Complicated Gratitude

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. Today here in the US, many people are celebrating Thanksgiving. As I know I’ve mentioned in past years, I have a lot of complicated feelings about the holiday. On the one hand, gratitude is lovely; on the other hand, the white-washing of history and the continued threats on Native American sovereignty in this country are really troubling.

This year, my husband and I are laying low today; tomorrow we are doing a meal with my best friend who recently moved in upstairs. We’re holding space for our gratitude and our complicated feelings. I’m on-call for work for tomorrow, so today I’m trying to focus on the rest that my body is asking for.

I’m going to keep things short this week, but I do want to leave you with an idea: if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today (or even if you’re not), consider taking a look at https://native-land.ca to see whose land you are on, and find space to acknowledge that amidst your celebrations. Here in St. Paul, MN, I’m on Očhéthi Šakówiŋ and Wahpekute land.

As always, I’ll end with a few Nova photos from this week:

Catharsis

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I’m feeling a bit scatterbrained today and I have a full day of meetings, so it’s going to be…interesting. It also means this blog is going to be on the short side this week.

It’s been a decent week. The weekend was lovely – Sunday morning we went to a drag brunch for a friend’s birthday, and then that evening went to see Semler in concert, which was amazing – Mayyadda opened, and she was incredible, and then when Semler came on the whole venue spent the rest of the show scream-singing along to every. single. song. I don’t think they quite knew what to do with the level of energy the crowd brought. It was a cathartic experience and I’m really glad we went. Monday, though, I woke up with almost no voice and felt absolutely exhausted after doing two outside-the-house things that involved a lot of peopling the day before, and so I ended up having to call in sick to work to recover. Extra sleep helped a lot.

I’ll leave you with some Nova photos – it’s been snowing here, and she is absolutely over the moon about it:

Fighting for Focus

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. I started my day off nearly forgetting I had a 7:30am meeting scheduled (I usually start working at 8), but I managed to be almost on time, so that was a win.

I have been struggling this week to find focus. I’m still behind on the project for my Monday class, although I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to get caught up tomorrow since I have work off for Veterans Day. I at least got the parts rewritten that I needed to rewrite, and if I can get this next piece taken care of tomorrow, I’ll be in a good place to be on time with the rest of the pieces. Even at work, though, I’m feeling scatterbrained and stretched thin, even though it objectively hasn’t been a particularly wild week for me. Some of it might be the weather – it’s been overcast and rainy here the past few days, and that always makes me want to just curl up with a book and ignore all responsibilities. Moving off of DST last weekend also threw me for a bit of a loop, I think.

Tonight is the penultimate session of my Intro to Spiritual Direction class, and I’m kind of sad that it’s winding down. I mean, on the one hand, it’s exciting to be moving forward with it. But on the other…it’s just a really lovely group of people, and while I know I’ll still be in class with many of them next semester, each class creates and holds a unique sort of space, and this one has been particularly lovely and supportive.

This weekend should be fun – Sunday we’re going to a drag brunch for my cousin’s roommate’s birthday, and then that evening we’re going to see Semler in concert. It should be a good time. Fingers crossed that Nova behaves for her babysitters.

Speaking of Nova, I’ll leave you with some sleepy puppy pictures this week:

Good Week

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! Although I have had a bit of a struggle keeping track of my days this week, it’s been a good week overall:

  • I seem to be over the worst of the queasiness I was dealing with last week.
  • My husband is home again, so Nova has been much less anxious (and therefore less vocal).
  • On Monday, my best friend moved into our building! I’m so excited to have her as a neighbor.
  • I managed to get a song done for my songwriting class this week, and I’m actually reasonably pleased with it.
  • I had a really affirming appointment with my doctor yesterday.

Also, this weekend it looks like I’m going to get to play D&D, hopefully, so that’s exciting.

I don’t actually have a lot of thoughts this week. I will leave you with two things:

First, an admonition to please VOTE if you’re in the US – election day is next Tuesday, early voting is available in many places right now, and while voting won’t fix everything, it’s one of the tools we have to try to get things back on the rails.

And finally, here are photos of Nova in her Halloween costumes (which, as you can see, she was *thrilled* to wear, lol):

Finding Balance

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. It’s been an off week here in terms of routine – my husband is out in Washington helping my best friend pack and move back to the Twin Cities. I took the first half of the week off to give my brain a break (but also to attempt to catch up on some schoolwork). Nova has been a little extra needy with only one human around, so we’ve been navigating that. And then today I woke up feeling rather queasy and just generally under the weather, so I’m taking a sick day.

The week in general has been pretty good – I binged all of the She-Hulk series on Disney+, which I really enjoyed. It was fall symposium at school this week so I watched a bunch of the paper presentations for that, and that was really interesting. I got some homework done, and some knitting; a friend came over for a little study date on Tuesday, and that was really nice. I had a couple of medical appointments this week; one of them was pretty frustrating and the other went fine. Last night I started a songwriting class with the fabulous Sue Demel through the Old Town School, and while part of me feels I’ve taken leave of my senses signing up for another thing right now, I’m really excited about it.

Tonight I have class, and I really don’t want to miss it, so I’m going to spend today resting and trying to listen to what my body needs. As I’m adjusting to new medications I’m needing to relearn some of my body’s cues, and it’s a process.

