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:

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It has felt like a whilrwind of a week.

Friday I headed out to the PNW to visit my best friend, because it had been too long and she’s been struggling. It was a pretty brief visit bookended by two pretty long travel days, but it was absolutely worth it to be able to hug her and hang out. It made me think more about queer community and how we look out for each other and show up for each other. I’m grateful to the friends and others who have modeled that generosity and love for me, and grateful that I have the resources to be able to be there for the people that I care about. It was hard to leave my friend, and it’s also nice to be home now that my husband and Nova are here consistently, too.

I ended up calling off from work on Monday – didn’t get home until around midnight Sunday night and I woke up with a pretty bad headache. After sleeping in and finishing my homework, I had my first session of my second fall class Monday night, which went well. I am a bit intimidated by this class, but I think it’s going to be good.

Yesterday I got my covid booster and my flu shot. So far I’m feeling mostly okay…ever-so-slightly feverish and a little achy, but not awful. Hoping I make it through the day at work.

I don’t have a whole heck of a lot else to report this week, but I’ll leave you with your weekly Nova fix:

Off-Kilter

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been another kind of weird week here, as my husband has still been helping their mom and brother out this week. We’ve been shuttling Nova between the apartment and my in-laws’ house every couple of days, since I’ve had some evening appointments and she doesn’t love being left alone (plus grandma and grandpa’s house has very exciting windows that look out on a yard with bunnies and squirrels – she loves it there).

It’s going to continue to be a bit of an off-kilter week, too – my husband is picking their dad up at the airport this evening and they’ll be coming home with Nova tonight, but then tomorrow I’m flying out to WA to visit my best friend for the weekend. It’ll be a very quick trip, but I’m excited to see her. I’ll get back late Sunday, and then Monday get right back into work, plus my second fall class starts Monday evening.

I’m trying to be aware of what self-care practices I’m letting slide as my routine gets jumbled, and to figure out how I can make space to continue those practices on the days when they would need to look a little different than usual.

Not too much else to report this week, so here’s your weekly dose of Nova, fun at grandma and grandpa’s edition:

Nervous System Regulation

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:

Gratitude

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:

Rest and Reset

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:

Pre-Birthday Ponderings

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:

Better Sleep and Impending Adventure

Hello, dear readers! We’ve made it to Thursday. I have felt uncertain of the day of the week pretty much every day since Monday, so that’s been interesting, but the weekend is almost here, which is lovely (and also a little stressful, but more on that below.)

Monday morning I called the home medical equipment clinic back about the leaking mask for my PAP machine, and managed to snag an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. I was able to get a new mask, and while I still had a few minor issues with the fit Tuesday night, last night I was able to shift from my side to my back and back again several times, and had basically the least amount of leaking I’ve had in the entire two and a half weeks I’ve been using the machine, so that was exciting. I only had to get up a couple of times last night and I feel tentatively optimistic that I’ve turned a corner and things will be easier/more comfortable from here on out. I’ve had a bit more energy the past couple of days, and while I’m not 100% sure if that’s from the PAP machine or just the fact that the sun came out and it finally feels more like spring, it seems like a good sign.

Tonight I’m getting coffee with a friend I’ve known since middle school, and I’m very excited about that (and also feeling a little old when I think about just how old our friendship is haha). This weekend we’re going to my in-laws’ place for Mother’s Day, and I will also be spending most of the weekend packing and preparing for next week, because…

I’m going to New York for work! Our big company party was postponed from February to next week, and while I’m excited on the one hand (I haven’t been to NYC since I was in high school, and I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of my colleagues from around the world), I’m also extremely overwhelmed (it’s going to be a lot of peopling, and mask mandates are dropping, so while I’ll be masked a fair percentage of the time, a lot of people won’t be, and it’s just…a lot). I need to make my packing list and figure out a few minor logistical things. I’m sure it’ll be a good trip, but the packing and preparing is not going to make for the most relaxing weekend.

