Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I am officially on vacation and very happy about it. The past week has been wild at work – three interviews last Thursday, three Tuesday, two on Wednesday, plus all of the usual work stuff. And on top of that I got a first draft of my final paper for my one remaining summer class written (12 pages, ~3700 words, 35 footnotes), which was a lot but thankfully means I don’t have to bring homework with me on our trip. Some of that writing got done because I gave myself permission to skip some classwork that will have less of an impact on my overall grade, and while I’m wrestling a little bit with that from a recovering perfectionist standpoint, I’m mostly satisfied with that decision and recognize it really was necessary to being able to unplug in the coming week.
Today is going to be a lot of packing and tying up loose ends at home, plus I have therapy this afternoon and am getting my hair cut this evening. Tomorrow we’re dropping Nova off to be boarded early in the morning, then coming back here to load up the car, and then we’re off to Song School! I am so excited. I’m going to be a wreck leaving Nova, but I’m so excited to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and spend some serious time focused on music. The schedule got released yesterday and it looks (unsurprisingly) incredible.
There will be no blog next week, because we’ll still be at Song School. In the meantime, here are some Nova photos:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I am rather late in posting today because it’s a busy week and, in particular, a busy Thursday for me. I am interviewing three people for an open position on my team today (in addition to everything else I usually have to do on Thursdays), which has me feeling a bit off-kilter. However! Next Thursday begins a week and a half of PTO so we can go to Song School, so things are looking up.
This whole week is busy, though. Between work being extra chaotic lately and regular homework and the final paper I’m starting to work on (and hoping to at least get to Shitty First Draft status before leaving for CO), I feel like I’m juggling a lot of things and I’m not quite sure I can keep everything in the air. I’m working on trusting my ability to manage multiple projects at once. It’s a process.
Not a lot to talk about this week, but I’ll leave you with your weekly Nova photodump:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! (I initially wrote that as “welcome to Thursday?” which actually feels pretty accurate right now.) It’s been a decent week so far – we’ve managed to maintain our newly-cleaned kitchen pretty well, we’ve cooked a few more times (I’m making tacos again tonight), and things are generally good.
We’re leaving in a couple of weeks for Song School, and I’m so excited. I’m also so anxious. We’re boarding Nova for the first time for this trip, and that’s a stressful thought – she has separation anxiety, but I know I do, too. (We took her to the vet yesterday to get her up-to-date on all her booster shots, and they gave us some trazodone for her to help with the anxiety of boarding and of going to the groomer.) It’s the longest trip my husband and I will have taken together since the last time we went in 2019. Instead of camping this year (since I didn’t want to figure out camping with a PAP machine), we’re staying at a tiny house resort across the street from the festival grounds where Song School happens, which is exciting but also unfamiliar. On top of the trip itself, I have a big final paper due for my one remaining summer class the Friday after we get back, so I need to start on that (thankfully I know what I’m writing about and got that approved by my professor, just waiting for the books I need to arrive so I can get going on it). And at work I’ve just kicked off the process of hiring a new person, and I know I have at least a couple more people I’ll be hiring in the next couple of months. It’s all just adding up to a lot – I have a tendency toward travel anxiety anyway, and all of these layers of stress are compounding into what feels like an unreasonable amount of nerves for something that is ultimately a thing I’m really looking forward to.
I’ve been thinking a lot about neurodivergence lately, and how that part of myself intersects with the other parts of me. I’m learning how to be gentler with myself, to acknowledge when I need accommodations in some situations, and to work out how to make those accommodations happen. Since I’m in a particularly stressful time (and a time that is going to continue to be stressful after I get back from Song School, as I’ll be taking 3 classes this fall on top of working full time), I’m really trying to focus on what my body needs and how to keep my nervous system a little more regulated amidst the stress. I am trying to lean into my self care and soul care practices that help keep me steady.
Thankfully, I have therapy this afternoon and can brainstorm additional regulatory tactics with my therapist. I’m grateful that, despite the stress, I’m feeling capable of handling everything. I know I have the capacity to do the things I need to do; I’m just learning how to honor that capacity without trying to power through things I don’t need to power through.
Anyway, I’ve rambled enough and I’m late in getting this posted, so I shall leave you with your weekly Nova photodump:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I’m slightly late getting this posted today, but here we are. I don’t have a lot of stuff to share by way of news this week, so I think I’m going to do something I haven’t done on here in a while and share a few things I’m grateful for lately:
Queer community care. Last week, my husband and I decided to put out a call to our local queer exchange on Facebook to see if someone would be willing to come over and give us some judgment-free help unearthing our kitchen, which has been some level of disaster basically since we moved in a year ago and hadn’t really been functional for at least a few months. We hoped if we could get some help cleaning and organizing that we could set it up more functionally for our neurodivergent brains to make food prep and cooking a lot more approachable. The response was overwhelming – so many people offered to help. We ended up hiring a fellow neurodivergent human who was an absolute delight to have over; they worked with us for four hours on Saturday and another three on Monday, and last night I finally got to cook in our kitchen for the first time in months. (We had tacos; they were delicious.) I am grateful that care for community is such a strong characteristic of the queer spaces I’ve been fortunate to be in.
D&D. About a month ago I connected with a new, in-person game with a group of folks I’d never met before. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go initially, but we’re 5 sessions in and I’m having a blast (even though my first character died after two sessions of play; I think the character I’m playing now is a better fit for this table anyway). I was a little worried that adding an additional recurring thing to my schedule (on top of work and school and regular life stuff) would be too much, but that chance to just play and escape into a story for a few hours every week is so important to me. I’m grateful that I landed in such a good group for my first in-person game in a long time.
Connection. On Sunday I was able to get lunch with a friend from undergrad who was in town. We hadn’t seen each other in years and we didn’t have a ton of time, but it was SO GOOD to get to catch up a little bit and celebrate how far we’ve both come. I also got to participate in a “queer writing party” that a friend hosted Sunday afternoon, and it was inspiring to share that space with folks and hear what other people were working on. I am grateful for these opportunities for connection in the midst of everything going on globally.
I will leave you, as ever, with your weekly dose of Nova:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I’m a little late writing and posting this today; it’s my first day back to work after an extended long weekend, and I have been working on getting my bearings again.
My four-week intensive class wrapped up last Thursday night, and in honor of that, I took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work (in addition to Monday’s holiday). The time off has been a bit of a mixed bag. Mostly, I’m so used to having so much to do and such a regimented schedule that I felt a little aimless and drifting without things on the calendar. Still, I managed to rest and have some fun, so that was good. Here are some of the highlights of the week:
On Sunday, we had a four hour Zoom hangout with my best friend who lives out in WA. It had been way too long since we’d talked like that, and it was absolutely delightful.
Monday we went to my in-laws to have ribs for dinner; it was delicious (and it was great to see them)!
Tuesday was a busy day:
That morning I met with my academic advisor and got a better sense of what’s going on with my degree program (when I entered, the partner school that was offering the concentration courses had just announced they were discontinuing that program; thankfully, my school is going to pick them up and the program will there), which was a relief and gave me a little more of a sense of direction.
I got my hair cut, which always makes me feel like a new person.
Nova and I went for a lovely walk with my parents, including a stop at a little riverside bar to rest on the shaded patio before heading home.
That evening, I got to play D&D!
Yesterday, I was struggling a bit – I had nothing on the calendar, but because of the intensity of the last month, I kept thinking there was something I must have been forgetting, so I had a bit of a hard time relaxing. But I did end up having some fun – I recorded some guitar tracks for a couple of songs, and finished listening to the audiobook of Terry Pratchett’s Witches Abroad, which I’d started on my trip to New York back in May.
I will leave you, as always, with a few Nova photos from this week:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Thursday, but now it’s actually here and Friday is almost upon us. My week was a bit thrown off because my Tuesday night D&D session ended up getting canceled, and my schedule is so regimented these days that suddenly having a 4 hour block back in my evening really threw me for a loop.
The big news this week is that I finally got my Carrie Fisher tribute tattoo on Saturday! It’s in the unpleasant, flaky stage of healing right now, but this is what it looked like fresh:
It’s Leia’s lightsaber, and the banner text is my favorite Carrie Fisher quote: “Be afraid, but do it anyway.” I love how it turned out!
Other than that, it’s been a pretty normal week. I have the final session of my four week intensive class tonight, which is wild. I have to give a brief presentation tonight and then our final project is technically due next Friday, so I’ve got some time to polish it up before I turn it in. I’m taking an extra long weekend this weekend to celebrate being done with that part of summer semester, and I’m looking forward to that!
I will leave you with a few photos of some great Nova naps from the past week:
Hello, dear readers! We’ve made it to another Thursday.
It’s been a decent week here, for the most part. The weekend was lovely. On Saturday, my husband and I attended a Zoom workshop that two of our beloved Song School teachers put on about tips and tricks for managing a neurodivergent brain. There was a lot of useful information and we’ve been working on starting to implement some of the tips this week. One of the big things we’re working on is having a quick check-in every morning to run through the major schedule items and tasks for the day, so that we are on the same page and can better support each other in getting things done. We also got some great reminders and tips about the difference between projects and tasks, and help in breaking down projects into tasks. Did I use what I learned in the workshop as an excuse to buy a new planner? …maybe. But all in all I’m excited to work a little more gentle structure into my day and have a broader toolset for the two of us to support each other.
