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:

Happy New Year!

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to the first Thursday of 2023! We made it. I hope you’re all hanging in there and that your new years are starting off gently.

I’m having a decent start to my new year so far. I found out yesterday that I somehow managed to swing A’s in both of my classes last semester – I was not expecting an A in the one class I was really struggling with, so that was a pleasant surprise. I also started a new morning routine a few days before the new year, and I’m now 8 days into meditating and journaling in the mornings before I get into my day. I’m not particularly a morning person, but I do tend to function better if I can ease into my day and have extra time in the morning, rather than rolling out of bed, brushing my teeth, and logging into work. So that all feels really good.

It’s been snowing for the past few days here – I think we’ve gotten a bit over a foot here in St. Paul. Nova is over the moon about it. It’s made me want to be extra cozy, so I made a big batch of soup a few days ago, and that’s been great to be able to have on these snowy days.

I don’t have a whole heck of a lot to write about this week – things are going okay and also I feel like I’m still in the liminal space between holidays since my first spring semester class doesn’t start until next week. I’ll leave you with some photos of Nova enjoying the weather:

A Chilly Merry Happy

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! Yesterday was the Winter Solstice, so every day from here until June is going to get a little bit longer. And today it is very wintery indeed here in Minnesota.

I’m going to need to take Nova out soon, and I’m not especially looking forward to it.

Happy Hanukkah to my friends who celebrate! And a Merry almost Christmas to those to whom it applies. It’s going to be a busy weekend despite the cold as we celebrate with family. I am hoping to guard tomorrow as a mostly free day where I can relax, do some intention-setting for the new year, and catch up on sleep, because the rest of the weekend is pretty packed.

I don’t have too much else to talk about today, so I’ll leave you with your weekly dose of Nova:

Let it Snow

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been a long week for not particularly concrete reasons, and I spent a lot of yesterday feeling like it should be Friday, but here we are. It’s snowing in the Twin Cities today – last I looked they’re predicting we’ll get 5-8 inches. Part of me wants to be grinchy about it, but Nova is so happy that it’s hard to be upset. And it is pretty, and it’s covering all the gross, grey, dirty snow that was mostly melted, which is nice.

One of the more concrete things that has made this week feel very long is that I’ve been dealing with a lot of auditory sensitivity. This has been one of the most persistent clues in my life that I fall somewhere on the neurodivergent spectrum of existence – perfectly ordinary sounds suddenly feel unbearably loud, not in a way that gives me a headache or would be a sign of a migraine or something, but they’re just…too much, and if I can’t mitigate the sounds somehow, suddenly everything feels too loud, from lights to texture, etc., and I’m stuck fighting a meltdown. In a fit of overwhelm earlier in the week I ordered some fancy ear plugs that Facebook and Instagram have been advertising to me for forever. They arrived yesterday, and…holy shit, y’all. These are a game-changer. I could tell they were sort of helping when I was wearing them while I was working and felt a little better able to focus, but then as I was wrapping up work, my best friend (who lives upstairs) asked if she could come down to play our piano for a bit. Now, I love our piano, but in our old industrial apartment with its 12 foot corrugated cement ceilings, it is VERY bright, and I often find that it’s too much for my system to handle. In the back of my head I was trying to think of polite ways to excuse myself from the apartment if I got overwhelmed, but it turned out I didn’t need to worry. These ear plugs cut the bright frequencies that I find really hard to cope with, and what was left was a perfectly pleasant experience of listening to a friend make music. I’m blown away. So for my fellow neuro-spicy types out there, if you’ve also been receiving targeted ads for Loop ear plugs, I can say they get two thumbs up from me. I got the Engage Plus variety for myself, and while they weren’t cheap, so far I’m confident they’re going to be worth it for my (relative) sanity.

I’ve mostly managed to convince my brain at this point that I don’t need to worry that I’ve forgotten a homework assignment, which is great. I’m still waiting on final grades, but I’m not too worried about that – I know that I passed both classes and that was my goal. (I think I probably broke my straight-A streak, but that’s also okay, even if the perfectionist part of my brain is fighting me on that.) I’m happy to have a break between semesters, and am also really looking forward to next semester’s classes!

I think that’s where I’ll wrap this up this week. As always here’s your weekly Nova spam:

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:

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!