I think that’s about it for this week; please enjoy these photos of some epic Nova naps:

Hibernation

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I really wish it was Friday, but alas, it is not.

It’s been a decent week here. After quite a bit of frustration and feeling really demoralized by one of my classes, I was able to meet with my professor before class on Monday and work some things out, and I think I’m in a better spot – while there are still things I’m finding frustrating, I at least feel like I know what I need to do to make it through the class now.

It’s been cold in the Twin Cities this week…below freezing in the mornings most days. Nova’s been happy about it, at least. It’s supposed to hit 70 again this weekend, though. I don’t mind the cold so much, but I do wish the weather would pick a general range and stick with it. The up and down tends to make my joints hurt.

The weather and the shorter days are making me want to hibernate. I’ve been knitting a bit more, which is lovely and cozy, but also a challenge to balance with schoolwork. Next week is symposium week at school, which means no classes, so I’m taking a few days off at the beginning of the week to get caught up on some things. I’m really looking forward to that.

I think that’s about it for this week. Here’s your weekly Nova fix:

Sleepy

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. I don’t have a whole lot to report on this week – aside from one weird hot day early in the week, the weather has been cooling down and I’m in the mood to hibernate. It is making focusing on work and school a bit of a challenge.

Since I don’t have much by way of news, here are three things I’m particularly grateful for this week:

  1. My doctor. I had a follow up appointment with her last week about a new medical diagnosis I’ve been dealing with, and I appreciated (as I do every time I see her) that she’s so pragmatic and empathetic – she was able to talk me down from some major stress and help me to see the progress I’ve already made in dealing with this. This doctor is the most affirming doctor I’ve ever had, and it’s wonderful and also makes me angry that not everyone gets to experience this.
  2. Health insurance. Particularly with the medical stuff I’ve been dealing with lately, adding on a few new prescriptions that had the potential to be really expensive has been stressful. I’m so grateful for good insurance that makes this feel more manageable.
  3. Sweater weather. It’s making me want to knit, and I’m just happy that I get to wear cozy things without melting.

I think I’m going to end here this week, but I’ll leave you with some Nova photos:

Retreat

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. I took Monday and Tuesday off this week, but I still keep thinking today is Friday. Such is life.

Monday afternoon I drove up to Duluth for a quick solo retreat to try to reset my brain a bit. I skipped class Monday night in favor of journaling and introspective time, which was lovely. I came away from that with some insights I’m still wrestling with and will be bringing with me to therapy later today.

Tuesday morning I checked out of the hotel, parked near the lake, and went for a walk. Lake Superior was the calmest I’ve seen her in awhile, and it was just what my soul needed.

I popped into the mall at Fitgers for a quick stop at the bookstore (a tradition whenever I’m in Duluth) and at the pet supply store (to get a souvenir for Nova), and then decided I had done what I set out to do, and wanted to head home earlier than I’d originally planned to allow me some relaxed time in my own space before starting back into work on Wednesday. It was a very quick trip, but it was a fruitful one, I think.

Yesterday was a pretty normal Wednesday; today is already feeling a bit scrambled, because I have a medical appointment in the middle of the day that meant I had to shift some other appointments around to tomorrow. But it’ll all work out.

Please enjoy these photos of Nova, and I hope you all find something in this week that brings you joy!

Taking Time, Taking Care

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I kept thinking Tuesday should have been Thursday this week, so I’m glad we’re finally here.

I’ve been struggling to focus this week. There’s a lot that needs to get done for school and work has been busy and I’m continuing to figure out new routines in the rest of my life and everything just feels like a lot. I’m wrestling with some anxiety and have just generally felt down.

There are good things happening, too, though. Sunday I played D&D with a new group for the first time, and it was a lot of fun. And last night an old friend gave us four tickets to the final St. Paul Saints game of the season, so we got to enjoy a baseball game with my husband’s dad and godmother:

There’s a lot that I’m grateful for right now, but also I can feel myself hurtling toward some level of burnout. So, I decided to take Monday and Tuesday off next week and take myself on a little solo retreat up north. I’m hoping it gives my brain a bit of a reset.

I hope you’re all hanging in there. As always, I leave you with some recent Nova photos:

Rollercoaster Week

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. I, for one, am very much ready for the weekend – I’ve been about a day ahead of myself all week, so waking up to the news that today is, in fact, Thursday and not Friday was a bit of a disappointment.

This has been a week of big feelings in a lot of different directions. I started the week off with some rough medical news that means starting on two new medications along with some other changes to routine. I’ll be fine – I have a fabulous doctor and a solid care plan and it’s all entirely treatable – but it was a heavy way to start the week. On the other end of things, we’ve convinced my best friend to move back to Minnesota and into our building, which has me so excited I don’t know what to do with myself! I’m looking forward to turning our lives into a sitcom.

Work has continued to be busy; my third new hire started on Monday and the first one started taking tickets this week. Everyone seems to be getting along great with the team and ramping up quickly, so that’s a relief.

I am grateful that I have therapy today and can work through some of my big feelings. I am grateful that the weekend is almost here and that I’m going to get to play D&D this weekend. I am doing my best to hold space for all of my feelings, including that gratitude.

I’ll leave you, as always, with new Nova content. She went to the dog park over the weekend and had a great time digging a hole: