Elizabeth June 7, 2022 at 8:37 am

    Maybe a zip up sweatshirt and/or fleece vest rather than jackets? Even though there’s a nip in the air in morning/evening, I would guess a jacket may be overkill. But again it could be relative and you know best!

    Sorry that the work issue continues. What a pain. Good for you for not ruminating! It’s so unhelpful to ruminate but so hard not to! Great work Sarah.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 7, 2022 at 8:48 am

      Zip up fleece is my Floridian definition of jacket 🙂 I’m sure this is very regional! A jacket like I think you are imagining I would probably call a coat or winter coat. So funny everything is so regional and relative!

      • Reply Elizabeth June 7, 2022 at 8:59 am

        Yes! My in-laws live in Boca and when they come visit us (Seattle area) in summer they have to basically pack for Florida winter. And I pack for summer in Florida regardless of what month we travel there! You’ll have such a fun trip. ☺️

    • Reply Grateful Kae June 7, 2022 at 9:53 am

      I was going to say- this would definitely be “sweatshirt weather” for us. Not even a zip up fleece- more of just a light zip up hoodie sweatshirt. 🙂 Definitely relative! My kids and husband would 100% be wearing shorts with that forecast, too.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 7, 2022 at 10:11 am

    That is also sweatshirt weather for us Minnesotans and we would bail on the sweatshirt very very quickly! It’s great running weather, though! I ran in upper 50 temps yesterday while pushing the 4yo in the stroller and I was very happy that the temps were cool. Our 4yo is tiny (30 lbs) but oof pushing a stroller w/ a big kid is really hard!

    I try my hardest not to read work emails on the weekend, too. Otherwise I can stew on things.

    I hope your kids stay covid free. It seems like everyone is getting it right now. I am just annoyed that our covid cases were each spaced out by 10 days – especially the kids. This never-ending quarantine has been brutal although at least the 4yo is easy to have home. I just hope my husband avoids getting it so we can go see my parents in 2 weeks as planned. Doing the drive with the 18mo by myself this past weekend was so so awful. There is no way I can do that again so we’ll cancel the trip if he tests positive. But so far he is negative and healthy so maybe his vaccine is working. Fingers crossed. I am trying not to catastrophize about him getting covid and the cancelled plans since it’s totally out of my control.

  • Reply Kimberly Lipton June 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    I hear you. It’s only Tuesday and I’m already spent.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 8, 2022 at 8:04 am

      Yes. Exactly.

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