Thursday, October 31, 2013

Candy and American icons

Happy Halloween, you guys!

I am an old, unmotivated grouch so I didn't dress up today.

My Halloween excitement was limited to Lucy's mother's party on Saturday night.

I was, as you can plainly see, the natural beauty and American television icon Vanna White.

It's generally my goal for my costumes to be:
a. a little bit random
b. mildly weird
c. not sexy
d. more recycled from the depths of my closet and less a full ready-to-wear costume that I bought from a store. 

Lucy's mom is a retired schoolteacher and she goes all out for her Halloween party every year. It invariably includes a rousing game of cakewalk in the garage and some bingo in the kitchen and a costume contest, of course. It is absolutely her excuse to act like a teacher for a night and it is adorable.  

Baby A was a stinker and refused to wear the assortment of costumes that Lucy presented him with on the night of the party. These costumes included: a Lego block, Batman and bear.

I also suggested that Lucy frizz out his hair a little bit, give him a paintbrush and call him Bob Ross but that dream, sadly, did not come to fruition.

(Is it bad that I want children mostly so I can dress them up in funny outfits for holidays and other occasions?)

That stubborn child was not too cool to sit out cakewalk, however. He even took his (incredibly crazy-eyed) auntie on a few spins 'round the game.

I'll have you all know that I won a picture frame.

Yet no prize for having the biggest hair at the party. (Even though I clearly had the biggest hair at the party.)

Whatever you are or whatever you aren't -- though I will always advocate for the wisdom of big hair and an American television icon -- have a lovely holiday.

It's an excuse to eat candy. Embrace it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A legitimate reason

Aware that I was the last person in the blogosphere who had not read The Fault in Our Stars, I finally started it on Monday night.

I had just finished Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink, which I had started reading a few weeks earlier on a bit of a whim. Five Days at Memorial is excellent and dense and a remarkably well-done work of narrative non-fiction. If you like books of that nature -- and, as someone who generally gravitates towards fiction, I don't always -- I highly recommend it.

As long as you're not looking for something uplifting.

I plucked The Fault in Our Stars out of the stack of books that sits on my nightstand because it is a young adult novel and I wanted my next read to be something a little bit easier. A book that I could plow through in a few days. I wanted a book that I could toss into my giant purse and read on my lunch hour. Which is precisely what I needed yesterday.

While I haven't quite come out and said it, the general nature of my posts lately have probably made it pretty obvious that I've had a rough time of it lately. It's nothing in particular. I just don't have a lot of energy or enthusiasm for much of anything. It's awfully nice to get lost in a book.

By the time I got around to having a lunch, it was so late (and I had snacked and snacked and snacked) that I nearly skipped it entirely. But I'm trying to find balance and Starbucks is just a few blocks away. I finished off a latte and made it about halfway through The Fault in Our Stars by the conclusion of lunchtime.

I was supposed to go to hockey last night but I just wasn't feeling it. We didn't have a game, so it was a skippable event. I called in sick and went home instead of to the rink. I made a grilled peanut butter and Nutella sandwich and exchanged a very telling series of tweets with longtime reader/generally cool customer Heather.


That's when I knew that I would be finishing The Fault In Our Stars last night.

Sometimes a girl just needs to recognize the legitimate reason to cry her face off and commit to it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Grand Book Dress Debut

In hindsight, the best time to debut a dress that feels ever so slightly too costume-y probably isn't the week of Halloween.


But yesterday was the day that I finally found the guts to wear the book dress that Mom bought me for my birthday so I just went with it.

The first compliment I got on my dress was when I was at the gym for my lunchtime workout. I probably would have kissed the lady had I not been halfway through changing and all twisted up in the dress and a pair of running tights. The dress passed someone's test outside of my building!

I took this to mean that, even if I looked a little ridiculous wearing my book dress at work (where, you know, my business is books) (where I also don't really care about how I look, to be perfectly honest), my appearance was not ridiculous in general public. Or at least half-dressed in the gym locker room. Whatever. Technicality.

