Holidays, sick days, snow days — they all combined to throw the second half of January wildly off track. But we’re back to a five-day work week (this week, at least), the colds are gone (for now), and the snow that was potentially in the forecast for today didn’t materialize (in my back yard). Let’s count up our good things.
Three things I’ve loved lately:
- The HerStories Balanced Writer writing class. Almost five years after finishing grad school and running as fast as I could away from classes, I signed up for one. But this one was a pure treat, part of my plan this year to invest more in myself and my writing (see as-yet-unwritten-and-also-ridiculously-late post on my 2016 intentions for more on that). Part of doing more writing is finding the time to actually write more. So this class was less about crafting a perfect personal essay (though I hope to take a class or two on that, soon!) and more about looking at my endless to-do list and figuring out how I can make writing – and by extension, me – a higher priority on it. Judging by the fact that the back-to-back sicknesses and snow days derailed my work on the class, it’s safe to say that a) I needed the class; and b) it’s all still a work in progress, but I loved the intentionality that the class brought to how I approach my writing. First step: getting up from my desk for lunch at least once a week to read or work on a piece of writing at a nearby coffee shop. I even bought myself a new laptop sleeve so I can bring my laptop to and from work more easily. Now, will I hold myself to it?
- A Friday Night Lights reunion!?! No, it’s not the long-hoped for movie (which appears to be dead in the water), but the Austin ATX Television Festival is hosting a reunion 10 years after the show’s start. I do love Austin (and Riggins and Coach and Landry, but not Lyla or Becky). Wonder if there’s any way for me to be there…
- Barre. I went into a gym (of sorts) and didn’t get struck by lightning! It’s been a long four years without any kind of regular workout routine, and it’s time to get back in the game (see, also, above-mentioned intentions post). I’m planning to get back to running, but I need something else to rediscover the muscle tone that’s gone missing. Enter barre, a Pilates- and ballet-inspired strength training class. I bought and signed up for a bunch of classes and enlisted a friend to go with me, knowing that investing the money and making a commitment to a workout buddy would get my butt off the couch when all I really want to do is watch HGTV. I freaking love it – not only the class itself, but that I have a dedicated time for something that’s good for me every week. And someday, when I find my missing muscle tone, my legs will like it too.
Three things I’ve learned:
- How generations get their names. This showed up in my Facebook feed a day after I remembered that millennials used to be called Generation Y. I especially appreciated that it attempts to name MY sub-generation, which bridges Gen X and the Millennials. I never fit neatly into those BuzzFeed quizzes. The Atlantic suggests “Generation Catalano,” after My So-Called Life. YUP. Because Jared Leto and Claire Danes will always be Jordan Catalano and Angela Chase first.
- Yay for sarcasm! Hmm, I wonder why stories about how awesome sarcastic people keep appearing in my feeds? It couldn’t be that these damn algorithms are on to me, could it? According to these, we (we being the cuttingly sarcastic) are successful, creative, and have good brain health. Obviously. We are also disproportionately from the north (yup), appreciate people who both tolerate our smart-ass comments and lob them back (yup), and are sometimes seen as playful but also hostile (whoops, yup). This explains a lot.
- Metallica’s James Hetfield just got his Ph.D in astrophysics. Um, what? The guy who I used to watch on Headbangers’ Ball on Saturday nights? There’s some sort of Enter Sandman reference to be made here, but maybe I’d need a doctorate to put my finger on it.
Three things I’ve been grateful for:
- A flexible job. Between sick days and snow days (and some that overlapped), the last two weeks of January were brutal on our schedule. School and daycare may have closed, but work didn’t – which meant that I was up early, editing late, and trying to cram in conference calls during nap time. Not the vision of hot-cocoa-and-movie-filled, idealized snow days of my imagination. I complained about it then – and I’ll complain about it again when the next robo call announcing a school closure comes – but I’m grateful to have a job that enables me to work from home and at odd hours to make up the time, and a team that understands that sometimes snotty noses and playing in the snow have to come first.
- Adele. Katie hates her carseat. Actually, she hates being restrained in any shape or form, but especially in seats. This fact makes the otherwise-quick trip to and from daycare just as delightful as you’d imagine. It turns out, however, that my girl, like so many of us, has a sweet spot for Adele. Cue “Hello” at full volume, on repeat. People who see me rocking out as I roll to a stop in the next lane over: I have no shame if it means my kid isn’t screaming. And if she’s still screaming, I need the music even more.
- The moon shot to cure cancer. I know curing cancer isn’t a one-size-fits-all event, and it won’t happen during a press availability with the Vice President. But I appreciate that the President took time out of the State of the Union, with Joe Biden, still grieving the loss of his son, right behind him, to bear witness to the hardship and sorrow that cancer has brought to every family I know. Including mine, too much. I appreciate that Joe Biden is committed to making curing cancer a priority – not just now, in the last year of this administration, but for the rest of his days. And I appreciate the many, many advances that are already happening in the field of cancer research. But we can do more – so, so much more – especially for kids, and for people with metastatic cancer. Let’s do it.
What have you loved, learned, and felt grateful for lately?