Discombobulated

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. This post is going up late because it has been A Week. I was anticipating a fairly laid-back January at work, and the last two weeks that has…not panned out as expected. It’s been kind of bananas, with a lot of people needing things from me and me also trying to do a better job of staying on top of the myriad of things that fall under the purview of my position. In addition to work being wild, school has started back up and there have been some technical difficulties with getting my class rolling (not just for me, but for the whole class). And today, for reasons I have yet to figure out, my back and several other joints are cranky. So I’m feeling a bit discombobulated and out of sorts today.

There’s been good stuff lately too, though. Monday I got to spend a lot of the day hanging out with my best friend, and that was lovely. I’m also experimenting with a new hobby (although now that I’ve figured out the basics it’s on pause until I get the proper equipment) – tablet weaving!

A knitting podcast we listen to sometimes was talking about weaving, and my brain latched onto the idea, and then one thing led to another and here we are.

I’ve also been reading a really lovely book called Legends & Lattes, which is billed as a novel of “high fantasy and low stakes” and is basically the fantasy equivalent of a cozy mystery, I think. It’s so good! The writing is excellent and the characters are interesting and it’s just a blast to read.

I think that’s where I’ll leave you for this week. As always, here’s your Nova fix:

2022/2023

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to the last Thursday of 2022! What a year it’s been. 2022 brought a bunch of changes, challenges, and revelations. To highlight just some of what happened:

  • I started my graduate studies in Spiritual Direction at United Theological Seminary.
  • I did a sleep study and found out I’m really bad at breathing when I sleep. I consequently ended up getting an APAP machine, and it has been life-changing.
  • In April I made a last-minute trip to Chicago to see a friend in a play, and got to catch up with some of my favorite people.
  • I went on my first big company trip to New York City in May and got to meet a bunch of the people I’d only known through screens for the past two years.
  • I got my Carrie Fisher tribute tattoo.
  • We made it back to Song School after a couple of years away; I took a performance class with Amy Speace that was also life-changing.
  • The end of August marked a whole year with Nova, and we had a party to celebrate her 3rd birthday.
  • I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in September, and that’s brought a whole bunch of new medications and routines into my life.
  • We talked my best friend into moving into our building, and we live in a sitcom now, and it’s wonderful.
  • I took a songwriting class online with Sue Demel through the Old Town School of Folk Music and actually wrote some songs that I’m pretty happy with.
  • I passed all of my first year of seminary classes.

In addition to all that, we helped several members of our chosen family navigate a variety of crises, and I started making some new friends at school and through D&D.

My big, overarching goal for 2022 was to learn to approach life with more curiosity and compassion and less of a need for control. I think I made pretty good progress, although there’s definitely still room for growth. It’s leading me straight into the goal for 2023, which is to lean into vulnerability and unapologetically ask for what I need. As my therapist reminded me a couple of weeks ago – “you don’t need to be perfect to ask for your needs to be met.”

I think I’m going to wrap it up there for the year. I hope your holiday season has been reasonably gentle and that you’re able to go into the new year feeling refreshed. I’ll send you off with these holiday photos of Nova:

Hurry Up and Wait

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been one of those weeks where I’m never quite sure what day it is, for one reason or another. It’s been an ordinary week in some ways and a big week in others.

First big item: I’m done with my semester, which means I’m done with my first year of grad school! It’s wild to me that it’s already been a year. I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned so far and the connections I’m making with classmates and instructors. I’m continuing to have a deep sense of rightness in pursuing this degree, even if I’m still not 100% certain what life after I graduate will look like and how I’ll be using it. The vision of the future is slowly gaining some clarity, and I’ve got time to figure out the details.

The other big news is that the surgery scheduler called and I have a date for my hysterectomy! And…it’s not until March. But at least it’s scheduled, and three months isn’t all that long to wait when I’ve already been waiting basically half my life. It’ll be happening in the middle of the semester, so I’m going to end up taking about a month of medical leave from work to recover, but I’ve gotten that process kicked off and I think everything is going to work out.

I think I’m going to leave it there for this week. As always, here’s your weekly dose of Nova:

Nine Years!

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday!

Yesterday marks NINE YEARS since I started this blog. I have posted something almost every Thursday for nine entire years. This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with one particular creative project, and I’m proud and also a bit dismayed that I’ve managed to keep it up.

This blog started out nine years ago primarily to record thoughts, feelings, and experiences around gender transition. For the last many years it’s been more of a general story-of-my-life sort of blog, but today, seeing as we’ve hit a major blogging anniversary, I feel like it’s appropriate to circle back to that original purpose.

Early last week, I had a consultation with an ob-gyn to discuss getting a hysterectomy. I’ve known I wanted to do this since before I knew I was trans. I was nervous going into the appointment, but it went really well.

Since then, I’ve gotten the requisite letters of justification for insurance purposes from my therapist and my primary care doctor, and the surgical orders have been put in; now, I’m just waiting on their scheduler to call me. In a perfect world, I’ll have this done by the end of the year!

It’s wild to think that this thing I’ve wanted to do for well over a decade is immanent to the point that it could be just weeks away. I’m not super looking forward to the recovery, but thankfully I have a great support network here. Mostly, I’m just very excited by the prospect of being done.

In non-transition news, we got almost 6 inches of snow on Tuesday, and Nova is over the moon about it. I’ll leave you with this video of her in her happy place:

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:

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: