Trying

Well, I had a good stretch of blogging on time, but today I forgot it was Thursday until just now, two minutes after the blog typically goes live. Whoops. At least I remembered in the morning and not at 5pm, and 15 minutes late isn’t so bad (says the person who’s chronically early to everything).

It’s been a long week. Not bad, exactly, just long. I’ve been tired…mostly, I think, because I’ve been having a lot of weird, unsettling dreams – the sort that I don’t really remember when I wake up, but that leave me a little unsure whether I want to fall back asleep when I wake up from one.

Work has been busier this week than it has for the past few, and I am trying not to feel like I’m drowning. I’ve been at my job just over six months now, and some days I feel like I should be farther along in my understanding of the platform that I’m working with than I am. But I’m trying.

That’s kind of been the theme this week. I have a lot of things on my to do list, and I’m trying. I’m trying to do a good job staying focused at work. I’m trying to be a good friend and husband. I’m trying to get our apartment cleaned up. I’m not always succeeding at these things, but…I’m trying. (I am also trying to ignore the Yoda in the back of my head with his “Do, or do not; there is no try” bullshit, because if I listen to that, then nothing will get done.)

Right now, it’s time to grab myself some coffee, and then try to plough through some of the cases waiting for me at work. I hope you’re all hanging in there.

Sleepy Week

Hello, dear readers! It appears we have made it to another Thursday. Since we had Labor Day on Monday here in the US (which meant a long weekend for me), I’m a little bit extra discombobulated about time right now.

I’ve been extra tired this week. A lot of this, I think, has been the weather, which has been pretty consistently overcast. I also haven’t been sleeping great – staying up later than I should and having weird and unsettling dreams when I do go to bed – which is not helping anything. It hasn’t been a bad week, though. The long weekend was nice. I had two D&D games, a couple of other regularly scheduled virtual hangouts with friends, and my first songwriting class of the new session at the Old Town School (via Zoom, of course). And Monday we used the extra day to put together a LEGO set, which was a lot of fun.

I wrote a song for class this week that I’m pretty happy with (I might post it here next week – I want to let my classmates hear it first), I got to play another session of my friend’s tarot-based game last night, and work has been pretty chill, so all in all it’s not been a bad week. I’m just very sleepy.

On that note, I think I’ll sign off for the week so I can focus on drinking my coffee and trying to wake up a bit more. Stay safe – keep wearing your masks and social distancing and washing your hands. I know it sucks, but the pandemic isn’t over. Keep hanging in there!

Taking Time

Hello, dear readers – we’ve made it to another Thursday. I don’t know about you, but my week has been a bit on the sleepy and unfocused side (although I think I’m generally being more focused than I was last week, so that’s something).

I mentioned last week that on Sunday I was going to participate in a Body Love Creative Writing Workshop that my friends Eli and Talia were putting on. I’m so glad I did! It was a lovely workshop that helped me to feel more connected to my body, and the exercises we did helped me to look at some of the difficult relationships I’ve had with my body in new ways. I ended up getting a song out of it, too, that I’m actually pretty happy with. Since I don’t have much else to talk about this week, I figured I’d share my rough cell phone recording of the new song with you all:

My Body Takes the Time It Needs

Here are the lyrics:

My body takes the time it needs
When I am walking down the street
It won’t be hurried past the trees
My body takes the time it needs
Oooh…

My body takes the time it needs
Reminding me to bend my knees
Allow my legs to carry me
My body takes the time it needs
Oooh…

I’ve been ashamed of my slow pace
My steady, plodding gait
But I am learning to have grace
My life is not a race

My body takes the time it needs
To laugh, to cry, to heal, to grieve
To feel the sun, the rain, the breeze
My body takes the time it needs
Oooh…

My body takes the time it needs…

Anyway, here’s to letting our bodies take the time we need, particularly right now. Keep wearing your masks and washing your hands and socially distancing, and keep hanging in there.

Daydreaming

Hello, dear readers, and happy Thursday! At least, I’m pretty sure it’s Thursday. I ended up needing to take some sick time Friday and Monday, and it’s thrown me for a bit of a loop in terms of time. But then again, as we see in this lovely McSweeney’s article featuring Frog and Toad, “Time means nothing now… It is just the thing that happens between snacks.”