My gym friend seemed to have opened the floodgates because, when I got back to work, everybody had something to say about it. Well, not everybody. Every woman who I was already somewhat friendly with. Oh, it's just so cute. Oh, I just love your dress. What a fun dress!

And then one of my employees, a very sweet older woman, stuck her face way too close to my backside in an attempt to "read the titles."

Which is the same thing my 80-year-old grandfather did at dinner that night.

While my mother and grandmother just cooed about how adorable it was and how sweet I looked and isn't she just darling?

So I suppose I'm not afraid of the dress anymore. It's fun. I'm going with it.

And, bonus: after years of feeling like they do absolutely nothing for my shape, I've learned that I can get away with a shirt dress.

It's a whole new world.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Observation

(Hey! Guess what? I'm alive! And feeling a lot better today.)

My parents made an appearance at Lucy's mom's Halloween party. They get invited every year and never go. Generally it's because there is some sort of family drama that my mother is attending to. But this year was quiet (basically because Emma was in Chicago) and we got my mom all dressed up as a cute little cowgirl and they joined in on the fun.

Mom called yesterday and, on account of my head being on the verge of exploding, I wasn't feeling very talkative. At the end of our brief chat, she throws in "so...Lucy and Chet. They're not doing well?"

WHAT.

I rewound through the night and couldn't remember anything remarkable about how Lucy and Chet were interacting so I asked for clarification. "Lucy didn't seem like her usual bubbly self."

They're not having the easiest time adjusting to having two kids, I told her, but I think they're okay other than that.

Or am I completely missing something?

My mom is ridiculously intuitive so her observation makes me nervous. It wouldn't be something that Lucy would bring up -- not if the problems were real, real and not just a silly annoyance -- so now I am going to be paranoid and worried and volunteering to babysit and awkwardly asking probing questions out of the blue.

Mom doesn't generally interact with Lucy when she's a little drunk (and herding two kids). I'm hoping it's that. Less unhappy. More buzzed. Which is the way things should be. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The worst

I took it easy this weekend. That isn't exactly simple for me.

But I've just been feeling so awful lately. I had the week of headaches, then I ran a half-marathon and limped my way into last week, where I felt vaguely off every single day.

I have found all of this to be very annoying, so I decided to give myself the weekend off. A bye weekend, just like my beloved UM football team.

I didn't spend the last two days running from obligation to obligation. I didn't go to work. I spent a lot of time finishing up a book, I watched an episode of Catfish, I sat around and drank coffee and caught up with Liz, I took a leisurely stroll around Target, I baked cookies, I went to Lucy's mom's annual Halloween party.

I wrapped up a lot of little projects that I never made a priority and therefore never got done. I slept in. I painted my nails. I ate French toast.

I took it easy.

AND THEN MY HEADACHE CAME BACK.

It is so bad.

This is just the worst. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Flying Tastebuds

If anything that I've ever blogged has given you the impression that I subsist on quinoa, kale and coconut water, I apologize. I enjoy more than enough of the Whole Foods fare but my true heart beats for melted cheese in enormous quantities and the heavenly coupledom of peanut butter and chocolate.

Junk food tastes good, you guys.

When I finished my half-marathon last Sunday, my stomach turned on me. Nothing tastes quite right. I am impatiently waiting for it to pass and, in the meantime, I'm just eating whatever I feel like eating. Which, half of the time, isn't anything. And the other half of the time is a random combination of junk.

Don't take this the wrong way. I am not a preachy eater.

But if I've learned anything this week, it's that eating junk food just makes you want to eat more junk food.

And since I'm granting myself a pass (a pass that should probably expire after a week), the food situation around here has gotten really weird. Like, one post-hockey trip to Taco Bell weird. More apple dumplings than I care to admit weird. Boxed macaroni and cheese (which I don't even like) weird. Realization that Trader Joe's did have anything junky enough to satisfy me weird. A dinner of buttered popcorn and sushi weird.*

I gave myself the go-ahead to eat whatever sounds good because it is better than starving. I have been diligent in quickly obtaining whatever random crap I am craving. And none of it even tastes good. (Not even my go-to Liz-is-traveling Indian cuisine). Nothing tastes good.