I’m really enjoying the in-person D&D game I joined a few weeks ago. It’s been a bit of a tumultuous start – I was really excited about the character I created, but halfway through the second session, she died. It wasn’t malicious on the part of the DM – I got unlucky with my dice rolls. Thankfully, I had a backup character rolled up and ready to go. I was sad about the loss of the original character, but I actually think this new character will be a better fit for the group.
I only have two class sessions left of my four week intensive! I can’t believe it’s almost over already. It’s been a really good class, and while I’m overwhelmed by getting the last of the work done while having the first bigger paper of my longer class due right as this class ends, I’m confident I’ll be able to do it.
I’ll leave you with a photo of Nova from yesterday – there was a pigeon on a windowsill across the alley and she was absolutely TRANSFIXED:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! This week has been a little calmer than last week was, which has been nice. I am finding that I’m losing track of what day it is despite having a pretty full schedule every day, so that’s a little weird…I’m blaming the heat and humidity.
I’ve had my PAP machine for almost two months now, and I’m starting to really notice some tangible differences in my life because of it:
Before starting on the PAP machine, it was normal for me to get up (or at least wake up) at least half a dozen times in a night, if not more. Lately, I haven’t been getting up at all during the night.
Before, I regularly felt the desire to tap out and go to bed before 9pm. Now, I can stay up until 10 or 11pm and be okay the next day.
Before, I was regularly in bed for 10 or 11 hours a night, even though I was only sleeping a fraction of that time. Now, I’m usually in bed 8 or 9 hours, which might not seem like a huge difference, but feels really significant to me.
Before, I had to be really careful about how much I scheduled on weeknights if I wanted to make it through the work week. Now, I’m able to play D&D on Tuesday nights, go to bed around midnight, and function just fine at work the next day.
The list could go on and on, but those are the big things I’m noticing so far. Sleep is magical and I can’t believe I let myself go so long without it.
Anyway, on that happy note, I will leave you with your weekly dose of Nova:
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! Despite this being a normal work week for me, I’ve been a bit scrambled as to my days this week. But we’ve finally made it; it’s almost the weekend.
I had a truly lovely birthday weekend. I took the day off on Friday, and my husband and I took Nova with us on a little adventure to Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, MN; we stopped at Franconia Sculpture Park on the way back for a picnic and more wandering, and then popped into Wine Haven for a few celebratory bottles before coming home and relaxing for the rest of the afternoon.
Saturday, Nova went to the groomer (which she was not happy about), and that afternoon I went on a tree/plant identification walk with a local druid grove that I recently connected with before going out for drinks with my college bestie that evening. It was a really lovely day.
Sunday we brought Nova to her first restaurant patio for a birthday lunch with my parents, and she did great! She even got her own burger patty.
The week has been good so far; Monday night I started my second summer class, which runs twice a week for four weeks. It’s intense, but I’m excited about it. Tuesday was session 0 for a new in-person D&D game I just joined. I didn’t know anyone at the table, but I think it’s going to be a really fun group!
The other fun thing that happened this week was we got Nova’s DNA results back, with a few surprises:
I hope you’re all hanging in there. I will leave you with one more Nova picture – please enjoy this view of her pouting because I was the meanest and wouldn’t take her to her favorite store last night (because they were closed):
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It is the last day of a short work week for me, because tomorrow is my birthday and I decided to take the day off.
This year’s birthday feels a little bit bittersweet, for reasons I’m still puzzling out. I’m grateful to have made it to another birthday and through another pandemic year. I think the thing that’s feeling harder right now is that I’m still figuring out friendship and community and who my people are now that we’re back in Minnesota, which is a hard enough thing as an adult in general – and that difficulty is compounded by living in a pandemic. I’ve put a lot of effort into finding new groups to connect with, and I’m proud of that work…but now it’s a matter of waiting and seeing which of those connections pan out, and there’s not much to do but be patient and keep showing up.
There’s a lot going on in my life right now that’s good and promising and life-giving. There’s also been a lot lately that’s been hard. I’m learning how to hold both of those things without shoving one off to the side and ignoring it.
I don’t have a lot of celebratory plans for tomorrow – we might take Nova out for a hike, but we might also just walk around the neighborhood. The weather is supposed to be lovely, so getting outside with her is definitely on the list. We’ll probably order something in for dinner. Saturday I’m planning to go to a nature/education-related event with a group I recently connected with, and then I’m grabbing drinks with an old college friend that evening. Sunday we’re meeting up with my parents for lunch and taking Nova to a restaurant to eat out on the patio for the first time, so fingers crossed that goes well.
My intensive class starts on Monday, and will take up my Monday and Thursday evenings for the month of June. I’m excited about it, and also a little nervous. I also start a new, in-person D&D game on Tuesday. I don’t know anyone at the table; I connected with this group via Facebook. So it’ll be an adventure, but I’m tentatively hopeful that this will be another opportunity to make some new friends.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Birthdays are weird and make me reflective. I’ll leave you, as always, with your weekly Nova fix: