Thursday Ramblings

It’s Thursday, and I’m tired.

I’ve been tired all week. I’m fighting an end-of-summer cold, and it’s making mornings especially challenging. Today, at least, I was able to get up and out of the house at a reasonable hour – I’m leading a training at work this morning, so it would’ve been especially problematic if I was late. But I feel like I’m dragging.

The fact that the weather got hot again is not helping matters – I am ready for fall weather. I’m also ready for consistent weather – the constant shifting is really hard on my body – but that’s probably not a realistic wish in Chicago.

I’m not having a bad week, exactly. I’m just low on energy. The weekend was good – I got to play D&D and we got the apartment more settled. I wrote a song I liked for class this week, so that was exciting.

How about you, dear readers? How are you feeling as we wait for the season to really start changing? What’s new and exciting in your lives? I’d love to hear from you.

It’s All About Community

Happy Thursday, dear readers! I am getting back into the swing of life after a wild couple of weeks, and I nearly forgot to blog – I keep thinking it’s Friday.

Last week, my partner and I made our way to the Rocky Mountain Song School in Lyons, CO. We got a late start, leaving Chicago for Lincoln, NE around 2:45 Friday afternoon, because we were trying to get the rest of the packing for our move done before we hit the road. We got to our hotel in Lincoln around 1:15am. It made for a short night.

We drove to a friend’s house in Denver the next day. It turned out her roommates were gone, and she was dog-sitting for some other friends, so after we hung out for a while, she left to do that and we had the house to ourselves. It was nice – I was especially exhausted, and was able to crash early.

The next morning, we got breakfast with friends who just moved to Denver from Chicago. It was great to see them, and after we ate we went for a little stroll around the neighborhood to look at street art. Then we drove back to the house, packed up our stuff, and headed up to Lyons. It was a bit rainy on the way there, but thankfully by the time we got there and were setting up, it had stopped.

It was so good to be back at Planet Bluegrass. The details of the individual days are a little muddled in my brain, but it was a great time. Monday I took a couple of classes that involved writing to some prompts, and that generated some ideas that led to me writing a complete set of lyrics to a new song that night. Over the next two days, I worked out music for it (my first attempt was entirely too moody, which I realized after another class), and Wednesday night I got to perform it at the open stage, with eight of my favorite humans, who came up with harmonies literally fifteen minutes before we went on to perform. It was incredible.

Practice

Practicing/learning harmonies 15 minutes before going on stage (Photo Credit: Rah Foard)

Performing

Performing at the open stage (Photo Credit: Rah Foard)

Other highlights of the week:

  • I made it my mission to do new things. I took a bunch of classes that intimidated me, and stayed out of my comfort zone most of the time.
  • I went swimming! It was my first time going shirtless in public (it’s been almost three years since I had top surgery). It felt good.
  • I reconnected with some of my very favorite people. I was surrounded by the most incredible community, and the safety that community created gave me the courage to try new things, take risks, and get out of my comfort zone. I was continuously reminded of how important community is, even to an introvert like me. Life doesn’t happen in isolation.

It’s been a whirlwind since we got back. We got home Saturday evening, and picked my partner’s dad up from Union Station (we borrowed his car for our trip, and so he came down to help us move and to get his car back). Sunday we did a lot of running back and forth between apartments. Monday, I headed off to work, and my partner and his dad coordinated with the movers to get the bulk of our stuff over to the new apartment! At this point, we have I think 99% of our stuff over at the new place, and we’ve been sleeping there all week. It’s a chaos of boxes, but last night my partner got most of the kitchen unpacked (I’m feeling under the weather and crashed early – hoping I can be more useful with the rest of the unpacking), and we HAVE to have everything unpacked by Saturday morning, because that’s when the reusable boxes are being picked back up. So…it’s going to be a bonkers couple of days. But it’s a great new space, and it’s already starting to feel like home.

Move and Vacation

We are inching ever closer to our move date, and the number of packed boxes in our apartment has increased since last week. We’ve been coordinating some maintenance needs with the new landlord so that we don’t need to have them come and fix things when we’re actually there.

We’re down to the wire for packing now, though.

My partner has been in Minnesota for the past few days, hanging out with his parents before borrowing his dad’s car to drive to Song School. He gets back into town this afternoon. We leave for Song School tomorrow.

I am so excited for Song School, for seeing dear friends and digging into the practice of songwriting. I am also worried that I’ll struggle to be present, knowing that we move two days after we get back. I’m hoping I’ll be able to set that aside and fully engage while we’re on this trip.

On that note: there will be no blog next week, as I will be in Colorado and off my phone as much as possible. The next time I write a blog will be from our new apartment!

Boxes, Boxes Everywhere

Moving is a lot of work.

Our reusable moving boxes from Chicago Green Box were delivered on Saturday.

30 big green bins. So far we’ve packed 17.5 of them, and it feels like we’re running out of places to stack the packed ones. We basically have to finish by the end of this weekend, because Monday my partner heads to Minnesota to hang out with his family for a few days before we borrow their car for our trip to Colorado, and I’m hoping to not have to pack too much on my own.

It feels like we have so much to do before we leave for Colorado next Friday. I believe we can do it, but it’s going to be a challenge.

I am excited for Song School, though. Looking forward to seeing friends and filling my brain with the wisdom of other songwriters. I’ve been feeling a bit stuck in my own songwriting lately, so I’m hoping this helps to shake some things loose.

Adventures

Hello, dear readers! How on earth is it Thursday already? (At the same time: how is it only Thursday?) I am in that weird space where my body is exhausted but my brain is manic. #BipolarAdventures

It’s been a pretty good week. Here are some highlights:

  • On Sunday, a friend came over for breakfast so we could celebrate the fact that she finished grad school. (She graduates today!) I love the fact that we’ve cultivated this friendship that largely revolves around weekend breakfast/brunch and good conversation.
  • Monday night, my partner and I each played a set at the Acoustic Explosion (where six performers play 25 minute sets every Monday night). Both of our sets went well, and despite the nerves, we had fun.
  • This week at work has been busy, because I’m trying to wrap up some projects before I go on my first ever work trip next week. Sunday I’m flying to DC for the national conference for the company that makes our client database (which is what I manage at work). I’m not going to have time for sight-seeing, unfortunately, but I’m hoping I’ll get to connect with a friend or two. I’m also hoping for some good networking opportunities at the conference. I haven’t been to DC since I was in high school!

Clouds for Days

It has been raining and overcast all week here in Chicago, and I am tired. This sort of weather is hard for multiple reasons – my brain gets squirrelly if it goes more than a couple of days without sunshine, and wet, humid weather makes my joints especially achy.

On the bright side, the rain (and on Saturday, snow) that we’ve gotten has knocked a lot of the pollen off the trees, and made my allergies much more bearable as a consequence.

Other bright points:

  • Therapy is going really well. My therapist is the best and I’m learning a lot as we process things. An important lesson that keeps coming up is that I need to celebrate my successes instead of just letting them pass by.
  • I started a new songwriting class this week. Banjo was great as a break, but I’m so happy to be back in this class with these people.
  • I have started working on a letter I’m planning to send out to my extended family as a sort of reintroduction. I’m feeling good about how it’s looking so far. The biggest hurdle is going to be getting addresses for everyone.

I’m sitting on the bus on my way to work Thursday morning, and I am not really sure what to write about. It hasn’t been a terribly eventful week. Truthfully, I’ve been dealing with a lot of pain and trying to navigate that reality. But there have been some bright spots, too. For example:

  • Friday night we had a chance to knit with a couple of friends for the first time in a while. I finished a pair of socks that I’d started two years ago, so that felt like an accomplishment.
  • Sunday night was the class showcase for the songwriting class I was in in January and February. I am always so impressed by the work that comes out of those songwriting classes, and that community is something truly special. I am grateful to be a part of it.
  • Last night I started taking a banjo class, and I am very excited about it. The instructor is a friend and an excellent teacher, and the class promises to be a lot of fun.