I think that maybe I was running so quickly that my taste buds flew right out of me. It's the only logical solution.






*I would like to make it known that sushi was my attempt at pushing myself back towards my normal eating habits. I'm pretty sure it didn't work. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Secret Single Behavior

I live with my cousin (slash very good friend), Liz. 

Liz is on vacation this week in Mexico with her mom, her dad and her sister (who just got back from three weeks in Greece and is unemployed and where do I sign up for that life?).

Also my sister, who they invited along.

I wasn't invited.

I am a little bitter. And a little conflicted about being bitter. Because I'm 31 and I could be investing my energy into many more important things than caring about an invitation that I did not receive.

But that isn't what this post is about. This post is about all of the weird and random things I do when Liz is traveling.

When Liz is gone, I binge on Indian food. Liz is totally that person who always has 19 scented candles lit and some sort of scent-generating mechanism plugged into every outlet and I never eat Indian food when she's around because I don't want to hear her bitch about how the smell is interfering with her coconut margarita candles. Curry party!

If she's gone, I always watch more TV. Liz is sort of the queen of television. She watches so many shows. Most of them really bad. I rarely join her in front of the television (I don't have a TV in my bedroom by choice -- odd?) but when she's gone I'll flop down on the couch and see what's on that isn't a Real Housewives episode.

Liz is a very tidy person, as am I, but I let tidiness fall by the wayside when Liz is gone. Yes, I will take a seven day vacation from hanging my coat in the closet and, yes, I will like it. 

If Liz is traveling, I make it a priority to bake something messy and half-ass the cleanup. Sure, eventually, I'll get up all of those sprinkles. But it feels so good to leave them on the counter for an extended period of time just because I can without feeling the slightest bit guilty about it.

When Liz is gone, I always sleep with my bedroom door open. Do normal people who live alone close their bedroom doors when they go to sleep? I never have. It's mostly because I am lazy.

When Liz is gone, I am forever chasing her dog around the house like a lunatic because I feel like the dog doesn't get enough exercise and I feel like it's my responsibility to get her more exercise if I'm the one taking care of her. Liz's dog is sort of an asshole so I don't walk her that much.

Liz is gone. I've worn the same enormous sweatshirt that doesn't even belong to me and is not even a little flattering every night since Sunday.

It's probably good that Liz travels so much so that I can regularly be reminded of why I don't live alone. I would be dirty and always faintly smell like curry. And you know that, at some point, I would completely stop wearing pants.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Buttercream Cure

The generally annoying nature of last week has bled over into this week. Two irritating weeks in a row is not my favorite.

The reason this week is annoying is because I am making it annoying. I started this week feeling sore and sour and I've been too stubborn and too lazy to change my tune. Instead of getting over myself, I've pouted about:
  • the vacation that I am not on
  • the sleep that I'm not getting
  • Liz's endlessly barking dog
  • the presentation I need to give
  • the work that I need to get done
  • my very flat, very lifeless hair
  • the big game blinders that The Coach is wearing
  • the weather
  • a snub from a handful of my hockey teammates
It is all very silly because it has not been a horrible week. It hasn't been anything close to a horrible week. It's a mediocre week, a run-of-the-mill week. It is nothing to write home about one way or another. I have chosen to be a brat about it.


Not that you haven't noticed. Anybody who has dropped by my humble blog lately has noticed that I am pathetic and whiny. This blog has been, like, So Midwestern and So Fucking Bratty for weeks now.

My bad.

I saw the proverbial light at the end of the crabby tunnel this morning when I thought of someone other than my own damn self for five minutes.

It's my friend/former coworker Maria's birthday today. Maria has had a really hard year; a phone call, a Facebook message and a promise to grab dinner soon did not seem like nearly enough to celebrate her. I brought a bouquet of flowers and a couple dozen cupcakes to her office. (Which is my old office. Which always feels so strange to return to.)

Doing something nice for someone nice is a really quick fix for a persistent foul mood.

As is the buttercream that I ingested while frosting the cupcakes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A byproduct of running

Conveniently, I forgot how emotional these long races make me.

It's something about being this spent, this exhausted down to the core of my bones. It leaves me vulnerable to my own emotions. I have no check on how I'm feeling. I have no ability to understand my feelings in a larger context. I just feel. Really strongly.

And cry. A lot.

I get all blubbery during the race. Running a half-marathon takes me about two hours and holding back tears a minimum of five times. At the start. Immediately after I finish. When I see some adorable little kid holding a sign proclaiming that he is proud of his mom. And so on.

It doesn't stop at the finish line. For the 36 hours following the race -- which includes today, my friends -- I am sore physically and soft emotionally.

Pretty much anything could make me cry.

And pretty much everything has.

I nearly cried when trying to walk down the stairs this morning. And then I nearly cried when I tried to walk back up.

One of my dad's coworkers was at the half-marathon yesterday, cheering on his own daughter, and his sweet and sincere congratulations was so kind that I almost cried. 

As did every smile and "congratulations!" that came from a fellow mylar-blanket-and-race-medal wearing runner.

My eyes filled with tears when I called my parents to thank them for coming.

I almost lost it when feeding Baby L a bottle last night. Which immediately followed playing on the floor with Baby A when I almost started crying because:
a. my legs hurt so bad
b. he is turning out to be such a sweet and smart little boy
c. I am a junkie for Lucy's babies

The Coach's team has been on this tremendous upswing recently and, when I stopped to think about it, it was enough to bring me to tears. He puts so much into his job. I am tearfully proud that he's finally starting to see the results.

While being tearfully afraid that his success will mean that I get left behind.

I heard author Jamie Ford speak at a luncheon today. His talk included a story about meeting his wife in a library and proposing to her in a bookstore. My eyes flooded and it was a professional event and I hope nobody noticed.

I have a hockey game tomorrow, which means I have a long day, which means I'll be up late baking birthday cupcakes to drop off to my friend Maria on Wednesday morning, which means that it's reasonable to assume that I will be tired, the thought of which makes me want to cry.

So does the mere prospect of finding the time to throw together a Halloween costume.

And reading through this post before publishing it.

Which basically means that I'm even a mess about being a mess. Awesome.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Survived

For all of my impassioned whining last week, I made it through today's half-marathon without incident.

I picked up my race packet on Friday afternoon. It was a good reason to leave work early.

 
And an absolutely gorgeous day to be in the D.

 
I have always gone with Meg to pick up our race packets, so it was all a little different this year. I got through the race expo and walked out with my race bib maybe 15 minutes later. With Meg, we always stop for a little shopping. And by that I mean she's incessantly holding up items and asking "should I buy this?" because she likes to share the blame for any decision to purchase something she doesn't really need.


With as little time as it took me to get my goods, I took a walk along the waterfront. Meg isn't a stroll-around-aimlessly sort of girl and I'm not one to suggest an aimless stroll unless I'm by myself.

I put on my sunglasses and wandered around the city and soaked up the sun and the sights.

 
I drove downtown by myself this morning, which was quiet in sort of a nice way. Running is a solo activity for me, so doing it all on my own didn't feel terribly wrong. Just different.
 
I parked in the garage I planned on parking in. I got to the starting line when I planned on getting there. The race organizers played Eminem's "Lose Yourself" just before the start just as I had expected them to.
 
The race itself went well. I felt pretty strong for the majority of my run. There were no big surprises.
 
Oh, except for a sweet "good luck" text message from Lucy that included a photo of me and Baby A from one of our recent lunchtime beach trips that made me smile like an idiot.

 
I also smiled like an idiot when I saw my parents and my cousin Emma just before the Mile 13 marker. Every year, I tell myself (and them) that they don't need to come, that it's too early, that it's so long to drive to see me run for all of 20 seconds, and every year I'm really grateful that they do.



And, for all of the bitching that I did leading up to this run, I set a personal record. 1:52. A whopping 2 minutes faster than last year, which is essentially nothing but feels like somethin' when I take my (lack of) training into consideration.

