Blogging vs. Real Life: Sometimes Real Life Wins

Things have been busy around here! Between wrapping up the last two weeks of teaching the 6-week summer program, day trips and weekend activities, and a girls’ trip to Nashville, I got a little behind on my blog. I really try to stay on top of the posts, but sometimes real life gets in the way, whether it’s in the form of a grading marathon, or a relaxing afternoon at a winery, or endless lesson planning. All three, plus many more, present good reasons to put the little ol’ blog on the back burner until more time opens up. Don’t fret: next week I will return with the next coffee shop post on Slipstream near Logan Circle. But this week, I am planning and gathering my materials for the Fall semester, which starts on the 31st.

The whole planning process takes a lot more time than expected. There are so many layers. First, you have to decide what’s due when. Then what reading to do on certain days. Then what overarching activities and objectives you want to accomplish. Then what you will actually do to accomplish those activities and objectives. It’s borderline overwhelming. In many respects, it feels exactly like this:

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At the same time, I love organizational tasks, so I don’t really mind.

With summer drawing to a close, I’m sad about the impending coldness and weekends full of grading, but glad that I was able to make the most of my summer over the past few weeks. Also, there are fall leaves already. WTF?!?!

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Having Rahul here PERMANENTLY is amazing, because we not only get to see each other every day, but we can enjoy our weekends together. We’ve explored our city a bit more, drunk wine and “listened” to a 90s cover band with friends (the band was far away and mostly illegible), visited the beach for our engagiversary, celebrated multiple friends moving away (with joyfulness and sadness), saw “The Book of Mormon” at the Kennedy Center (so funny!), and much more. In doing so, I’ve marked off a few things from my DC area to-do list, which included going to the beach in Maryland, going wine tasting in Virginia, and seeing as many plays as possible at The Kennedy Center.

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I also enjoyed a fabulous weekend with some of my dearest friends in Nashville. The weekend officially kicked off our wedding countdown–less than 100 days to go! It was amazing to spend some quality time with my best gals, while also dancing it up all over Nashville. Country music everywhere! We stayed in a house for the weekend, which I highly recommend to anyone visiting the Nashville area. We were in East Nashville, which is an easy and cheap Uber ride to the city. Plus, we had space to spread out and hang during downtime.

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Now that I’ve entertained you with details about my fabulous life, I promise to return to my regularly scheduled programming next week.

 

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The truth about being a chronically late person…

…is that you’re always hoping for a miracle.

I’m not talking like John Green’s Paper Towns, where Quentin believes Margo is his one miracle in life. I’m talking, “crap-I-left-10-minutes-later-than-I-meant-to-why-I-am-surprised-by-that-oh-here’s-hoping-I-still-get-to-work-on-time” kind of miracle.
I will say, though, that I’ve had several trips to Target/CVS/Safeway/ etc that were exactly like the Paper Towns’ characters’ speedy trips to gas stations, except with one crucial difference: my trips were speedy because I was making them before class when I really didn’t have time.

As a chronically late person, I’m constantly hoping for some kind of time miracle where I miraculously get to work five minutes early, even though I left 10 minutes late. I’m constantly hoping that some kind of time warp thing will happen and I’ll get to my class with plenty of time to spare to leisurely look over my class notes for the day, or write on the chalkboard. I’m constantly hoping that time will play its tricks, as time does, and I’ll be able to walk to class at a normal pace instead of an awkward mix of speed walking and hopping.
As a reminder, this awkward mix of speed walking and hopping is exactly how I fractured my leg this past February. While walking to my first class. While (sort of) late. I’m definitely doing this to myself.

As I constantly route and reroute my travel to and from work, looking for the quickest and easiest drive that day, I’ve begun to realize something: as a 28-year-old adult, I still don’t understand how time works. I’ll usually set a goal leaving time and, even though I know I have to be out the door in thirty minutes, or 45 minutes, or whatever, I lie to myself about the time. I let myself eat lunch slowly, or prep dinner for that night, or try to finish grading a paper, forgetting that a leaving time of 1:20 means out the door by 1:20, not “oh crap, it’s 1:20, let me run around the apartment like an idiot to collect my stuff so I can leave.” I’m usually out the door five to ten minutes after my goal leaving time. Three on a lucky day.

Then, because this has happened before (not a lot), I hope for a time miracle as I drive to work. I hold out hope that ten extra minutes will pop up somewhere, forgetting that all of this is contingent on traffic, other cars, and other people in general. Which all points to one very simple thing:

I’ve got to slow down.

Even though I can lollygag with the best of them, I usually jampack my day with to-do lists. I really try to prioritize the to-do lists but, on some days, I have a hard time keeping an order straight and try to accomplish several things at once. This morning, I let bleach soak in my shower while I vacuumed and checked my email. I’m often on my phone (even if it’s just Instagram or WWF) during a movie or TV show, trying to get two things done at once. I multi-task and try to soak every second out of every hour to make sure I’m not wasting time.

And then I drive to school like an idiot, hoping that extra time will appear.

Anyone struggle with the same problem? Do you have suggestions on better time management? I’m not talking like “lay out your outfit the night before” or “just leave earlier, dummy.” Like, for real advice on looking at time realistically and not Katherine-ally.

Using planners and to-do lists has started to organize my mind a little and help me manage my time in a more realistic way. I’ve loved Erin Condren planners for YEARS, even though they’re a bit pricey. The “get it done” zebra notepad is a new purchase and I LOVE IT. Every time I look at it, I chuckle at the little zebra essentially telling me to get my shit together. 

Rifle Paper Co. // Erin Condren 

 

I always knew Andy Dwyer was my Spirit Animal

I recently started a 6-week summer job, which means I’m back in my office for office hours. Those first office hours always seem to drag on, as most students don’t come to office hours the day after their first session and I have no papers to grade yet. So, what did I do to pass the time? In addition to some class planning and other busy work, I took this quiz, of course.

I answered truthfully instead of trying to manipulate the outcome (it’s so easy to get the result you want on these stupid quizzes), so the fact that I got Andy Dwyer means A LOT. What does it mean, exactly? It means that ANDY DWYER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL.

I loved Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy, but Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer is still my favorite thing. I think it’s awesome that he has found such success as an action star–just like it’s amazing the success that Melissa McCarthy has found after “starting out” on GG–but goofy, good-natured, hopelessly helpless (most of the time) Andy is my favorite character.

PLUS, HE IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. Here’s how I know, expressed in GIF form, of course.

