I really don't like starting new jobs -- I'm right there with you on the stress stuff. Yay for getting in to the grove and finding room to breathe!
It's hard to explain the feel of bread dough when it's been kneaded right. And it depends on what flour you're using, so there's all different kinds of right -- wheat is damp but not sticky, but rye stays pretty sticky and isn't as elastic. What kind of bread is your favorite? Have you tried any of the specialty breads?
I used to be okay with funny schedules, but I don't have the same levels of cope that I did ten years ago. If I work too much, I tend to get migraines, even if it's easy, unstressful work.
Well, you have to keep in mind that the way I try to learn things is to try to get them "right". I've been making and re-making the first two recipes in Beard on Bread, trying to figure out what things are supposed to be like.
I finally have a kneading motion that works. It took me a long time to figure out what, exactly, I was *doing* to the dough, and now I kinda-sorta have that. And I've now made two decent loaves in a row, but, more important than making the two good loaves in a row is, I knew that they were going to be good before the first rising. And I knew *how* they were going to be, before the first rising. And they turned out that way.
So... I don't yet have a favorite kind of bread and definitely haven't tried any specialty breads, yet :-).
But I feel like I'm now ready to try other stuff... like, if I try subbing a cup of rye for a cup of white bread flour, I'll recognize a difference, and have an idea why the difference is occurring (i.e.: because I have a cup of rye flour in, *not* because I'm a klutz at kneading).
Whew -- rough schedule. That's got to take some getting used to.
Don't worry about my part of the Oregon road trips - with summer coming on, a Saturday-Monday (or Tuesday!) visit could actually be an advantage if, say, we wanted to spend a couple of days at the coast. I still have plenty of vacation time. (-:
What do you think caused the sciatica?
I've been favoring my left leg in an unconscious manner for a long time - years, at an absolute minimum. For example, if I have to bend over to pick up something on my right, I do so. If I have to bend over to pick up something on my left, I grab/lean on something. I also step differently with my right and left legs. And, if I lay on my back, my right toes naturally point up - my left leg tends to flop to the side.
I think that I'm finally forcing myself to use my left leg the way my right leg is working, and strengthening different muscles, and causing stress in the region of my lower back/upper left-hip region.
It's now been a month or so without spasms, but I'm still having soreness. But, there are longer and longer times when I can temporarily forget that I have any problems.
("he said, as if he hadn't taken Vicodin for the first time in over a month this morning..." - but I think this is just temporary.)
I have the same issue with my right leg, because it's shorter. Not sciatica, but the favoring issue, and the stepping differently issue.
Both sets of toes, however, FINALLY point up! (It used to be that the right leg flopped.)
It's a complex issue that I don't claim to fully understand.
Nod. My one leg (I can't remember which) was shorter, and it had something to do with the sacroiliac and something else that a PT knows, but I don't. And it's been changing, I think. But the difference was never very large.
What's very weird for me is that it's not really the leg, so much as it is the pelvis and the lower back, and a whole bunch of stuff, and, most importantly, I realized I have *no idea* what is "right". One day, I tried to find the right, neutral standing posture, and realized something was wrong (and I can't even remember quite what) but I was holding something out of place - once I deliberately relaxed as best as I could, I realized I was very carefully doing something wrong with that area.
It reminds me of people who counsel others not to try to sit or stand with good posture, but to exercise, so as to strengthen the right muscles. That's what I'm trying to do now, but it's sometimes scary-hard.
Seriously, that is why I have a trainer. Sometimes he works with the fascia to allow my leg muscles to reposition themselves, and it works for a few days. I don't think I could do this by myself, just because my sense of what's right is so skewed.