making the most of it

Lancelot periodically has to work overtime. I kind of hate this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a common thing and a known hazard and it really doesn’t happen often. And at least he’s hourly so, unlike when I get to work extra, he gets paid for it. So I try (honestly, I try) not to bitch about it too much.

He had to work last night, big ol’ bummer. But instead of pouting and feeling sorry for myself, which honestly does no damn good, I decided to act like a big girl and I’ve been making the most of what we refer to at work as “found time.” So far I have…

  • Taken Mom out for a lovely dinner where we both got tipsy
  • Re-wrote the directions for a knitting pattern because I found them confusing
  • Actually did some knitting
  • Thoroughly cleaned my bathroom
  • Did my food prep for the week
  • Took care of some paperwork for my health care account
  • Cleaned up the laptop
  • Got my outfits and jewelry ready for next week

Might not seem like a lot (or maybe it does) but it certainly helped pass the time and I feel good for having been productive.

Possibly the most exciting news is that I’m not really done with grad school after all. I met with the program coordinator on Friday and got some new information that makes all the difference. I’m going to take at least one semester off, but during that time I can be writing on my own and “banking” material for later. I also found out that I have TEN YEARS from when I started to get this done. That takes a lot of the pressure off.

Lancelot is super excited. He told me that he knew I wasn’t giving up, just taking a break. He’s got a lot of faith in me. Anyway, we’re going to go to the residency this July for a day to sit in on a lecture and see everyone. I want him to get a sense of what the experience is like. And the coordinator wants to meet him.

I’m actually excited to start writing again.

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taking out the trash

I’ve mentioned several times recently that I’ve been on this “clean out all the bullshit” kick. I’m loving it. Clothes that didn’t fit or don’t make me happy, jewelry I never wore, some shoes, a few books, candles… I realized just now that there’s another stash of clothes that need to go, hidden under the stairs.

But there are other things that need to be removed. Yesterday I ended up cleaning out my closet at work, the one that primarily houses snacks and stuff. That was a disaster. Today I’m going to spend a little time on my desk. Too much clutter, too much nonsense in the drawers.

I can’t really say what it is that gets me into these moods, but it’s a cyclical thing with me. Kind of like Spring Cleaning on steroids I guess. All I know is that I feel better once it’s all done.

This afternoon I’m meeting with one of the program coordinators for the writing program I just left. I feel good that I was able to finish the semester successfully, but I know that I just can’t take on that kind of workload and stress again right now. I want to finish the memoir one of these days but I already know that my Fall semester is going to be too busy. There’s at least one international trip planned so that right there is enough to make me not interested in school.

I’m going to try to add back in a hobby/creative outlet that I haven’t done in ages. I’ve signed up to take a fused glass class at a local studio where I’ve taken classes before. I’m excited, it should be great. The last project I made, I think, was last summer. Not that the knitting and jewelry making aren’t good enough, but a girl shouldn’t box herself in too much when it comes to being creative.

a million things

I’ve been making pretty good progress with getting my life back together. This wasn’t like some of the ridiculously spectacular explosions that I have faced before, but the time between January 1 and now has been, well, I don’t have enough of the right words to describe it.

It was like having to burn all the candles at all the ends.

It was like arguing with a demon in my head who was a toddler and insisted on a bedtime story every five minutes.

It was like watching all of the things I wanted to be doing slip through my fingers like water, and knowing that the water was tears.

But it’s over, and as much as I love what I wrote and as proud as I am of what I managed to do, it needed to be put away for now. And so I did. I cleared out a small drawer in my desk yesterday and put all of the printed materials and my notebooks in it. The memoirs I read are on the bookshelf (except Patty Duke’s shitty book, yuck). Reclaiming my workspace yesterday and getting that area ready for creative things again was crucial for moving forward.

I also went through my room and came up with four bags full to send to the thrift shop. I was ruthless. It felt FABULOUS. And, as usual, I found some things I had completely forgotten about. It feels a lot better in there now as well.

This is maybe a weird thing, but I’m going to share anyway. I’m totally a list maker, y’all know that. But I don’t like writing them on paper if I don’t have to. At work I have a whiteboard mounted on a door and I frequently fill that up. But at home I don’t have that, so I improvise.

Upstairs I keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom and I write my lists on the mirror. Sounds strange, but it works. It’s right there where I look every day and it wipes off super easy. I find that it really helps, and it’s a cheap hack.

Life is slowly returning to the happy place where I really enjoy it. Mom and I did a little shopping last Thursday, Lancelot and I went and had massages Saturday morning and then did a little shopping, we had friends over for dinner, and then brunch on Mother’s Day. And I’ve been knitting again. What more can you ask for?

Apparently you can ask for more treats.

a plus, a minus

My older niece is doing the National American Miss pageant stuff, and is doing quite well so far. She’s got an event coming up and my sister wanted me to find a picture of Miss E from her second birthday. My dad was still alive then and he took THOUSANDS of photos. Not even kidding. So Mom and I spent a fair bit of time the other night finding the Very Specific photo my sister wanted. We also found this…

My dad was a Shriner and in the Provost unit so at the annual Shrine Circus he put on his police/security uniform and helped people find stuff, etc. This is a shot of him and Miss E at what would end up being his last circus. It’s significant to me in part because there are so few pictures of Dad. He was almost always the one taking the pictures. And there’s just something so precious about this.

So that was definitely a plus. Now, for the minus…

I wanted to scream this yesterday afternoon when I found out but I wanted to wait until I got to see Lancelot in person this morning to tell him. Mom found out first.

I GOT AN A- IN MY CLASS!!!

No, that is not a real bird. Yes, I am that cool. (from the Dubai trip)

Grad school is now over for me, for the foreseeable future. I am signed up for a single class in the Fall but the jury is still out as to whether I’ll stay signed up. I have one more international trip to take plus I’ve been approached about taking on a paid side gig. I refuse to make myself as ridiculously busy as I was in the spring.

DONE!!!

Do I seem excited? A little? Perhaps? Nah…

Friday night I turned in the last of my school work. I will freely admit that it wasn’t the quantity or quality that I normally strive for but I was burned extra crispy and all I wanted was to turn something, anything, in and get some meager amount of credit. And I did. Based on the feedback I’ve already gotten from my mentor I believe I have passed the semester.

That’s the new look. My hair is ridiculously short and I absolutely love it. The color is very black cherry and it suits me nicely. Lancelot has been playing with it, a lot, and I absolutely love that, too. Speaking of Lancelot…

After the panic of Friday night getting my homework turned in we spent the rest of the weekend in a much more relaxed fashion. We did a wee bit of shopping, watched a few movies, I did a little knitting while he watched some wrestling matches, and then we had craft time. I showed him how to make coasters using 4″ white tiles and alcohol ink. Much fun.

I’m looking forward to having more time to work on projects now that I’m not in school. I have a ton of beautiful yarn just waiting to be used, not to mention beads, and there are still projects that I’d started ages ago that need some love.

These boys need some love, too. I got a text from Mom this morning saying “this is how we do Mondays.” Indeed.

almost there

I have until tomorrow to get the rest of my homework for the semester done. I’m already mostly checked out but I’ll get it done. There are 15 graduate credits on the line; I refuse to have the loan I took out for this semester be for naught.

On a totally unrelated topic, it seems to me that the only thing worse than dealing with your own anxiety and difficulties are having someone you love dealing with anxiety and difficulties and not really be able to help. It’s a rather horrible feeling, very powerless. I am hoping that tomorrow is a better day.

There’s not much else to tell right now I’m afraid. I’m still trying to stick with the healthy eating stuff but not really doing a great job. Progress is slow, but steady. That counts, right?

there’s never enough time

The weekend wasn’t really what I wanted, or needed. I don’t have any interest in going into it, not much anyway. The new pasta recipe was delicious, the trip to the artist co-op yielded some amazing jewelry, and Avengers Endgame is phenomenal. Other bits of the weekend were absolute shit. Done and over.

The Dublin Shawl is done. That’s not the name of a pattern, it’s my name for it since the yarn reminds me of Ireland and I started it on that trip. It’s lovely. And now it’s about to be too warm to wear shawls like this. Naturally.

I went on a very quick rampage in the kitchen when I got home from Camelot yesterday. That is a work week of pasta salad, fruit bits, jello with raspberries, and hard boiled eggs. I also did my big batch of cold coffee. I feel fairly well prepared, just no breakfasts.

I also got my room all picked back up, two loads of laundry done and put away, outfits and jewelry are laid out for the week. I need to get back to kicking ass and taking names.

I have two days now to finish my homework for the semester. That’s 30 pages in the manuscript and a 6 page essay. Wish me luck.