There are hints I get every so often that let me know I’m getting older. Leaving the bar before everyone else, anxiety about my dogs nutrition, a love for drinking wine while sitting on the couch….
I had one of these such “Ah ha!” moments this past weekend. My roommates and I were planning on attending the warehouse sale of an extremely beautiful, and usually very expensive, home goods brand Unison. I went to the sale knowing that I wanted new bedding, whispering to myself “I can’t wait to get new bedding, I can’t wait to get new bedding…” This was my first hint towards my being an older person. The second came once we got to the Unison warehouse and I not only found some beautiful bedding, but I came across a buy one get one free decorative pillow section. Before approaching this section, I never thought I’d be the person who had decorative pillows on their bed, but standing in that section I felt unsure how I’d slept on a bed without decorative pillows for so long…
I mean just look at how beautiful they are….
After the warehouse sale, we made a few more stops but I couldn’t focus on anything beyond making my bed as soon as I got home. Those decorative pillows needed to be on my bed and they needed to be on my bed NOW.
Upon finally making it home, I made my way downstairs and made my bed. Since becoming a dog owner, and then having that dog become my bed partner, I’d taken on an extremely lazy attitude towards making my bed. I had gotten very “oh fuck it”. Now, don’t get me wrong, my dog motherhood wasn’t the only factor in my messy bed syndrome. Laziness should also be factored in here.
As I gazed upon my new pillows, and on what seemed to be a turning point in my life, I reminisced on my bed decor of phases past. Until this Christmas, I had the same comforter that I got my sophomore year of college, which is disgusting in a lot of different ways. Upon getting my new comforter, I thought about burning this old one as a service to humanity. I probably should’ve.
Even more recently when I made my bed, I would put my two stuffed animals, which coincidentally were dogs, at the top of my bed by my pillows. This habit lingered from my grade school days, and my reflection on it opened so many doors as to why I am single.
The end of sleeping with stuffed animals came a few months ago, partially because I was like ok you’re going to school to become a teacher of small children let’s stop having similar bed layouts to a 10 year old, and partially because Belle, my living dog, chewed their eyes out as what I can only call an intimidation tactic.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Since getting my pillows on Sunday, I have successfully made my bed every morning since. It being Wednesday means that if I continue this habit for the next few days, I may actually become and adult who comes home to a cozy human bed rather than a pile of blankets on a large dog bed.
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Now that I’ve returned from California, gotten my grades, and am done with classes until September, I am considering myself on summer break. Yes, I’m still working full time, but it’s with the two cutest almost two year olds, so that’s alright.
Now that I have evenings and weekends pretty free, I’ve started back in with my hobbies.
I spent the day Saturday bopping around Home Depot and Target and then planting my herb garden that I’ll be referring to as “The Farm”. Sunday I made pesto from The Farm and put it on some chick peas. Monday I used Ryans birthday as an excuse to bake a cake and make dinner, but I honestly probably would’ve done that anyway. Last night I did one of my favorite hobbies–binge drinking and waking up with a horrible hangover.
Good morning Wednesday, I hate myself.
Tonight’s staycation activity is being horizontal on the couch, but what it should be is laundry. My room flooded wihile I was in California, so I got to come home to a hamper of soaking wet clean clothes that I’d already folded. Instead of doing the mountain of laundry in my room, I had to pull apart this sopping wet pile of clothes and put them into the wash maachine. I’m now punishing my room for flooding by turning it into a dirty clothes fort.
This might lead one to guess that my hobbys are doubling as procrastination devices, and that person would be right.
Instead of having clean clothes, I act like a retired person.
Maybe someday I’ll have clean underwear.
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I just spent the last five days in Los Angeles, and to say it was a fucking dream is an understatement. It was all sun, fun, dog walking, eating, and hanging and it was marvelous.
We did a lot of fun things, and then on my last full day we decided to do a hike in Malibu. I was excited to get some exercise after the food tour I had been on, but even more excited by the possibility of seeing Caitlyn Jenner.
Hannah had done a hike in Malibu a number of times and was excited to show me what the hike hype was all about. We got a little turned around, and ended up going to the top of the mountain rather than turning into the trail head much much closer to flat ground. The higher we climbed, the more Hannah was like “I am really not sure if this is the right way.” Luckily, we were so high up in the mountains that our GPS stopped worked so we were left to our own navigationally challenged devices. Once we got to the top, we ran into three men who were smiling happily so we decided asking them where we could hike would be a good idea.
“Keep going to the top, you will see a trail that will take you to beautiful views of the landscape.”
Alright, so we hadn’t climbed up to what turned out to be an elevation of 2,000 feet for nothing.
We eventually reached the trail head the nice man was very excited about. We learned we’d be traveling along a trail called “Backbone Trail” and it was a little under five miles. This seemed doable, so we set off with our water.
The beginning of the trail was primarily downhill, which made me both a happy hiker and a worried hiker imagining our uphill journey towards the end.
Going uphill was going to become the least of my worries, however.
I should mention now that it was hot as hell, and we were probably the closer to the sun than anyone else in the United States, and probably the World.
After awhile, we came to an opening in the trail and another sign that read “Backbone Trail 1.5 miles”. I took this to mean that we should follow that sign and we’d be back at our car in 1.5 short miles. We traveled along this trail for what had to be more than 1.5 miles, and we came upon a road. Not the road we parked near, but a road.
I began my descent into castaway mode, removing my shirt and putting it on my head so I was standing on the side of the road in a sports bra with a white head dress and a red face, looking very very much like Tom Hanks. In this version, Hannah is Wilson.
I had brought my phone on the hike, and Hannah asked if I had service. We thought it was worth a try, so I asked her who we call in this scenario. She didn’t know. Her not knowing turned out to not matter because I did not have any service.
As we stood by the side of the road, I began writing my will in my head because there was no way we were making it out of this alive. We were out of water and were without a doubt going to turn into raisins by nightfall.
Not two minutes after I’d accepted my certain death a car drove by. We were too delirious to wave or anything, but luckily they saw the desperation in our faces and reversed.
An incredible angel of a woman and her son asked us if we were lost. An unnecessary question because we clearly were, but we embarrassingly answered “Yeah…” anyway. She said they lived around there and just had to let her dog out but after that could drive us back to our car, which she also informed us was now 10 miles away. She also told us it was 3pm, and asked us what time we started the hike. We had started a little before 1pm.
Two hours of beautiful scenery and heat induced hallucinations.
As the woman drove us back to our car, she gave us a tour of all the celebrities that lived in the area, her son told us about all the celebrity children that went to his high school, and she continually asked us if we could feel the air conditioning while simultaneously mentioning how red my face was.
We could feel the glorious magic that was the air conditioning, and I reminded her that I was from Chicago and so walking on the sun wasn’t something I was used to. Need someone to show you how to dress for rain/heat/snow in one outfit? I’m your girl. Need someone to save you from dehydration while up in a mountain in Malibu? I’m not your girl.
It took the woman half an hour to drive us back to our car, and once we were being dropped off I was pretty much ready to kiss her on the mouth.
As traumatizing as the hike was, it was really beautiful. And since we made it out alive with only a sunburn, I have to say it was quite the awesome experience. Nothing like being sure you’re gonna die to get your heart pumping.
Unfortunately, even with as turned around as we got I never ran into Caitlyn Jenner. That’s the real tragedy.
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Here’s an oldie but a goodie, cause my brain has shut off…..
My desk at work treads the line between “yes I have my shit together” and “I need some help, I do not have my shit together”. And, on any given day it can flux to one side or the other.
The main issue lies in the way I utilize post-it notes.
What I like to do is write down a to-do list for the day on one, and stick it to my desk for reference. This helps when I drift into procrastination land with sites like Pinterest and the tumblr “whatshouldwecallme”, then a quick glance at my pink post-it list of tasks jolts me back to productivity.
I love me some post-it notes…
Where this method has fault is when a to-do list from Tuesday drifts into Wednesday, and occasionally Thursday. Oh sure yeah, I can totally make that call tomorrow, I’ll order that box of stuff in a few days, it’s all good.
Kind of defeats the purpose, right?
Though, it’s true that it’s good to always take “to-do” lists seriously, especially at work. My real trouble lay with the post it notes I come back to that make no sense the next day.
Scribbling things like, “Makes Calls”, “Mileage?”, “Computers” and “Microsoft Office” at 6pm the night before, do not increase my morning productivity the next day. I also have about three different lists of names, with no other notes on how to proceed with the names. Who are they!?
I also just finally tossed away a post it that said “Lunch!”
As if I’d forget to eat…
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I’ve mentioned I’m in the throws of my usual end of quarter routine–mental breakdown, losing track of days, full life collapse. What I haven’t mentioned yet, but what you probably have already guessed is going on, is my usual procrastination.
Since I make it my mission every quarter to do better with not saving everything to the last minute, I’ve done better with keeping up with assignments. I even have one already (almost) done that isn’t due until midnight tonight.
It’s really great that I’ve been able to somewhat keep track of my work in these two classes, and then I remember that I’m taking a third class, my internship at Newberry, and I’m all like “Oh Shit, I have about 10 week worth of lesson plans and reflections to write in a one week period.”
“Oh shit, I also have two quizzes and a project that consists of creating a months worth of content for a first grade classroom due at the beginning of the next week.” “Oh shit, I also have a full time job.” “Oh shit, I also like having friends and drinking alcohol.”
Oh shit, Oh shit, Oh shit.
So, here I am with a week left in the quarter, and a week and one day away from vacation in California, all “my brais melting do I even have the mental capacity to pull off one more sentence of work, let alone journals, and quizzes, and 20 days worth of relevant lessons for first graders.
The answer to this is: You don’t wanna take these god damn classes over, so caffeinate yourself and GET TO WORK.
It’s always nice to know you’re not alone in a sinking ship/brain explosion/body shut down, so my classmate Kim and I often exchange text messages that go something like:
“It’s because my brain is melted”
“It’s because I love wine”
“I’m only one human with one average sized brain!”
“Will we be single forever?”
“It’s looking that way.”
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As the end of the quarter approaches, I am transitioning into my usual three weeks of panicking about how much shit I still have to do. I somehow still have 20 hours of field work to do and then write about, a thematic unit with enough content for four weeks of lessons/activities/general fun for first graders to create, lesson plans and IEPs have to write, quizzes to take, and I also have to sleep and nanny the rest of the days.
Luckily, I am not taking any classes this summer so after cramming ten weeks worth of work into the next three weeks, I’ll be as free as a bird who only had to write a ten page paper to fulfill a nutrition requirement.
In preparation for these three weeks of torture, I had my usual end of the quarter freak out during class last night to one of my teachers, in front of my entire class. This was followed by some of my class whispering to me, “are you ok?”, and I angrily responded, “Clearly I’m not.” For as much bitching these classmates do before my teachers enters the classroom, a lot of them sure were quiet during my panic to her about stuff I’ve heard them complain about. But, at the end of the day me and my teacher ended up on the same page so whatever, y’all.
I spent most of my time after class last night trying to kumbaya my way into enough of a relaxed state to fall asleep. I don’t know if it was my pinterest binge that finally took my mind off the chaos, or if my brain actually exploded, but either way I fell asleep.
Waking up this morning was terrible, but that is nothing new. My dog refuses to let me sleep in, thank god, or else I may show up to work three hours late everyday. As I begin to actually gain consciousness, I get excited to see my nanny boys, and then once I’ve had my coffee I remember–MY NANNY FAMILY GOT A PUPPY!
I get to work and am immediately like, what is stress what is sadness what is worry, hello puppy hello puppy hello puppy.
Now that the three babies are finally asleep, I get to sit back and think about how I spent my morning being chased/chasing three of the cutest creatures I’ve ever seen.
Fine, life is ok.
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As I sit here on what I thought was Thursday in what I thought was April, I realize I may be losing track of time.
DePaul and it’s 10 week quarter system always sneak up on me, but this Spring has been particularly confusing. The elevated pollen count, and the intense sinus infection it has inflicted upon me, no doubt have contributed to this haze I am in.
One would think that an extreme time confusion would lead me to arrive at places on Mondays when I should be there Thursdays, or some variation of this error. However, I somehow make it to field work/class/work on the appropriate days at the appropriate times. But, while at these places I never know what day it is.
Tuesday is the day I am at Newberry for my fieldwork, but while I’m there I can spend half my day looking forward to the weekend because I think it’s Friday.
Thursday I nanny, and there’s a story time at 4:30 I like to take the boys to. Sometimes we make it to story time, other times we go for a walk at 5 and I see a parade of children leaving the story time and I remember what day it is.
Friday I spend trying to figure out whether or not the next day is Saturday or Wednesday. I try to remedy this by walking around mumbling, “TGIF, TGIF, TGIF..” to myself.
Saturday and Sunday night are spent reflecting on whether I will wake up in the early morning or the early afternoon. Luckily I have a dog who can’t sleep past 7am. The silver lining on this is that only half of Sunday is spent all “Ugh, not ready to start the week.” because the other half of the day I have no idea what day it is.
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