Thursday, October 23, 2014

Books, Lately

Here is an essential truth about me: I cannot be both a reader and a television viewer. I can do one or I can do another. I'm really not great about doing both simultaneously.

I really don't watch any shows weekly anymore, so when I'm watching television I'm feasting on an entire season and I can't balance that with a book. Can't, won't, don't.

I guess I'm like that with a lot of things. All in or not at all.

Now that I'm all settled in at home, I'm chewing up books and spittin' 'em out like it's my job.

Actually, it sort of is my job. The romanticized version of my job where I sit around and read all day in a cardigan and a bun. But not really.

(I never get to read at work.)

I feel like I have read some good ones lately. Plus: books are a topic other than my knee injury and the subsequent physical therapy that I've been boring you all (and myself) to death with, so I thought I would share.
All The Light We Cannot See: is the best novel I've read in a few years. Not everyone I know who has read it has fallen quite so hard for it but something about that book makes me want to read it 11 times over and keep a copy in my purse and force it on all of my friends.

Not That Kind of Girl: I actually thought I would like a little more than I did. I enjoyed it and it did not change my life. Not every book can.

The Girl You Left Behind: I was on a big Jojo Moyes streak in the spring and into the summer. This was not Me Before You (which I loved) but it was relatively satisfying. Again, not a book that changed my life.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: I'm in the middle of right now and it's just adorable and charming and it's such a fast read. This might be one I buy for my mom or for my grandma so that it's adorableness and charmingness is spread throughout the family.

I spend my workdays surrounded by more books than I will ever have time to read but I do take suggestions, girls and boys. Anything I need to move to the top of my reading list?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I was going to go to the gym last night for a little run on the treadmill but then I got home and, well, I didn't. I didn't go to the gym for a little run on the treadmill or a little of anything else. I made pasta. I took a shower. I read.

I have been using physical therapy as an excuse, but my knee wasn't really that sore. I was just lazy.

Lazy is hard to break.

My knee injury came shortly after I moved into my condo and, before that, I had a long vacation and, before that, I dedicated far too many evenings to trudging through house after house with my real estate agent.

I can't even remember when I last had a good gym routine.

My gym membership was just bumped up from $TooMuch to $TooMuch + $5, so it's time to finish physical therapy (I'm thinking I will be done as of next week), find my inner yogi (I've taken a few classes), break out my running shoes for something more than a sluggish two miles and get back to it.

I need the routine. I need the exercise.

But what I need most is to start feeling like myself.

I haven't, lately.  

The lazy is just a fraction of the problem.

But it's somewhere to start.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Over the weekend, I finally had time to catch up with Lucy and get all of the gritty details on her meeting with Colleen.

Overall: it was about what Lucy expected, maybe a tiny bit better. 

I will admit that it was nice to hear about Colleen's life. She still struggles -- with her history of depression and anxiety, I think she will always struggle some -- but some things in her life seem like they're really okay. That makes me happy for her. I genuinely wish her well. 

One of the things Lucy and Colleen talked about was Colleen's reaction to Lucy becoming a mom. Colleen didn't know what to do/how to act/what to think about Lucy's impending motherhood, so she bailed (the friendship didn't really come to an end until Lucy called her out on it a few months later). Colleen couldn't make the transition. "I don't know how Aly did that," she told Lucy. 

That meaning, I guess, continuing to be Lucy's friend. Realizing that Lucy's life was changing in a big way and that I had a choice: accept the change, help her transition to her new reality, BE A TRUE FRIEND, have the absolute privilege of getting to know her two little guys or I could lose our friendship. 

It was a choice but it was never a choice. 

I never debated what I would do. 

It pisses me off a little bit that Colleen regards me as some sort of saint for being that friend to Lucy. It wasn't extraordinary. It wasn't unusual. I was being her friend. 

Because I know that if I had my leg amputated tomorrow, Lucy would learn how to use my wheelchair. And if I get pregnant next month, Lucy will be sitting in the waiting room when I am in labor. 

All I was being was decent. All I was doing was the same that Lucy would do for me. 

I don't have the burning desire to hash things out with Lucy but I wouldn't mind telling her that. I might enjoy pointing out the simplicity of maintaining a friendship. Because it was easy. And look at all of the ways in which I have been rewarded. The blessings, Colleen, are endless. And you threw them away. 

Lucy warned me that I might hear from Colleen next. Don't be surprised if you do, she told me. And don't be surprised if you don't. 

I'm not going to worry about it until it happens. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

This is now a PT blog

"The last patient who was in here," my physical therapist says to me quietly, as he starts laughing, "when you came in she said to me 'why isn't she in school?' and, she's a physician, then she said 'I can't believe somebody referred a patient who is so young.'"


I love physical therapy.

I love that doctor/patient who thinks that I'm in high school. I am going to write her a thank you note.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let's be friends

At physical therapy last week -- the same day of my failed attempt to break up with my therapist -- the clinic was empty but for one other patient.

The other patient was in PT for her shoulder. I would guess that she's in her early 60s. I've been seeing her since I started my therapy. She's always in a chipper mood, joking around with the therapist and otherwise pleasant to be around. She seems like a pretty cool lady.

I was minding my business and doing my exercises (and reciting my breakup speech in my head) and happened to catch the tail end of some self-deprecating joke. She was lamenting about the boring nature of her injury and subsequent rehab* while "you're over here training her for the Olympics."
She nodded in my direction.

I wasn't going to butt in the conversation (even though I was being discussed) so I just kept on with my workout.

But this is what I wanted to say: Olympics? I am 32 years old, lady. That ship sailed a long time ago. If anything, I'm just getting a head start on training for the Senior Olympics!

Yes, I was more than ready to match her self-deprecating humor with some of my own. But her comment basically made my morning. It was just nice to have someone imply that she thinks of me as an athlete. I haven't felt like much of one lately.

*Which is extra amusing because the physical therapist told me later that he finds shoulders much more interesting to work on than knees.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Colleen & Controlling

My best friend Lucy and I had a falling out with our third, Colleen, a few years ago. It was really weird when we first stopped being friends with her. We would talk about her all of the time. Wonder what she was doing. Contemplate when we would eventually hear from her.

Except we didn't hear from her. And then we saw pictures from her wedding on Facebook and it broke our hearts a little bit. Recognizing that we cared about Colleen but couldn't have a healthy friendship with her sucked, quite frankly. And we went through much the same emotions when we found out she was pregnant.

Lucy heard from Colleen's mom -- looking for Lucy to essentially bail her out -- when Colleen had her daughter back in March. Then, Colleen sent Lucy a text message on her birthday. She wished Lucy a happy birthday, said that she had been thinking about her a lot and had things to apologize for.

Lucy sent her a very generic "thanks, hope you're well" sort of a text message and let it go.
Then Colleen sent her a text message last week. She wanted to get together with Lucy at the suggestion of her therapist. Lucy was conflicted, claiming that refusing to do so would make her feel "hypocritical." Lucy's a therapist.

Truly, honestly, genuinely: I thought Lucy should ignore her. And, if she couldn't ignore her, suggest that they meet at Colleen's therapist's office.

I did not and would not say as much.

I made a few suggestions on how she should approach it and, in the end, Lucy and Colleen made plans for today. For this morning.

It makes me a little bit sick.

Lucy is more forgiving than I am and Lucy and Colleen have been friends much longer. Lucy is a big girl with a good heart and motherhood has made her much better at making and maintaining boundaries. She won't let Colleen do this to her again. To be such a shitty, one-sided friend.

Lucy initially indicated that their meeting would be more for closure than for the purposes of reopening their friendship. I don't know if that's true. I don't know that it's my business. I'm not really interested in being Colleen's friend again but I know that I can't make that decision for Lucy.

But it doesn't stop me from wanting to.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Goodbye, Old Friend

My dad bought me an iPhone 6 for my birthday. It arrived towards the middle of last week and I've been avoiding it ever since.

I claim that the reason I'm dragging my feet is because the case I ordered has yet to arrive but, really, I just haven't quite managed to psych myself up for the change. The good ol' iPhone 4 and I have been together for 3 years, 8 months. That's a long time. We've been through a lot together.

I'm mostly kidding but a little bit not.

Sometimes I think that I'm good at change and then I am totally neurotic about something as inconsequential as this and I realize that I am not quite as well adjusted as I pretend to be.

But I will be taking the plunge and making the changeover today and the transition will be seamless and my fears unfounded and then I must tackle the issue of a phone case.  A phone case that will last just short of forever. 

The case that I ordered is a temporary/backup case until I find something that I'm totally in love with. You see, I also don't ever swap phone cases. Because: change.

In the past, I was a loyal Kate Spade phone case girl but I haven't heard good things about the protective abilities of the resin cases and that's all that Ms. Spade is currently offering. Plus, all two of the Kate Spade silicone cases that I utilized with my last phone (don't worry: changing phone cases also causes me moderate amounts of mental distress) were the slightest bit too big and my phone would slide around just enough to annoy me/mess up pictures.

So, I'm likely moving on from Kate Spade. I am strongly considering embracing my true Detroit girl and going with this leather number from Shinola:

But if you have a phone case that you're obsessed with and it seems like it would be suitable for someone who is a little (a lot) bit crazy such as me, I wouldn't mind hearing all about it.     
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