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.

Creativity Abounds

I am dashing this post off on Thursday morning before I really dig into my work day. I am working from home today (I’ve been dealing with a lot of body/joint pain as the weather shifts, and it’s been exhausting, so I’m giving myself a little break from major activity, and I hear the internet at work is spotty, so I will probably get more done here than I would there, anyway), and am currently enjoying the morning sunlight and the glow of the Christmas lights we have strung around our living room windows. It’s peaceful.

The past week has highlighted how much I love being creative. Here are three ways that’s shown up:

  1. Last Thursday, while I was volunteering in the library area at the Old Town School of Folk Music, I finally finished the sweater I’d started working on over a year ago.  A couple of weeks before I’d been panicking a bit, because I wanted to get it done by Christmas, and I was in what felt like a bit of a black hole with the knitting – I’d knit and knit and knit and it didn’t seem to get any larger. Suddenly, though, it was done, and I got it sewn together, and it fits like a dream and it’s the most successful sweater I’ve ever made. I’m so excited to show it off at Christmas (and I’ve worn it a couple of other times already). Now that I finally have that project off the needles, I feel a little lost as to what I want to cast on for my next big thing. In the meantime I’ve started a new pair of fingerless gloves to replace some that got a hole torn in them last winter (I’m going to repair the torn ones, but I want a non-patched pair, too).
  2. On Saturday, my partner and I attended a songwriting workshop with one of our favorite teachers at the Old Town School, Sue Demel. (Sue is just one of my favorite people, period.) In the workshop, we went over a chapter from Italo Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium, the chapter on “Multiplicity,” and Sue talked us through how we could use Calvino’s insights to improve our writing. We did a bunch of writing exercises in the workshop, and each left with at least one verse. After the workshop, I was once again volunteering in the school’s resource center, and I got a chance to work more on my lyrics. I managed to get I think four verses and a chorus worth of lyrics out before the end of my shift. I haven’t had a chance to go back and finish it yet, but I’m excited about the unexpected places it’s been taking me.
  3. On Sunday, I got together with my D&D group for the first time in a couple of months. I hadn’t fully realized how much I missed these friends and our shenanigans until we were playing together again. I love collaborative storytelling so damn much, and I’m glad to have people in my life who are just as into it as I am.

My Life in a Monday

It’s not often that a single day provides a snapshot of the kind of life I have, but this Monday sort of did just that:

  1. Monday morning, I took the last pills in my existing bottles of psych meds. I had placed a refill order last week, and knew that both my prescriptions were ready for pickup, and I knew I needed to collect them on my way home from work. Unfortunately, my pharmacy is in no way, shape, or form on the way home: in fact, I have to pass home to get there, and go twice as far in the opposite direction. I spent the entire day at work trying to talk myself into going. Finally, as I walked the half mile to the bus (which would take me to the train, which would get me within a block of the pharmacy), I realized the solution: I would allow myself a silly indulgence if I otherwise behaved like a responsible adult and picked up my meds (more on that in #2). Long story short, for the first time in many, many months, I picked up my prescriptions on time and didn’t miss a single dose of anything.
  2. The silly indulgence? While I was out running my post-work errands, I swung up to Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy of the newest Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. I had been kicking around the idea anyway, because starting the end of this month I’ll be joining a D&D game run by someone my partner met in college (who happens to be a minister and is doing this game as part of an independent study for a class he’s taking at Loyola), and we were planning to meet Monday night to work on creating a character for me to play. The more I researched the newest edition of the game online over the weekend, the more excited I got, and so I went for it. It was very helpful to have a copy of the book for each of us to look at while we rolled up my character (a dwarf sorcerer – this would probably prove to my family that I am a godless heathen) that evening, and now I’m all set for the future games I’m sure I’ll be playing. Nerdery abounds!
  3. And then Monday night happened, and I laid down to go to sleep…and waited…and waited…and waited…and my brain just wouldn’t shut down. I wasn’t even perseverating over anything in particular; the gears just wouldn’t stop turning. Thanks to the insomnia and the fact that I needed to go in to work early, I ended up running through my Tuesday on approximately 3.5 hours of sleep and two shots of espresso and crashing by 8pm.

This is my life: learning to be a (sort of) responsible adult, discovering new and exciting depths to my capacity for nerdiness (and probably disappointing my relatives in the process), and never knowing exactly what to expect from my brain. It’s an adventure, and not always grand…but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.