In the weeks leading up to it, I can never remember what possesses me to sign up for this race.

Then I run it and I remember exactly why.

Because it's nice to feel strong for one day. Because it's nice to have a reason to be proud of myself. Because the medals are shiny. Because I can.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My gift to you

Let's see: this week I've already thrilled you all with my half-marathon anxiety. Which I followed up with an equally intriguing narrative of the state of my sinuses. I am sure we all agree that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to surpass the quality of subjects that I have blogged about this week.

I am willing to try.

I am always willing to try.

I thought about writing about making a budget.
Or about nail polish.
I considered telling you about today's rotten weather.
Maybe Meg's upcoming vacation.
Or The Coach's latest road trip.
I could have written about surprising Dad with lunch on his birthday.
Or the homeless lady who insulted me at work.
Or my fondness for doing laundry.
Maybe the book that I'm reading.
The results of my Brazil trip conundrum.
Worries about buying a house.
What one of my coworkers recently said about my wardrobe.
An explanation of my friendship with Lucy's husband's best friend.
My hypothesis on why I am so whiny when I am sick.

But nothing sounded all that interesting. So I thought I would do you all a favor and take the night off of blogging.

In a roundabout sort of a way.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pressure

I am in sinus hell, you guys.

I don't look or sound all that miserable, which I can appreciate because I have to deal with the public and it's always nice to not appear like a walking flu bomb. And I feel absolutely fine other than the sinus headache that took up residence in my head and neck FIVE DAYS AGO and will not go away.

Miserable.

How am I supposed to prepare* for a half-marathon feeling like this? Get any work done? Make progress on the book I started over the weekend? Blog about my life's minutia? Obsessively worry about things that are out of my control? Paint my nails?

I am just not.

I am getting through this week on the bare minimum. I haven't done anything with my hair other than pull it up. I went to hockey last night and stood there for an hour. I asked my dad to sell my Tigers/Red Sox tickets for Thursday night. Making the 20 minute trip downtown to pick up my race packet seems as arduous as navigating the Oregon Trail. 

The one thing that I don't find difficult is being on the verge of tears. Which is cool. I would have a hard time identifying something that didn't make me want to cry this week. This includes: the number of emails in my inbox, a meeting I'm attending on Friday, whether or not to go to the baseball game on Thursday, the interviews The Coach did yesterday, all commercials, booking a hotel room for Brazil, getting to hold Baby L for a few hours on Monday night and under cooking a batch of hard boiled eggs. 
 
It's hard being such a pathetic mess.

Nearly as hard as it would be to suck it up and shut up. I imagine. I've never gone that route. 


*By prepare I mean set out my outfit and finalize my playlist.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

Damn.

I am running a half-marathon on Sunday morning.

I am basically unprepared.

Oh, how simple this half-marathon sounded back in January, when I optimistically registered during the super-super-discount early signup period.

I am definitely missing my sister, Meg, as a training partner. She isn't running this year because:
1. She didn't want to run this year.
2. Then she booked a trip to Mexico to guarantee that she wasn't running.
3. Plus she has that heart thing going on, too. (She's spending the next month wearing a heart monitor to record what's going on.) 

Turns out that training by yourself is sort of a bummer.

It isn't that I haven't run. But I haven't run enough.

I have done a woefully bad job of fitting long runs into my nonexistent training schedule. I will be fine up to mile 9 or 10. After that...things could get interesting.

(I am mostly just hoping that my body magically remembers how to do this.)

There's not really much that I can do about it at this point besides pack my body full of carbohydrates (never a problem) and pick out a cute outfit.

I'll live. I'll finish. I'll be disappointed if it takes me longer than it did last year. And, if it does (and it probably should), I'll use that disappointment as motivation to sign up during the super-super-discount early signup period again and maybe learn from my mistakes this time around.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Birthday!

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with my extended family. We ate a lot and watched football (no need to talk about how the UM game turned out, thankyouvery much) and also had cake and pie.
 
So now I'm officially done celebrating my 31st birthday.
 
And now I will be obnoxious and tell you about a few of my favorite birthday gifts.
 
Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed got me a Maya Brenner initial necklace. I am totally in love with it and paranoid that I am going to break it.
 

Mine has an A and it is lovely.


Boots! Necessary.

The Urban Decay Naked 2 pallette. I get a lot of use out of the original, so. Makes sense.


Meg bought me funky running shoes because she's always trying to help me be a little cooler. (Tough job.)


And my mother picked out this dress for me. Books! I thought it was a little too kitchy at first but, really, even if it is too kitchy I must own it anyway.


That's what the print looks like (on someone else) up close.

It's a little cheesy. I don't know if I can wear it to work. Except that I have to wear it to work. (Bonus: I could not care less about what anyone I interact with at work thinks of what I wear.)

With my new boots and new makeup and new necklace but probably minus the running shoes.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Deep Breath

I won't claim to have this new job figured out.
 
But I've figured out what I need to do if I am going to stay here and be effective and not burn out within a few years.
 
I need to breathe.
 
I need to go to the gym at lunch.
 
I need to sneak off to the beach and get sand in the folds of my dress because it is sunny outside and Lucy's there with the babies and a cup of coffee.
 

I need to take quiet lunches on the deck at Mom and Dad's house.

 
I need chill nights on the couch. Nights with yoga pants. Nights where I bounce my attention between the soccer game playing on the television and The Coach's game playing on my laptop.
 


If I'm going to do this, if I am going to have a job that's high in stress and responsibility, if I'm going to get anything done and if I'm going to be proud of what I accomplish: I need to breathe.

And spend significant time getting perspective via cute babies.

And wear yoga pants. Frequently.

But mostly I need to breathe.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Winning & Losing with The Coach

The Coach's job is an interesting dynamic between us.

I'm just really noticing it this year, now that I'm (finally) less stuck in my head and less endlessly paranoid that he's going to disappear into thin air.

His job, on the weekends, at least, is very black and white. You win. You lose. (Sometimes you tie.)

It's really weird, knowing if he's had a really, really good day at work or a really, really bad day at work. And knowing that without even having to ask him. (I always see the box score or the result reported on Twitter long before he's through with his post-game duties.)

He doesn't talk all that much about his team or his games. He mentions things in passing. He answers the questions that I ask. But he doesn't delve deep into his coaching philosophy or a game strategy or anything like that. I assume he saves that for a few of his very best friends, the ones who are also coaches and, like, would understand. Or his assistant coaches. Or his team. But not me.

And that's cool. I haven't really taken the time to explain the Dewey Decimal System to him, either.

But I get the gist. I watch his games when they are broadcast. I read the newspaper articles. He gives me the overview of what's going on. I don't know it all but I know enough.

I certainly know how much he cares. I know how much he wants his team to be exceptional, unbeatable, feared.

I know enough to realize when he's going to be really wrapped up in preparation for a really big game. I know enough to anticipate when he's going to take a loss especially hard. And I know him well enough to anticipate how he's going to act in the days leading up to a big game or just after a disappointing loss.

Slowly, he's becoming less of a mystery.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The game of life

Lucy recently sent me a simple, sweet thank you.

She was sending out thank you notes for all of the new baby gifts they had received but my thank you wasn't for anything specific. Just one of those nice, thoughtful thank you cards that reminds you of why you bother to write your own thank you cards.



I have looked at that last line, "we can't wait to return the favor," a dozen times over.

I often feel silly, being so far behind Lucy in the game of life. I look at what she has and I compare it to what I have and I can't help but feel like I've done something terribly wrong. I don't have my own doting husband. Or my own wild toddler. Or my own cuddly infant.

I wouldn't describe my feelings as jealousy. I am genuinely happy for Lucy. She deserves every bit of joy and love that she has in her life. But I am a little confused. How did she get there and I stayed here? What did I do wrong?

I should just be patient. It has been a lifelong pattern that most major milestones take me longer to achieve. I was riding with training wheels long after my classmates had taken them off of their bikes. I was too tiny for the juniors department when my friends started shopping at 5-7-9. Eventually, I rode my bike without training wheels. Eventually, I could fit into the cheap, trendy, hideous clothes that all of the other girls in middle school were wearing.

Eventually, I'll catch up to Lucy.

Sometimes, I remind myself that the staggered nature of our lives might have preserved our friendship. If I were also jugging an infant and a headstrong toddler, how could we ever manage to have lunch out? If I had a husband at home, would I be spending my Friday nights binging on brownies and television shows in Lucy's living room?

Lucy's life is crazy right now and, eventually, it will settle down. Whether or not mine will take on that same loveable chaos that is a house full of young children and an imperfectly perfect husband is anyone's guess.

I hope so.

I hope she has the chance to return the favor.

Because this side of the coin is wonderfully rewarding, too.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Maybe that's the problem

A few weeks ago, my cousin/roommate Liz and I spent a morning stretched out on the couch in matching states of disheveled messes, drinking coffee and having a long talk about how lethargic and pathetic and otherwise exhausted we felt.

We arrived home at about the same time yesterday. I had been at soccer and then at my mom and dad's house and then at Trader Joe's. I had just started unpacking groceries when Liz came home. She stood with me in the kitchen for a nanosecond before heading straight to the couch.

"You couldn't make it any further?" I teased her from the kitchen. She was sitting in the dark, tooling around on her phone. Her feet were up and she was clearly not going anywhere.

"I still feel so sluggish," she whined, referring to that conversation we had a few weeks back.

"I know." I came in from the kitchen and sat down on the floor. "I was just talking about that with my mom today. I said 'Mom, I am always so tired.' She said maybe it was the weather change. But I was tired long before the weather change. She asked if I was depressed. I don't feel depressed. She asked if I am overly stressed from my new job. I don't feel overly stressed. I just feel tired all the time."

"I wondered if I was depressed, too," Liz mused. "I don't think that I'm depressed."

"Maybe there's a carbon monoxide leak in the house."

Liz reminded me that there's a carbon monoxide detector.

"Maybe we both have mono. Maybe you infected the house with mono!" Liz has been dating a lot, so I was happy to pinpoint the suspected outbreak of the kissing disease on her.

We laughed at the idea.

"But..." Liz hesitated. "Maybe this is just what getting old feels like."

Liz is just eight months older than me. I wouldn't say that we're even close to being in the same place in our lives but, biologically, we're about the same. 31 and...slowing down?   

"Oh."

And then, sore from the soccer games I played earlier in the day, I struggled back to standing.

Enough said.

Friday, October 04, 2013

It's Friday and I'm all over the place!

Questions, questions, give me your questions: I like to do a little Q&A every once and a bit. Is there anything that I've been avoiding that you're curious about? Did I let something drop and you want to know the conclusion? Can't sleep without knowing what size shoe I wear? Leave me your Qs in the comments; I'll dole out the As next week.

Sand and babies: We've had absolutely gorgeous weather this week. I haven't had much time to enjoy it. Yesterday, Lucy invited me to meet her and the boys at the beach that isn't far from my office. We sat on a blanket and Baby A pointed out ducks and filled a cup with rocks and we drank coffee and it was perfect. I went back to work gritty with sand (I needed to get my dress dry cleaned anyway) and so damn content.

Looking at it in black and white: When I was skimming through posts from the last year, I was really struck by what I wrote about The Coach and how I framed things with The Coach around this time last year. It was different. And I know that I keep mentioning that, how things between us feel better and less scary and more secure, but I was making that observation based on my memory and my gut feeling. It was affirming to read blog posts from last year. It made it pretty clear that I'm not just being really optimistic this time through. That it is better. Concretely better. 

Meg update: She has a hole in her heart. It's scary and at the same time it's somewhat comforting to know what the problem is so that her doctors can work on a plan to get it fixed.

Speaking of Meg: Did I mention that she got a dog this summer? He is cute and sweet and so well-behaved that he's in the process of getting certified as a therapy dog. Meg brings him to her clinic and her patients all love him. I do, too.


Work neighbors: Lucy starts her new job next week. Our offices are less than a mile apart. And, to really bring it all full circle, the exact middle point between our offices is the dive bar that we regularly frequented in our early 20s. Who would have ever guessed?

Trouble: Lucy's mom when she pointed out where her office was in relation to mine. "That's trouble." Trouble indeed. We're restricting lunches out to twice a month. And we have grand plans for coffee dates and lunchtime trips to Target and becoming intimately familiar with the selection at the cute little bakery downtown. 

Countdown: I run my fourth half-marathon in 16 days. I am not feeling unprepared but I also don’t feel like I am as trained up as I should be. I am interested to see how it turns out. Maybe the lower mileage will do me a favor. Maybe I’ll crash at Mile 10.

Friday night: yoga pants, Grey’s Anatomy, The Coach’s game via the wonders of the interwebs, nail polish and Nutella brownies.

Reminder: Questions. Gimme.

Request: Have a great weekend, you guys.  

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

All Smiles

I woke up this morning to the sweetest email.


It set me up for an awesome day.

I arrived at work to the sweetest Facebook post from my very best friend.



It feels very validating to be important to someone who is so important to you.

Today is my birthday and what a birthday this is turning out to be.

Every time I turn around, there's another reason to smile.

Meg surprised me with doughnuts and cider from the cider mill.

And Grandma stopped by with cookies.

While we had already celebrated my birthday, Lucy brought me Nutella brownies. And my two favorite little boys. And out to lunch, where Chet met us and I shared an ice cream sundae with Baby A. 

There were flowers.

And cards.

And a very unexpected birthday gift mailed straight to my office.

I expected a quiet birthday. I was okay with a quiet birthday. I celebrated with my family over the weekend. Lucy organized festivities for Monday night. I booked myself a massage and called it good.

I got a lot more than good.

I got a lot of reminders that a lot of people really love me.

Plus a lot of sweets.

This year is starting out right.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The End of 30

I turn 31 tomorrow.

I am not good at wrapping up an entire year, assigning meaning to it and identifying how I grew and what I learned and how I'm a little better than I was 365 days ago.

What I am good at, if I may say so myself, is blogging consistently. I have a good record of the last year and, when it comes to me, there's no better way to look back at a year than to look back at how I wrote about it.

Indulge me?

October: My dad got a concussion, I got pissed at my parents. I ran a half-marathon.

November: I voted for Obama (and had an election night party). I turned down a job offer. Lucy told me she was pregnant.

December: The Coach was home for Christmas. I got a really awkward present from a coworker. I shared my favorite short story with one of my favorite people.

January: I helped Lucy throw Baby A's first birthday party. I read my favorite book of my 30th year.

February: The Coach made an unexpected trip home. I had anxiety. And a really cute Valentine's Day date.

March: I was attacked by my bra. I interviewed for a job that they still haven't filled.

April: The Coach and I hit a milestone. I tried to start thinking positively. (And, you know, the year sort of improved at that point. Go figure.) I took Grandma to her first yoga class.

May: Kentucky Derby Road Trip Extravaganza.

June: I analyzed text messages. I spent a lot of time with The Coach but didn't write much about it. I quit my job.

July: I started my new job. I fell in love with my sweet nephew. The Coach left for the third time (fifth if you count Christmas).

August: I wrote about how things with The Coach felt good and different. I hung out with Justin Timberlake. And I vacationed with Lucy and Chet and an exciting cast of characters

September: I analyzed more text messages. I wrote about how things were going well with The Coach (and then, of course, he pissed me off a few days later and I wondered if I was imagining it all but I wasn't). Meg and I took a road trip. I got obsessed with working out at lunchtime.

A lot of things happened in the last year.

A lot of things didn't.

But you can't say that I stood still.

You can't say that I didn't learn.

You can't say that I don't have a lot of good memories.

You can't say that I'm not a little happier and a little wiser and a little better at being me.

You can't say that it was a waste.

Thanks, 30. You treated me well. 
 
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