When I’m running in a 1,000 degree heat for the half marathon my friend Cassie and I signed up to run in September: 

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Why we decided to train for a race in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SUMMER, I will never know. Or, better yet, why the marathon people decided to hold a race that forces participants to train in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SUMMER.
In all honesty, my runs have actually been very frustrating lately. Like, discouraging to the point that I dread a run, which has never happened before. Sure, I’ve not wanted to run sometimes, but I’ve never dreaded it. The only way I was FINALLY able to run three miles yesterday without stopping was by watching “Parks & Rec” on TV. 

When I explain to anyone that will listen (because I talk a lot) why I’d never be able to do any of those crazy diets because I love cheese too much:

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Seriously. I love cheese. And diets are stupid. (Tell that to Katherine who ate pizza twice on Saturday…#oops #noregrets)

Whenever I surprise someone with my intellect:

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Whenever I try to do anything related to technology in anyway: 

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Technological related things Rahul has had to help me with in the past: losing my entire iTunes library, not being able to figure out how to set up new pages on WordPress, signing up for HBOGo and then not being able to access it on my computer, getting locked out of my Verizon account, 1,000 other things I can’t think of right now…he’s very patient when it comes to me and my lack of technology knowledge.

Whenever I try to do things in general: 

anigif_enhanced-11666-1406775913-1OK, I’m maybe not THIS bad, but I have broken two wine glasses this year, a plate, spilled my water bottle in my bag and on student papers more times that I can count, broken a fourth of the blinds in my apartment (they’re really crappy blinds!), and other general problems.

When I realize how frustrated I am at my current lack of creativity:

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This is actually a serious, legitimate one. I’ve been in a major creative rut lately. I can’t seem to land on a story idea that I like enough to keep writing. Also, all of my recent ideas have become too long, and I really, REALLY just want to write some short stories right now until I feel up to finishing my thesis project, which is a novel-length project. I feel like I used to have SO MANY story ideas and, lately, I’ve had nothing. It’s very frustrating and upsetting and makes me question my abilities as a writer. A lot of the stories I’ve started recently start to feel POINTLESS because I don’t know where they’re going or what to do with them. Plus, all of my plot lines become too serious and too bizarre, and I just want simple storytelling. I loved the first season of the TV show “Broadchurch” (seriously, go watch it now if you haven’t) for many reasons, but one of the main reasons I loved it was because of the last episode. The whole season centers around a young boy’s death in a really small town, where everyone knows everyone. Thus, the idea of a killer among them was hard for the townspeople to grasp. Instead of the show leading up to a serial killer or killing someone to cover up a secret (kind of like in “The Killing”), the death was caused by pure human error. It was caused by a character who was experiencing something he didn’t fully understand, which caused him to do something he never expected to do. I’m speaking cryptically because I don’t want to give anything away, but I LOVED this about the show. Even though the mysteriousness of his death kept me watching, I loved (I can’t stop saying that word) that his death was caused by humanity, in a sense. So, all of that to say, I’m trying to find a way to do that in my writing, and it’s hard. And it makes me feel like the above gif. Sigh.

Whenever I try to explain science-related things:

anigif_enhanced-21527-1406774805-3 (2)Also, on a related note, I love snacks. Written while I shovel popcorn into my mouth. I LOVE this popcorn but I can’t find it in my grocery store anymore, but their website says it should be in stock there…LIES!

Whenever I miss Bella and try to convince Rahul we need a cat:

Plo5yPpBecause cats are the best…

Whenever I’m at the grocery store and I forget the difference between 1% milk and skim (read: every time):

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Whenever I drive in D.C. and get upset at the terrible, mean, type-A drivers who clearly all have more important places to be than anyone else on the road and I consider throwing my  car into the Potomac (because I have superpowers like that):

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Whenever I accidentally find myself in a conversation about politics or anything government related: 

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Lastly, whenever I’m freaking out about my medical complications, which happened a lot this past year. 

I used the phrase “they took my blood away for science” WAY too many times. But hey, it kept me laughing during my super anxious moments, as did this!

Source for above GIFs: NBC via Imgur & Buzzfeed.

 

 

Turning the “when” into “if”

I’ve always been sort of a high strung person. While I’m not as vocally expressive as others–i.e., I don’t like to make waves–I definitely need a schedule to function, even if it’s a loose one. When I wake up in the morning, I like to know what I have planned for the day and what I need to do. I’m a list maker, and I love crossing items off my to-do list. Nothing bothers me more than a neglected to-do list (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get what I mean), because then I feel super unproductive–even if I actually got a lot done, or did something enjoyable with my day.

Another way of describing this part of my personality can be best expressed through Lorelai Gilmore. fb3e2850-bb5b-0131-4878-6e98995d6e3eWe’re totes twins, as 95% of other fans of the show claim.

I say all of this to prepare for the rest of the post. Even though I’m high strung, I never really considered myself an anxious person. Sure, I would get nervous if I realized I forgot to lock the car door, or if I realized I put my laundry on the wrong setting. Minute things. But as far as overwhelming, mind-controlling anxiety, I didn’t really struggle with. Until this year.

A few things happened that contributed to my heightened anxiety. For the first time ever, I was ONLY working, which was an adjustment period, even if I was excited. Last year, I moved to a new place, which (again) is exciting, but it was further away from my friends in the area. But the tipping point was when I fell in February and fractured my ankle.

I consider myself a pretty well-adjusted person, so when I realized the leg I had been walking on for two weeks was fractured, not sprained (thanks, first doctor), I took the news in stride. I understood what it meant, and I was able to acknowledge the next steps necessary for recovery. This didn’t stop me from breaking down in tears in Perkins with my parents, or having fears of never walking again (my brain went nuts), or any number of irrational fantasies. Luckily, my mom came to MD with me and was able to help me get around, which helped tone down many of my irrational fears. I was doing OK, until…

I visited the ortho for a check-up, told him about a pain in my leg, got an ultrasound, and ended up in the ER because of a blood clot. Let me tell you, guys–I have not cried that hard in months. I was literally breaking down in the waiting room because I literally couldn’t wrap my mind around what was going on. A blood clot? What? This was something I had never worried about in my life, ever, and suddenly I was sitting in the ER because of one, listening to doctors tell me about blood thinner medications, and getting CAT scans to make sure my lungs were clot free.

Even though I didn’t express it this way at the time, I can understand now what happened. Something I had never worried about was suddenly consuming my  life. What other things that I’ve never worried about could pop up next? What did I need to prepare myself for?

And then, like knocking over a witch’s cauldron (bad metaphor, let’s just move past it), my brain was FLOODED with anxieties and worries. I spent hours reading online forums about DVTs (blood clots). I cried on the phone to Rahul, to my mom when she flew back up to stay with me (because she’s awesome). I would have to stop grading to have intense thinking sessions about what the DVT meant and what the blood thinner was doing in my body. I put off taking Xarelto by one day because there was no antidote if I ever started bleeding a lot and only felt mildly okay taking it after talking to Rahul, Rahul’s dad (both doctors), and hearing advice via my mom through my aunt and uncle, who are both nurses. In the midst of freaking out about what was going on in my body, I fed the anxiety monster that had taken over my mind with several full meals many times a day. I let the anxiety win. Suddenly, I was imagining what would happen if I happened to cut myself cooking, or if I got in a car accident, or if someone mugged me on the street. Bad circumstances at any point, sure, but a thousand times worse while on a blood thinner.

I just finished my course of medication, and I’ve moved away a bit from the initial panicking. I have my follow-up appointment this week, and will probably get another ultrasound image to check in on the clot, even though it’s not required. If the xarelto did its job, my body should be clot free. Since receiving the initial news, I’ve done certain things to help my anxiety: I stopped reading medical forums. I (tried) to stop overwhelming conversations with friends about the medicine, because I was only doing it to make myself feel better (again, feeding the anxiety monster). Rahul has helped a lot, because he won’t engage in conversations that are purely motivated by my anxiety. What he’s doing, and what every person who struggles with anxiety needs, is providing support through not engaging my anxious self. Anxiety often pushes you to place certain needs, thoughts, etc, over others, and most of the time, they’re irrational fears, or things not related to the present. Also, for any person who has ever read up on anxiety, you know it’s often future-focused. Most anxiety is stoked by concerns about future problems, not present realities.

Through all this, one thing has stuck with me. One thing that reared its ugly head when I became convinced that I would majorly injure myself while taking the blood thinner; that popped up the other day when I became convinced I had appendicitis; that shows up every night when I check my locked door: the WHEN. Lately, my thoughts have been consumed by not “if” something happens, but “when” it will happen. And through all of it, I’m amazed by the powerful hold anxiety has on the mind, because it’s all mind-related. The minute appendicitis pops in my mind, it becomes “WHEN I get this.” WHEN I get into a car accident on 495. WHEN my apartment catches on fire. WHEN the blood clot lets go and travels. WHEN I fall while running and break another bone. Some are based on some level of reality–i.e., the blood clot concern. But most of them are severely irrational, and only cause my anxiety to increase by the thousands.

I know anxiety is mind over matter. It’s controlling your emotions, it’s refusing to feed the monster. But, you guys, it’s hard. It’s hard when it’s so simple to feed that monster just a little bit, just a bite. But it never works that way. It’s like opening a bag of salt & vinegar kettle chips: once you have one, you have to have 25 more. Anyone that struggles with anxiety knows what I’m talking about, and how unhealthy this is. Also, anyone that struggles with anxiety understands the upsetting confliction of being able to understand what’s going on in your mind, and understand what you need to do to stop it, but not being able force yourself to take the leap.

Instead of leaps, it’s much easier to start with baby steps.


I really like this quote from the clip: “All I have to do is take one little step at a time and I can do anything.”

In the baby steps I’ve taken since receiving the blood clot news, I’ve been able to, for the most part, successfully squelch my need to do certain things, like look up medical advice online, or talk about my health problems with everyone under the sun. Amazingly, once a few days pass without doing the thing, the desire passes. It alleviates. Of course, I could reignite it by one simple Google search, but now I’m removed enough to tell myself I have the option NOT to do so, and I feel okay about it. Also, I think about it this way: how easy it is to strike a match, start a fire, but how hard it is to put one out. The same applies for feeding my anxiety, and I’m slowly, slowly (baby steps!) choosing not to do so.

The big thing I’m working on right now is changing the when back to if. I’m reminding myself that just because it happened with a blood clot doesn’t mean it will happen with everything. The terrible part about the blood clot was how blindsided I was: suddenly, I was in the hospital, learning about blood thinners, hemoglobin tests, staying away from sports and heavy drinking; all these things that were literally so far from my radar the day before. I was scared, most of all by how unaware I had been. I’m trying to remind myself that that isn’t the case with everything. Just because I was blindsided by this doesn’t mean the rest of my life will be terrible. This one incident doesn’t mean my life will become a series of “whens.”
Plus, I’ve made a deal with God, or whoever is listening, that the first half of this year can suck, and that first half ends tomorrow on June 30. I would really like the second half of this year to be awesome. So, a deal is a deal. 

 

Looking Back at my 25 Year Old Goals as a 28 Year Old

For the past little while, I’ve noticed that a blog post from 2012, 25 Life Goals from a 25 Year Old, has been getting a lot of viewership. I don’t know the reason for this, because I also don’t fully understand how the internet works. Either way, I thought I’d revisit these goals, written a little over three years ago, to see which ones I’m sticking to, which ones I think are completely bonkers (or don’t make sense), and any new goals I have.

Reading a three-year old post was delightful and entertaining. These goals are definitely the ones of a young, optimistic person. There’s nothing wrong with them, but many of them seem a little too hippy-dippy for my current state. Some also seem crafted and written specifically for a blog post, instead of realistic, true goals. Again, nothing wrong with that, but if I had written this today, I would have surely used different language.

Something I’ve realized in the three years since I turned 25 is that life is magical and ever-evolving. After turning 25, I experienced a life crisis of sorts. In college, 25 seemed so old. I expected to have everything figured out by 25 and that I would basically be a billionaire living on the ocean in an exotic country or something. Since turning 25, I’ve adjusted my worldview and come to understand that life is often a slow burn (in a good way) and that things take time. Also, I’ve realized that age is just a number. Sure, there are certain things that I should be doing by 28–like saying thank you, or doing things I want to do, and a handful of other things on this list–but most of these are just general being-a-decent-person life goals. I set these goals at 25 as a reminder to myself to take ownership of my life, and that mindset is still just as prevalent today. So, in a way, they’re life goals from my 25-year-old self that I can stick to and adapt and mold for as long as I want.

New Goals:

1. Find ways to work on my anxiety. I’ve developed a lot of anxiety over the past year (thanks, fractured leg), and I’m trying to find ways to reign it in.