All of that to say, there might not be a blog next week, since my schedule will be all sorts of weird. We’ll see what happens.

I will leave you, as always, with a few Nova photos from the week, including a gif of her chasing her tail (some context for that image – we haven’t gotten rid of our old mattress since our new one came a week ago, and Nova has been having a ball with it on the living room floor):

Between Semesters

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been an interesting week.

Last Friday, one of our favorite Chicago friends came into town and we went to the My Brother, My Brother, and Me live show in Minneapolis. The show was hilarious, and it was so delightful to have her here for a couple of days, even though I was still quite under the weather and we had to keep things pretty low-key. Nova absolutely fell in love with her, and was very disappointed when she left.

Unfortunately, pretty much right after our friend left, my husband came down hard with the cold I was recovering from. It’s been a rough week from that perspective, but thankfully we’re both on the mend now.

In continued adventures with my PAP machine, things were going pretty well while I was sick, actually, because I was propping myself up at night and not moving around much. Unfortunately, the last few nights have been harder – the mask keeps leaking air up over the bridge of my nose and waking me up with the whooshing noise. I am going to call today to see if I can get a different mask configuration to try. Overall I’m still really hopeful that this will bring some major changes to my quality of sleep, and I’m grateful it’s gone as smoothly as it has so far.

We also bought a new mattress that we got to sleep on for the first time last night! It’s a Big Fig, and it’s a MAJOR upgrade from the cheap foam IKEA mattress we’ve been sleeping on for the last 12 years. We woke up with some aches in different places because we’re not used to so much support, but it’s really comfy and I’m very excited about it. Nova is enjoying the fact that the old mattress is hanging out on our living room floor for now.

I’m in between semesters for the next couple of weeks, and it feels good to be through the first semester of seminary, but also weird to not be in classes/doing homework. I keep feeling like I’m forgetting something. Over the summer I’m taking one asynchronous class at United (History of Modern Theologies), and one intensive class for the month of June at St. Kate’s that’s specific to my concentration (Sacred Activism). I’m really excited about the St. Kate’s class, even though I recognize June is going to be…a lot. All my books are ordered and at least half of them have arrived, so I’m feeling good about that.

In two weeks I’m going to New York for work for a big company get-together. I’m extremely nervous about traveling now that mask mandates are lifting, but it is what it is. I’m excited to get to meet colleagues in person for the first time – the global team is coming in, so I’ll get to meet coworkers from London and Singapore in addition to my NYC and Chicago colleagues. I’m already kind of exhausted by the thought of socializing that much, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Nova went to the groomer on Saturday and they got so much fur off of her that I actually had to resize her collar. She’s looking very sleek and we have slightly fewer tumbleweeds floating around our apartment. I will leave you with a few pictures of her, as always.

Vacation

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! And apologies for the late blog today – I am on vacation this week and taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep in and take my mornings more slowly than usual.

It’s been a great week off so far! I ended up taking a quick, last-minute trip to Chicago to see some friends, which was absolutely delightful, even if the travel part was a little overwhelming. It felt great to be able to hug my Chicago friends and catch up with them a bit. I was only in town for approximately 40 hours, but I’m glad I did it. I’m trying to keep plans for the rest of the week pretty minimal.

I started recording a song yesterday with our home recording setup. I’ve handed it off to my husband to play around with in the music production class they’ve been taking. I’d love to get at least one song out into the world this year.

I also got a call yesterday about finally getting set up with a CPAP machine! So that is happening Monday morning. I’m a little nervous about adjusting to sleeping with it, but I’m determined to make it work.

I’ll leave you with the video my husband took of Nova greeting me when I got home from Chicago on Tuesday. Even though I was only gone a couple of days, she was apparently pretty sad – I hadn’t been gone more than a few hours at a stretch before. It’s not letting me embed the video here for some reason, so here’s the link.