It’s been a fairly uneventful week, aside from the sick time (which, other than me feeling under the weather, was also pretty uneventful, actually). My big project for this week has been trying to get a better system together for keeping myself on top of the things I need to get done at work and at home. I’ve tried a couple of different to do tracking systems recently, but I think I’ve finally settled on Todoist as my solution, at least for the time being (in conjunction with my beloved paper planner, because sometimes things aren’t quite real until I’ve written them out by hand).

I’ve also been daydreaming a lot, specifically about actually recording some music this fall. My husband got a new laptop not long ago and has Logic installed on it; we’re hoping to learn how to use that effectively to make some nice recordings at home, since booking studio time during a pandemic feels too risky. I have a pretty deep backlog of songs at this point, and while a lot of them don’t need to see the light of day again, it would be nice to be able to share the ones I’m proud of with people in such a way that I don’t feel a need to apologize for the sound quality (like I tend to now, when all my songs are recorded on my phone).

I’m going to keep this one pretty short, but let’s end on a high note, yeah? Here are a few things I’m looking forward to in the next week:

  • I’m playing a couple of different D&D games right now, and they’re both SO much fun. They’re honestly the highlights of my week right now.
  • On Sunday, I’m doing a “Body Love Creative Writing Workshop” that some Song School friends are putting on. I’m excited for the chance to write and to explore being kinder to my body.
  • Next week I’m joining a tarot-based game that a friend designed and is playtesting, and I am super excited to see what he’s come up with.

Keep hanging in there, everyone. Keep washing your hands and wearing your masks, stay hydrated, tip service workers as well as you possibly can, protest and petition and donate where you’re able.

Out of Sorts

Hi friends. I’ll be honest with you – I am not totally sure what to write about this week and definitely considered skipping blogging altogether. But if I skip one week, it’ll be that much easier to skip another, and next thing you know I won’t be blogging anymore, and that would be a bummer. This blog is something I’ve committed to keeping up and have followed through on for a long time, and I’m not ready to let it go yet. So, here we are.

I am out of sorts today. I didn’t sleep well last night – I woke up several times and had trouble getting back to sleep, I had weird dreams (and, just before I woke up, one really heartbreaking dream that I unfortunately remembered pretty vividly upon waking), at one point I moved in the wrong way and now I’m achy…I really just want to go back to bed and try again. That’s not an option, though, so here I am, at my desk, trying to get work done despite the drowsiness.

It’s been the sort of pandemic week where all the days blend together. And I’m just…tired. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that on Tuesday I had to leave the house three separate times, which was pretty anxiety-inducing – I don’t go out much at all these days and am really trying to minimize risk/exposure, and three times in one day felt extraordinarily excessive. The first of those times was to go get some necessary lab work done, which meant taking two Lyfts and being in a clinic, and that was…a lot. (The good news is that all my labs came back normal. The bad news is that I still have no idea what’s causing the minor-but-annoying symptoms that necessitated the labs in the first place.)

Anyway, time is weird and possibly doesn’t exist, I want to go back to bed, and in and around all of that I’m super grateful that I have a stable job that I generally like and that pays me enough that we’re okay right now. It’s hard to feel motivated when the world is (in some places literally) on fire, but I’m trying. And that’s really all I can do right now.

I hope you’re all hanging in there. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and figure out how to vote early and safely. It’s a wild, scary world we’re living in – let’s do what we can to help each other out.

Back to Reality

Well, we’ve made it to Thursday. It feels like it’s been a long week already, for no real reason. After taking all of last week off for what would have been Song School, getting back into work this week has been a bit of a struggle. I’m just tired.

On Monday we weathered the scariest storm I’ve seen since moving to Chicago. There were hurricane-force winds across the city and an actual tornado hit our old neighborhood. At our place, the trees outside our windows got pretty beat up, and there was a power line down (thankfully not one that affected us. It came and was gone in a span of less than ten minutes, but it was definitely terrifying for that brief window – we live on the third floor and didn’t have a basement to hide in, so we were huddled in our hallway hoping for the best.

The rest of the week has been okay. I’ve been so tired – getting up in the mornings is a struggle. But it’s almost Friday, and I get to play D&D twice this weekend, so that’s something to look forward to.

I hope you’re all hanging in there!

Missing My People

It’s Thursday, and I almost did not blog this week. I’m taking the week off from work, because this was supposed to be the week of Song School, and I figured I’d keep the time I’d requested back when the summer looked more optimistic.

It’s been really great to have the time off, to rest and reset. But it’s also been sad – I miss Song School so much. We’ve been doing our best to recreate parts of the experience at home.

Song School canopy in the living room!

We set up the canopy that’s usually outside of our tent at Song School in our living room – because we have no overhead light fixture, it just barely fits. We initially did it to be funny, but how it’s transformed the space has been pretty magical.

Zoom writing hangouts

We’ve also been hosting some Zoom hangouts with people from Song School. Every morning this week we’ve set up some quiet time to hang out and write for an hour, and it’s felt so good. Just seeing the faces of some of our Song School friends has helped to ground me in time and space in a way I feel like I haven’t been since the pandemic started. It’s nothing like the real Song School, but it’s been a better substitute than I thought it was going to be. We’ve had more people show up than we expected, too, which has been fun.

We also hosted a little Zoom song circle on Tuesday night (and we’re planning to again tonight), which was fun – it’s great to hear what people have been working on.

It’s hard to not be able to hug these people we love so much, to be in a place where we can’t listen to the river or see the stars. But seeing some of their faces, even just over a computer screen, has brought me so much joy even in the middle of grieving the loss of this incredibly important week in our year.

Tomorrow morning we’re hosting an extra writing session (Song School would be wrapping up tonight, if it was happening), and then we’ll fall into our familiar weekend rhythm before I start working again on Monday. I’m glad I took this time off (it’s also the most extended break I’ve had since Christmas, and I’m only just realizing how much my brain needed that), and I’m hoping it leaves me in a better place for diving back into “normal” life…as close to normal as we get these days, anyway.

Just Married

Hello, dear readers! It’s been another week, and what a week it’s been. On Saturday, approximately two months after deciding that this was the best course forward for us, my partner and I got married in a lovely ceremony held over Zoom. We met online almost ten years ago, so it felt sort of fitting that we got married online, too. I will warn you right now that this post will be both sappy and photo-heavy, but hey, I got married, what did you expect?

Wedding backdrop - bookshelves organized by color, with all sorts of silk flowers arranged artfully among the books.
Our wedding backdrop – yes, most of our books are arranged in a rainbow!

We bought a whole bunch of silk flowers and arranged them on our bookshelves, which we used as our backdrop for the wedding.

On top of the bookshelves were each of our most beloved childhood toys, Blankie (mine) and Piggy (my partner’s), which happen to be from the same toy line – this is easily one of the most barf-worthy things about us.

Blankie and Piggy on top of the bookshelf
Blankie and Piggy had seats of honor

But let’s back up. We started off our morning with an extra-special breakfast delivery from our faves at Smack Dab, which was absolutely delightful – so delightful, in fact, that we forgot to take pictures of it. I did grab a picture of the bag, though:

Seriously, they're the best (bag reads, "Threw in cinnamon rolls, too! Congrats! We love you! xoxo Smack Dab"
How sweet are they?

Then we rushed around and finished cleaning the apartment before putting on our dress shirts and finally launching the Zoom call.

I’m not going to share pictures of everyone on the Zoom call because I didn’t ask for permissions to do that, but this is what we looked like to our guests (thanks for sending this shot, N!):

The soon-to-be husbands look at the computer camera; a Beanie Baby turtle (Prime Minister Winston Turthill) smiles and holds their rings on his back.
Prime Minister Winston Turthill was so thrilled to serve as the ring cushion!

The ceremony itself was beautiful – the friend who officiated wrote the perfect blessing and vows for us, our friends Eli and Heather performed beautiful songs (that they’d each written for their spouses), the rings fit and we didn’t hurt each other putting them on, and we got to see so many of our loved ones smiling and cheering us on as we took this step (in addition to some delightful bonus appearances by pets). (It was also under 15 minutes long, which is my favorite kind of wedding.) There were toasts (one of which included actual toast), and then we split all the guests up into “breakout rooms” so that we could visit with folks more easily while we ate dessert.

An enormous and delicious New York style cheesecake with a (gluten free) cookie crust sits atop a table covered in a grey tablecloth.
Cheesecake! Made by nuns in New York!

We had cheesecake and coffee! The cheesecake was made by nuns at a monastery in New York – turns out finding gluten free cheesecake with a crust is a bit of a challenge – and it was delicious.

It was so good to be able to hop around and see friends and family, many of whom we hadn’t seen in years. Had we gotten married under different circumstances, it probably would have been a much smaller crowd, but thanks to the internet, we had people there from all over the country (and overseas) able to join us. There were cats, dogs, and two- and three-week old babies included, too. It was just lovely.

After we signed off, we realized we should probably snap some photos of ourselves while the light (which we don’t get a ton of in our living room) was still good. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites:

The rest of the weekend was lovely, too – we ordered Indian food, and really just relaxed in our newly-clean apartment.

There have been some complicated feelings, too – grief around those who couldn’t (or chose not to) be there with us, mostly. But overall we have just been overwhelmed with gratitude for the amazing communities and love we’ve found ourselves surrounded by. We are truly extraordinarily lucky to have each other and to be so supported by so many of the people in our lives.

So here’s to getting through it all together – for love (and health insurance)!

It’s Almost Here!

Hello, dear readers! It’s gonna be a short blog today.

It’s been a busy week – we’re getting married on Saturday! So most of this week has been cleaning and getting the final administrative details in place. Tonight we’re doing a rehearsal for the technology piece so we can figure out where we want to set everything up. Yesterday our cheesecake arrived, which was one of the pieces I was most nervous about – so many places have had unexpected shipping delays lately that I didn’t really trust the estimated delivery date.

I’m looking forward to (virtually) gathering and celebrating with friends and family on Saturday. I’m extremely overwhelmed in this particular moment (some of my body’s most annoying stress responses are raising their heads right now), but I know it’s going to be worth it. I’m also kind of glad this is the format the wedding is happening in – it meant we could invite people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to join us. I’m having some Feelings about my grandparents not being present (three of them are gone and the one remaining isn’t interested in attending), but I’m also just really grateful for the community we’re going to have around us on Saturday.

Now I’m off to try to kick ass at work so I can leave for a long weekend on a high note. Hang in there, everyone – stay hydrated, wear your masks, take care of yourselves and each other.

Busy

Hello, dear readers! We’ve made it to another Thursday. Where has the week gone?

Last Friday, I took the day off from work and my partner and I helped a friend move. It ended up being a very long day – in addition to the move, we also decided to go to IKEA. I’m so, so glad we were able to help…I was also so, so tired on Saturday that I did basically nothing all day. Sunday we put together the furniture we’d picked up at IKEA (an actual desk chair for me and a desk for my partner).

The beginning of this week wasn’t bad – pretty nondescript, really. Yesterday, though, I woke up with some pretty obnoxious vertigo. (This is a thing that happens almost every year when my allergies get really bad – one or both of my ears get plugged and it throws my balance way off.) I ended up having to take the second half of the day off from work, because looking between my two computer screens was making my head swim. I’m feeling somewhat better today, but I still have moments where I go to take a step and sort of start listing to one side. Hoping it clears up in the next day or so and that I don’t end up with an ear infection right before the wedding…

The wedding is the thing I’m mostly focused on right now. Our rings came yesterday, and they fit and look lovely, so that’s exciting. We have a LOT of cleaning up to do around the apartment, and still have a few technological details to work out. We’re just over a week away from the big day, so I’m trying not to freak out. I’m glad that we’re getting married, and I’m looking forward to the wedding…I’m also glad we didn’t give ourselves more than two months to plan, because I can see how it just takes over your life after a certain point.

I hope you’re all hanging in there. Keep wearing your masks and washing your hands. Stay hydrated. Keep educating yourselves and standing up for the marginalized. (I recently subscribed to the Anti-Racism Daily, and I’m finding it a really helpful resource.) We’re all in this together.