2. Get out of my apartment and stop wasting time. I waste so much time, especially when school is out for the summer.

3. Never get tired of my surroundings. DC is a great city, and I never want to feel like I’m just “tolerating” it.

4. Don’t underestimate or undervalue myself. I’ve had a revelation of sorts lately where I realized the reason why I hardly ever spoke in any of my classes as a student was because I was underestimating myself, not the other way around. I’m learning to value my voice more, as well as my own opinion, and finding ways to more thoughtfully engage in conversations.

5. Write write write write write!!!

The Original List: 

1. Write thank you cards. Say thank you.
I’ve done okay on this one. I usually remember to send thank you cards, and try to always say thank you when I feel genuinely thankful for someone’s help, advice, you name it. 

2. Take a moment to calm down when overly emotional. Re-consider your thoughts.
Eh. What can I say? It’s that quarter-Italian in me. My brain has this funny way of going into overdrive when I have something interesting to say, or I’m trying to make it point, and takes over my calm, rational side. 

3. Never make decisions when you’re emotional.
Again, I’ve done so-so on this one. I’m pretty impulsive by nature and when I realize I need to do something, I want to do it RIGHT AWAY! But, I have gotten more practical about my decision making, usually allowing things to sit before completely deciding. 

4. Read books for pleasure.
Yes! It’s a slow process, but I have done this one. When I made this goal, I was in the middle of my first year of my MFA, which required a total of 20 books per semester for the lit classes I was taking. Ah! The back-to-back reading turned me into a very, very slow reader, as I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing anything potentially important while reading. Let me tell you, that’s not a fun way to read. I’ve been working on bouncing back from that. I have little time to read during the school year because I’m up to my ears in papers to grade, but I’ve managed to read The Secret HistoryThe Girl on the Train, and Station Eleven, and I loved all of them. Just finished Everything I Never Told You, which was amazing. AH-MAZE-ING. This book will stick with me for a while. Do yourself a favor and add it to your reading list now. 

5. Open your windows. Go outside.
This one seems kind of silly, but I am trying to do this instead of lounging on my couch all day…which has happened a lot, unfortunately. BUT I’m finally running outside again, post-leg injury (knock on wood). I also take advantage of the apartment’s pool, as well as walking to the grocery store instead of driving. Even though it’s blazing hot, it’s nice to get outside. Plus, I have huge windows which make my apartment feel luxurious. 

6. Stop making excuses.
Eh. I’ve gotten better at this, but I still come up with the excuses in my mind, even if I don’t use them. Since I’m sort of anxious/shy by nature, I’ll often think of reasons not to do something, even if it’s just meeting friends for a drink. BUT I will say that I didn’t use my broken leg as an excuse to not grade my classes, other than for the day I was actually in the hospital. 

7. Allow yourself to have free time, even if it’s 10 minutes of coffee in the morning, 2 minutes to play Scramble with Friends, or a date with your boyfriend to watch Titanic. Don’t laugh—Rahul and I totally did this the other night.
Free time is my best friend. I probably take too much advantage of it. How else am I going to watch all of my favorite TV shows constantly? 

8. Celebrate something at least once a day, if not more.
This is hard to track. I am trying to get better about focusing on things I DO do during the day–cue Chandler Bing–instead of things I haven’t done. Doing this helps cut my anxiety and also helps me enjoy my days a little more. 

9. Catch up with a different friend once a week.
THIS IS SO HARD and I’m also really bad at it. I’m the queen of texting, but suck at phone calls. I’ve kept up with friends, but it’s more sporadic than scheduled, which is actually fine with me. 

10. Keep your attitude in check, always. Be intentional in what you say.
I’m good about this when talking with my students, but sometimes bad when talking to friends or family. Working on it! 

11.Listen to others. Take notes. Remember.
Again, another one that is so-so. I definitely haven’t taken notes (come on, 25 year old Katherine), but I do try to be a conscious, observant listener. 

12. Don’t be scared of confrontation, when necessary.
Hmm. If I was making this last now, I would change it to “Don’t be scared to hold your ground.” I definitely struggle with this in my teaching–at my core, I want to help each student be their best, but I’ve had to acknowledge and understand that it sometimes just doesn’t work that way. 

13. When you make a mistake, never, ever blame it on someone else.
I’m pretty good at this. I had a teacher in college that would never take the blame for mistakes he made (i.e., we would put something in the newspaper because he said we could, and then go back on his word, etc), so I vowed to never be like this because it’s so disrespectful and wishy-washy. 

14. Laugh at yourself.
Um, yeah. All the time. 

15. Do things YOU want to do.
Also all the time. Stay tuned for my coffee shop series to see an example of this!

16. Don’t say sorry when it’s not your fault, and do say sorry when it is.
This is a hard one, especially since I say sorry all the time for stupid reasons. 

17. Engage.
What? As in get engaged? Okay, yeah, I did that. : ) 

18. Talk to strangers, or someone you wish to get to know better.
HAHA! I’m definitely the type to have few, close friends, instead of a 1,000 friends. Of those people, I try to ENGAGE and get to know them better. I definitely don’t talk to strangers. This was definitely written by optimistic Katherine. 

19. Do things that remind you of what you love in the world.
I really try to stick to this, especially living near such an awesome city! Since writing this blog, I’ve traveled to some beautiful places (India, Paris, London, New Orleans, Provincetown, just to name a few), which definitely reminds me what I love in this world. Visiting and doing things in DC allows me to take advantage and enjoy a city I love, even if it’s just driving to the Trader Joe’s on U Street. 

20. Try new things. My recent fascination: baking and cake decorating. Sorry, Mary Beth, but I’m probably going to ask to use your kitchen a lot this summer.
Mary Beth, do you remember if this happened? I don’t know. BUT I did get into a serious baking frenzy after moving to my new apartment. My masterpiece is banana chocolate chip bread. 

21. Don’t bullshit. Ever.
I’m pretty good with this, but this is also so broad. Don’t bullshit about what? I’m not sure what I was thinking here. 

22. Embrace who you are, even if you sometimes don’t like who you are.
OH BOY. I’ve had some ups and downs in the past three years. I’ve had many moments where I didn’t like myself, and many moments where I did. However, I think that’s natural for most people. Regardless, I am working on embracing the parts of me that are inherent, and changing the things I can change. 

23. Tell people what you think of them at every chance you get, whether it’s “You’re a rockstar” or “I appreciate you” or “You inspire me” or “I love you.”
I do try to do this! If it’s my students, I let them know when they’ve done good work. I tell my family and Rahul how much they mean to me and how much I love them constantly (so they don’t forget, haha). When someone helps me out, I try to say thank you or that I’m appreciative. 

24. Don’t waste a day with a bad mood. Find things to cheer you up.
I wish I knew what this video was, but the account has been deleted! oops. But I do try to do this, although when I get in a REALLY bad mood, it’s hard for me to come out. Usually it’s because I’m freakin’ stubborn and want to sulk. 

25. Love.
Yes! 

And an extra one because I have problems with limits (even when they’re my own):

Don’t complain about things you can control. This is a MAJOR one to remember for me as of late.
OH MY GOSH, I still struggle with this SO MUCH. The kid taking too much time at the water fountain, the traffic on the way to school, you name it. I’ve really tried to work on these things and let these complaints go, because, when I do, I feel lighter and happier. But sometimes I just want to be mad at the world. 

My Favorite Moments from the “Gilmore Girls” Reunion

The original post was updated once I realized the original panel I watched was EDITED. WHAT THE HELL, EW. I have since watched the whole damn thing. 

There’s a lot of these posts going around right now, but what the heck. Since it’s already been CLEARLY established that I’m a “Gilmore Girls” fan, generation 1 (since season 2, baby!), I want to share some of my favorite moments from the ATX TV festival reunion.
Disclaimer: I’m aware of the Today show interview as well, but have not had a chance to watch it. 

First, let me establish my ethos.* This is what I teach my students, so it’s only right that I do it myself, right?

I discovered “Gilmore Girls” right at the end of its first season. If I remember correctly, I caught the very last episode of season 1 after a “7th Heaven” episode. (I know, I know, my family and I used to watch “7th Heaven,” let’s just all accept it and move on.) I don’t know why, but the show clicked with me. My soon-to-be high school self just knew it was a show I would love.6f910260-bb5d-0131-1add-120afe85a4f5So when the second season was about to start (remember that? anxiously waiting for seasons, back in the pre-Hulu and Netflix days when you couldn’t just watch the old seasons on repeat during the summer?) I told my mom I wanted to watch the show. She agreed to watch it with me and, soon, Tuesdays nights were GG nights in our household. My mom, sister, and I would gather around the TV and watch the newest episode.

One thing I wish the second generation of fans could appreciate is the true experience of watching “Gilmore Girls” as it originally aired. The anxiety of waiting between seasons 2 and 3 to see what was going to happen with Rory and Jess. The pure joy of watching season 3, knowing every episode was special and hilarious. The treat of watching the town of Stars Hollow develop and grow as the show did. When Rory graduated from high school, I had just finished the 10th grade, but I still remember my mom crying at Rory’s graduation speech and itching for that special day to arrive for me. (Even though I wasn’t valedictorian).

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The sheer pain of watching the end of season 4 and beginning of season 5 as Rory and Lorelai fought, mixed with the PURE ELATION at Lorelai and Luke FINALLY KISSING. Season 6 aired during my first year of college, and I hated the episodes where Rory and Lorelai weren’t talking, as their relationship was the lifeblood of the show. I continued to come home every week to watch the show with my mom (I went to college in my hometown), sticking by its side even as it grew weary and tired in the 7th season, it’s wind (and Amy S-P) knocked out of its sails.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who adore and love a show, yet pretend certain seasons don’t exist. Sure, season 7 is a far, far cry from the other six (watch season 7 and then go back immediately to season 1 for a hilarious treat), but it’s still part of the show. To continue on with my ship metaphor–I’ll go down with the ship even if it sinks, because I LOVE THE SHIP SO MUCH!

“Gilmore Girls” was truly a formative show for me. Obviously, I understood that the show was fiction and I lived in reality (sadly), but I grew in so many ways just from watching GG. Through listening to their fast-paced, sharp dialogue, I grew as a writer. Even now, the dialogue amazes me. Through listening to the quick-witted Lorelai and Rory, I gained a quick wit of my own (although it’s pretty rusty at times). Through absorbing the cultural references on the show, I learned about many, many different things that I would not have had access to otherwise. Even now, when I watch the show, I’ll catch a quick reference to something that I can understand and appreciate in new ways. (Plus, for you first generation fans, I totally looked through those “cultural guides” in the DVD collections.) The show was the biggest cultural impact for me as a teenager/young adult and, even now, as I realize how shitty of a boyfriend/person Dean is; as I understand how snobby and pretentious Rory became when she started Yale; as I see how thick-headed and stubborn Lorelai could be with her relationship with her parents; I LOVE THIS SHOW AND I WILL LOVE IT FOREVER.

Okay, now that my ethos is THOROUGHLY established, let’s go through some of my favorite moments from the ATX reunion. 

1.  Lauren Graham mouthing “he was in insurance? I don’t remember that” when Amy S-P stated their reasoning behind why Richard was an insurance man. Clearly, she hasn’t been marathoning the show on Netflix with the rest of us….

2. A Canadian Dean?

3. I love that 1) Milo V. called Matt Czuchry “Mattie,” 2)Matt C. and Jared P. are both team Jess, 3) Matt C. interrupted Amy S-P’s discussion about what kind of character she wanted Logan to be by saying he was “kind of a dick”, 4) Alexis Bledel refused to pick and instead talked about what good actors they were, and 5) Scott Patterson ended the whole conversation by saying “none of you are good enough for Rory.”

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THANK YOU SCOTT P. YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN REMINDED US THAT A WOMAN’S LIFE (OR, IN THIS CASE, A FICTIONAL CHARACTER’S LIFE) SHOULD NOT REVOLVE AROUND WHICH MAN IS BETTER FOR HER. THIS IS AN OLIVIA POPE SITUATION ALL OVER AGAIN:

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4. Amy S-P stating that “at least she got this” about “Gilmore Girls” and her career. Never a better reminder that we owe literally ALL of this to her.

5. Lauren Graham saying “does he have a girlfriend?” when Scott Patterson was musing where Luke was in life. The answer he gave (she comes out for fly-fishing lessons?) was so strange and also so not-Lorelai.

6. Yanic Truesdale saying he never really understood why Michel was in Stars Hollow in the first place. Ha! Good point.

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7. Liz Torres calling Stars Hollow “Scott’s Hollow.” Eh, close enough.

8. I love that Liza Weil stated she was really freaked out about the Paris character and that they created it specifically for her…watching the show, you would never know! She’s Paris through and through.

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9. Alexis and Lauren (yes, we’re on a first name basis now) whispering to each other about what happened on the first day of set to confirm before sharing. Also, even though I’ve read this somewhere else before, I still love the fact that Lauren had to essentially carry Alexis around the set to help her meet her marks.

10. Scott Patterson admitting his age, whether he meant to or not, by expressing shock that his comments on the podcast “Gilmore Guys” went viral on the internet. By saying, “it was just a little podcast,” he definitely demonstrated that he does not know how the internet works.
But I do agree with his comment that “it’s kinda time” for a TV/movie “Gilmore Girls” reunion.

11. When Kelly Bishop stated that “I know this woman” about her desire to play Emily Gilmore. Just as good as Lauren Graham stating she didn’t want ANYONE ELSE playing Lorelai.

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12. Amy S-P stating that an on-screen reunion would have to be done “right,” and then saying, “the good thing is that no one here hates each other.” Whew, I was worried.

13. They saved a seat for Edward Herrmann. Hearts.

14. Lauren Graham asking why “Oy with the poodles already” is so popular and then saying “that’s so funny” when the audience explained the phrase and its inception on the show. I especially love how Amy S-P responded with “oh, now it’s funny!” Similarly, Alexis Bledel stating “What’s copper boom?” Then pretending she remembered…seriously, the two have the same memory of filming the show that I do of high school. I.e., nothing is remembered.

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15. This statement from Keiko Agena makes me sad and laugh at the same time: “We didn’t know it [the show] was ending, I would have stole so much!” It makes me sad to be reminded that the actors didn’t know the show was ending, even though the seventh season sucked, but also laugh that the characters took things.
But seriously, though. The show could have had a “Community” style comeback, a la season 5. Dan Harmon got to come back, why can’t Amy S-P? 

16. Amy S-P stating “they would validate my parking” when asked how the show’s pitch would be received now. So true, though. With the end of shows like “30 Rock” and the move of “The Mindy Project” to Hulu and “Community” to Yahoo, it’s very clear that a show has to either be “classically” funny or created by Shonda Rhimes to make it on network television.

17. I swear, Lauren Graham is my spirit animal. When she said, “If I could stop talking about Bobby Flay, I’d say they’re [Lorelai and Luke] still together, 100%,” I knew, once again, that our babbling capabilities are equal.

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18. I loved, LOVED that Lauren stated the rift between Lorelai and Rory was hard to deal with as an actor on the show, but also that Amy S-P defended the need for the rift on the show. As she said, it was time for Lorelai to pull out the mom card and for Rory to act out. Still, so hard to watch!

19. I loved hearing Amy S-P speak a little on writing for the show, specifically on how she wrote lines and jokes for each character. Her discussions of jokes working for multiple characters not being good writing is a great reminder oh how important character development is. Plus, let’s be real, this statement of hers was a true testament to all writers everywhere:  “I’m a writer, man, it’s what I gotta do! I can’t do open heart surgery, I got no other skills. If I didn’t do that shit, who’s gonna watch the show?

20. Lastly, I’m so glad Lauren Graham put an end to the questioning about what the final four words of the show were going to be, if Amy S-P had stayed on. I was already kind of annoyed at the moderator, but I got REALLY annoyed when she asked Amy’s husband if he wanted to share the final four words.

That’s like getting a no from one parent about going out, or whatever, and then immediately turning to the other parent to hopefully get a different answer. Rude and uncalled for. I’m glad Lauren stated she didn’t want to know the last four words unless she was speaking them or hearing them spoken to her. With that comment, I believe the mother voice has spoken and we should all stop harassing them about it. I mean, also, think about it: what if the last four lines are “you’re dead to me” or something like that? Then we’ll wish we never asked to hear them in the first place.

Bonus: I had NO IDEA that there’s a GILMORE GIRLS DRINKING GAME. Also, I loved the sassy kid who asked the very last question. When Amy S-P stated she would not buy him beer, he responded “Well that wasn’t my question, thank you very much.” So much sass. So great.

That’s all, folks.

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*As further proof of my ethos, I obviously aced this quiz.

Saying Yes to the Dress: Part 1

GUYS. It has been a hot minute since I posted on this ol’ blog—55 days, to be exact. A lot has happened in those days: spring break, sending out our SAVE THE DATES, grading upon endless grading, day trips to DC with my mom,  a short hospitalization for a blood clot in my leg, an anxiety attack from said blood clot in my leg, physical therapy visits, weekend trips to New York (Soho shopping, yes please!), finishing Amy Poehler’s book, finishing Mindy Kaling’s book, watching “How I Met Your Mother” two times through, ordering HBO just to get HBOGo to watch “Veep,” starting “The Mindy Project,” job interviews, wedding planning, the list goes on…

But today, I want to write about the most exciting event of the last 47 days: FINDING MY WEDDING DRESS!

The journey to finally saying yes to the dress was a long one. My first official bridal store visit was on March 3 (Birthday Bride!), and I finally ordered THE DRESS almost a month later on April 2. During this time, my mom and I visited 12 bridal shops in 4 states, tried on countless dresses, developed a genuine distaste for excessive netting, and reached a near breaking point. Somewhere during the experience, after my third bridal store visit and before my ninth or tenth, I disappeared into a tulle-induced frenzy where I was DETERMINED to find the perfect dress. I had found a lovely dress at the 2nd store visit, but somehow convinced myself that I needed to be sure that a more perfect dress didn’t exist somewhere else. In this journey to satiate my inner voice, I tried on many dresses that were not my style at all, squeezed into size 8s and drowned in size 14s, and became more and more frustrated with the whole process. I was positive that I would find the dress while home for Spring Break and, when I didn’t, I returned home to Maryland disappointed that I would have to do the rest of the shopping by myself.

But then something miraculous happened—I spent a day in the hospital for a fractured leg-induced blood clot, after which my mom flew back to Maryland (after already spending 3 weeks with me during my hobbling stage, because she is the best) to spend another 2 weeks with me while I adjusted to a new medication and lived in an anxiety-induced fear of what was happening in my body (watching this video on repeat helped ease my mind and also laugh). While the circumstances for her return to Maryland were crappy, her second visit in 2015 meant one, very exciting thing: we could finish wedding shopping together!

We made a few more appointments in other bridal shops in Maryland, even though I was starting to get tired of the whole experience, which was kind of frustrating. Its wedding dress shopping; how can it be frustrating? I had gone into the whole experience expecting a Monica Geller moment of finding the perfect dress, complete with a “THIS IS THE ONE!” exclamation, pushing all those around me into tears immediately (ok, that last one is a bit of a stretch), with an immediate sense that this dress was going to “complete me.” But then, I had a moment of realization, plus a real talk with my BFF and countless conversations with my mother, and came to understand that I wasn’t buying a wedding dress in the movies. The ah-ha moment is fabricated, in those situations, and I also realized that I’m not even a “ah-ha” moment kind of gal. I just knew I wanted to find a dress that looked and felt amazing, and I started to push myself to hard in finding this dress.

After a few conversations about this frustration, my mom and I set an April 1 deadline for picking the dress, after our last bridal appointments in March 31. A deadline! As a former journalist and current teacher, I love deadlines, and so I latched on to this quickly. I still liked a dress I had tried on at the second bridal shop, and had tried on countless other times afterward, but I wanted to be sure.

And, despite the lengthy journey, I’m so glad I did. On March 31, we visited our last two shops. The first visit was strange—they didn’t allow you to take photos while trying on the dresses (which I know is standard in many shops, but also kind of lame) and the woman helping me made a comment about how I can “wear the wedding dress again,” to which she asked “Why do you laugh?” when I, of course, laughed at what she said. She was being totally serious and implied that I could always make a short summer dress out of the wedding dress. Acc-a-scuse-me? I’m not turning my wedding dress into craft time.

So while the first visit was a bit disappointing, the second visit was so different. Maybe it was because I knew this was our last bridal store visit, no matter what, or maybe I was just in a good mood, but this last store was lovely! Not only were we the only ones, but the dresses were spread out instead of being crammed together, which made browsing a lot easier. Because there were fewer dresses, and this was our last visit, I ended up trying on a few dresses I would have said “heck no” to at other places. Because of this, I finally had a mini-bridal moment. I tried on a dress that I normally would have turned away, and immediately and instinctively knew that this was the dress. It was very similar to the other favorite dress I had tried on several times, but upped the ante just enough to knock the other dress out of the ballpark. I tried it on twice, twirled it in, sent pictures to my sister who immediately approved, and immediately went for fro-yo afterwards to discuss the decision with my mom.

During the whole process, my mom provided the perfect balance of “this is your decision” and “that dress does/does not look like you.” She never pushed me toward a dress, while also pitching in when she could tell I was unsure about a dress I had tried on. She did intervene when I was in my tulle-induced frenzy to tell me I had gotten away from my original dress goals, which was true, and which was exactly what I needed to hear. But she didn’t hide her excitement when we actually PURCHASED THE DRESS, which was such a surreal moment for me that it took a trip to Old Navy and the mall for the realization to sink in. I had found the dress! I’m so happy that my mom was there to finish the wedding dress journey with me; it would not have been the same without her.

We found the dress at the last shop visited and bought the dress at the first shop visited, which adds a nice touch of symmetry to the whole process. Come back in a few weeks for “Saying Yes to the Dress: Part 2”, presented in list format, of course. But first, grading. And grading. AND GRADING!!!!

 

What I’ve Learned While Using Crutches

Remember when I thought I had sprained my ankle? Well, after walking on that ankle for two weeks (with a brace and then nothing), I found out I actually fractured my ankle. Great news!

I was given a boot and crutches to use and then immediately broke down in Perkins Restaurant while having breakfast with my parents. I was home for the weekend for a sorority alumni event, and my dad suggested I visit the doctor since my ankle was still quite swollen. After the nice doctor delivered the horrible news, I had flashes of never being able to walk again, of my ankle falling off, and other sorts of dramatic and wild visions. I reeled myself in a little, but was still frustrated/upset/downright pissed off that I hadn’t known it was fractured any sooner. Plus, the horrible news meant there was absolutely no way I’d be able to run the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, which I’ve run the past two years and is also my absolute favorite race. So, I let all of this emotion and general upsetness boil inside me until I started crying in Perkins, because what girl doesn’t occasionally cry in a public place?

Soon after that, my parents and I decided my mom would fly home with me, as she was flying to Maryland the next week anyway to visit me for two weeks. For that first week or so, I was heavily relying on the crutches and couldn’t get around very easily at all. While I’m sure I would have managed, having my mom here has been the BEST THING EVER! Not only because she drives me to work and basically takes care of me like I’m a small child who can’t do anything for herself (it’s hard to get around on those crutches!), but because I love when my mom comes to visit! Even though we can’t enjoy the area as much as we normally would (going on walks, venturing into DC, other walking-related activities), we’ve still had a fabulous time going to see movies (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the win!), baking delicious French meals, having long conversations, and trying out lots of wine. Oh, and the BIGGEST THING: trying on WEDDING DRESSES! AHHH! Blog post on that coming soon.

I have really enjoyed having her here with me and will be sad when she has to leave. Luckily, we are going back to TN together for Spring Break, so I get to hang out with her (and the rest of my family) for a little while longer.

And now to the title of this blog post…

What I’ve Learned While Using Crutches (and wearing a boot):

  • A lot of people will open the door for you.
  • Many people, strangers included, will say “that looks bad” or “be careful” or “oh no, I hope you feel better soon.”
    To which I want to say “I feel fine.” I’m not sick, my body is working to repair these fractured bones with what I can only assume is magic. But then I remind myself they are just trying to be nice.
  • Your students will ask how you are doing. A few will even open the car door for you, as your mom is waiting at the curb outside of school to pick you up.
    Side note: Moms, especially mine, are the best.
  • Speaking of Moms, she will take care of you and bring you coffee and help you get around and remind you to stop hopping around on your one good foot because you’re going to injure yourself some more (which I’m surprised I haven’t yet). I feel like I can’t say enough about how great it has been to have her here. The time has gone by so fast, which is great for the healing process, but not for the Mom hangout time.
  • They aren’t fun. As a kid, I always thought crutches looked fun. That’s because I didn’t have to actually rely on them to get around. Mark this down under other things I’ve stopped desiring that I once wanted in my childhood, like glasses and curly hair (oh wait, I still kind of want the last one).
  • Many people will stare. Some even point, like this woman at Trader Joe’s yesterday, who then said (loudly), “Something’s wrong with her leg.” THANK YOU FOR STATING THE OBVIOUS.
  • I really, really  can’t wait to get back to my normal mobility. I’ve started doing a Pilates 4-week challenge because I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ELSE and in my mind I’m going to gain 1,000 pounds. I’m telling you what, that creative imagination of mine is going CRAZY right now.

Overall, I have been surprised and thankful at how nice most people have been in helping me get around, even if it’s something as small as opening the door for me. A little help goes a long way.

 

Life’s Random Moments

For a long, long time, I’ve been amazed at how seemingly random life can be while also fitting together like a puzzle. What do I mean by this? Some examples: you randomly recall a scene from a movie you haven’t seen in a while, only to find it on TV later that day. A friend you haven’t spoken to in a few months pops into your mind, only to be followed by a text message or email from them soon after. While cleaning the apartment, you stumble upon a folder of random documents, only to realize you need one of the next day. See what I mean?

So yesterday when I filled my ice trays because I knew I would be making a smoothie this morning, I didn’t think anything other than “I like ice in my smoothies.” This morning, I made a banana blueberry smoothie (which was DELICIOUS, I loosely followed this recipe) and went on to my merry way to work. I was running late, of course (if you’ve been reading, you know this is a CHRONIC problem of mine), so when I parked I had just the right amount of time to get to my class.
Side note here: For the past few months, I’ve been parking at my old boss’s house near the campus. It’s free street parking, and it’s only a 10-minute walk through the woods to my classroom.
I quickly walked through the neighborhood to get to the trail through the woods. On the downhill slope to the trail, I slipped once on the pavement–for some reason, my favorite boots are very slippy when on pavement. Good combo, right? I caught myself and was just thinking “thank God I caught myself” when BOOM, I slipped again and I found myself, suddenly, on the ground.

Now, last time I fell like this, I was running through Rock Creek Park, and I had a moment of “what the hell is going on here?” This time, all I felt was pain. My left leg was screaming out in pain and I sat there for a few moments, holding my knee, simultaneously urging the pain to subside while also thinking “my class starts in 7 minutes.” Even though it hurt to move, I picked myself back up, drove to class paid for parking (there was no way I was gonna make it through the woods on my left leg) and taught my two classes.

I know. I’m a champ.

In reality, I taught my classes, but my brain was fuzzy. The immediate pain was so sharp, I thought I was going to throw up. I’ve never had a serious sports injury, so I had really no idea what to do. In class, I was in pain and distracted, and struggled remembering the names of my students. One of them gave me an ice pack, which was incredibly nice, and another offered to help me walk to the health center. So, even though I was having a real off day, they seemed to look past that and amaze me with their kindness.

Flash forward to the health center (after my awesome friend, Steve, met me at my class to drive me to the health center), where I realized in the waiting room the TRUE IRONY of the fact that I had just filled my ice trays the night before I sustained an injury that is best healed with compression, elevation, and ICE. I literally never have ice in my trays. Granted, I have frozen veggies, which work just the same, but I found myself laughing, thinking about this. Again, it’s life taking a bunch of random moments and showing how they all fit together in one, neat puzzle.
Most of the time.

I’m hoping the ankle (which is sprained) will heal soon-ish because I just started training for the Cherry Blossom 10Miler and I’m only 15 days into my 30 Days of yoga. : ( I always have a hard time not getting back on my feet when I hurt myself in any way, but Rahul is great about reminding me to care for my body now, instead of paying for it later (in the form of worse injuries).

SPEAKING OF RAHUL, today is our six-month engagement anniversary!!!! I can’t believe it has been six months! We’ve enjoyed the early stages, which were mostly filled with relaxation and enjoyment, but the next 6 months will definitely be more wedding-focused! We have our caterer, so another step down! I’m so looking forward to our slowly approaching wedding, and to marry Rahul, who puts up with everything from wedding freak-outs to ankle injury whining. He seriously is the best person ever.

February Resolutions

It’s almost February! Which means a month has passed since most new year resolutions were made, but who cares. Any time of the year can be resolution time!

That being said, I’ve been taking stock of my life lately and there’s a few things I’ve noticed:

  • I still can’t leave on time to get anywhere.
  • It takes me a lot longer to do simple things then I would like, which results in frustration.
  • How does one organize his or her life!?!?!

So let me back up. School just started this week, which is great because it helps me organize my schedule. There are places I have to be at  certain times and things I have to do, otherwise the students learn no good English. I like the teacher schedule, because it’s firm while also giving you a lot of freedom during the rest of the day. This freedom, while positive because it allows time for things like grading and lesson planning, can also be a tricky bastard. For instance: “Oh, I have a free afternoon? Time to catch up on all my TV shows!” “Oh, I have an ENTIRE DAY free? Time to do all those useless things that don’t matter, like online shop, look at Pinterest, and play the smash game on my phone!”

I say all of this because I’ve realized, lately, that while I have strong organizational skills in planning a schedule, grading a paper (usually), and following a syllabus, I suck at organizing the rest of my life. With such a free schedule, I don’t feel the push many full-time employees do to enjoy their favorite things when they can: like reading a good book, going for a run, doing a yoga class, looking up cute cats on the internet, writing the next great American novel, etc etc. I have many more free hours during the day, which gives the allusion of FREE TIME. However, a lot of that free time is consumed by grading and, because of that, I’ve been relying on the excuse “I don’t have time for this” for far too long.

Last semester, I hardly read any books, I didn’t write (for myself) at all, and I stopped running. The only thing I did with any regularity was a weekly yoga class. Other than that, I relied on my “I don’t have time” excuse to not do the things I enjoyed when, really, I DO have time. It’s just finding out how to organize it.

All that being said, my goal this semester is to make time for those little things that I enjoy, and that make me happy, while also getting my work done. I started reading for pleasure at least 30 minutes every morning (I’m reading The Secret History and, holy shit, is that book good). I’m challenging myself to do 30 days of yoga. Next week, I start training for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. I’m also pushing myself to organize my time better, so that instead of thinking of the million things I need to do (ranging from grading a paper to responding to a friend’s email) and getting overwhelmed because I want to do them all at once, I categorize by importance and immediacy and move from there. I’m hoping this will make my time feel more productive and valuable, and not like a huge mess where I’m doing a lot of stuff without really feeling accomplished.

The last thing on my list, though, is that darn “being on time” thing. I’ve been on time, but it just means me practically running to class. Plus, it’s not like I’m not ready, or get up on time: I just doddle and can’t stick to a schedule. How do you guys do it!? I NEED YOUR HELP!
Side note: I’m glad that I will only have ONE dress option on my wedding day, as the clothing choice tends to be a big part of the problem, even when I picked out my outfit the night before…