Sunday, January 30, 2022

Spirit Days

I typically am not a huge fan of Spirit Days that cannot be 100% executed by children on their own. I finished school and I don’t want anymore homework. But this year both the high school and the middle school held “Anything but a backpack” days and I am HERE FOR IT. Like not only did I assist in the procurement, I also stalked the schools’ social media to see what other kids did. It was so fun to see so much ridiculousness and enthusiasm :) I do love ridiculousness
Trash can that previously held our dog toys

Shopping cart borrowed from one of our favorite 2 year olds


Saturday, January 15, 2022

This house is clean!

Not my actual house. My actual house is a wreck, but at least it’s not a teeming petri dish 
COVID is fucking weird. The house is cleared, everyone’s testing negative, and no one had a single symptom. We never would have known if Eli hadn’t been doing sports. I can’t tell if I’m relieved or if this just makes me more nervous…


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Poorly practicing frustration tolerance

 "This is a great opportunity to practice frustration tolerance!" 

I used to have a supervisor who would say that, and I loved it. What a great reframe! Something sucks? You're angry? Traffic is moving too slow? What a great opportunity to practice frustration tolerance! It's even better if you say it with a huge grin and enthusiastic hand motions. 

I would like to publicly apologize to every human I've ever said that to. Including my husband, who has repeatedly and loudly informed me that it's the biggest load of bullshit ever. But that's not my point. Today. Today is... not a great day.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of petty things I hate today:

Delayed shipping. The bright side of the pandemic is that we've all learned how easy it is to get things delivered. I've done a lot of personal work to remind myself that it's not always reasonable to expect immediacy and that waiting 2-3 days is perfectly reasonable. But now?! Now I'm waiting 2-3 weeks and no one cares because apparently "guaranteed delivery" is really "arbitrary number we attach to your receipt" and no one gives two shits that you needed your thing yesterday and thought you were doing the right thing by not going out shopping in person with all of your toxic face germs. 

Conflicting/confusing policies regarding quarantine. It's only been two fucking years. How is it that we still have to comb through policies with a fine tooth comb to figure out what we're doing? Why do I have to go digging for anyone's decision-fucking-forests? 

The phrase "Decision Forest." Decision trees are designed to make decision making easier. If I wanted a forest... Nevermind. I don't want a forest. I want clear and rational guidelines one way or another. 

Seasonal coffee creamer. I'm looking directly at you, Maple brown sugar oat creamer. You made me love you in October and now it's January and I'm trying to figure out how to hoard all the cartons before we're back to ridiculous boring flavors like "vanilla" and "hazelnut." It's a fucking pandemic. Nothing is fun anymore. All I have left is my coffee. 

Shoes that make noise. WHY? Why do they make noise? I can't go to stores anymore. I certainly can't spend enough time in a store to walk around in the merchandise to make sure that they don't make a weird squeak or that one doesn't click when I turn left. 

Meal planning. I am SO TIRED of trying to figure out what to eat. I want Jetson's-era food pill machines. I've already moved to having my groceries delivered but ugh. Also, my grocery delivery keeps getting screwy so I had to order Costco three times last week just to get my dog food. And I'd hate to make someone shop just for one thing at Costco so it's not saving me money OR time at this point. 

Drink packets and other food wrappers. They're everywhere. It makes me nuts. If I pick up one more sad, depleted applesauce pouch I may commit a felony.  

Automated messages with robovoices. This is stupid. It takes 10 minutes to record an actual human, any actual human. If the robovoice can't even pronounce your company or school name correctly, get a different system. 

Things I don't hate: 

Getting pictures from my stir-crazy teenager who still isn't too old for the occasional costume

Tuesday, January 11, 2022


 Another one down. C tested before school on Monday and promptly got kicked out of work. Same as Eli, he’s completely, 100% asymptomatic. The girls continue to test negative. This thing is so fucking weird 

Update: Dude. I just came across this article that says that having fought off a cold has been found (in a VERY small study) to be potentially protective against COVID infection in home exposures. We were convinced that all of us that got sick over Christmas but continued to test negative just had sneaky COVID, but now I'm wondering if that's why only the boys have tested positive? They're the only ones that didn't get the bug over the holiday. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

And…we’re hit

 Two years. Eight million masks. 14 shots. Countless declined invitations and awkward conversations. So, so many nasal swabs. 

Our school district handed out home tests this week and Eli took one yesterday, in advance of a wrestling tournament this weekend. He tests 1-2 times per week for wrestling, so he’s old hat at this. It’s a formality and probably over cautious since all the wrestlers would get tested at weigh in, but since it was an away match the coach figured it would be better to test before everyone traveled. Spoiler alert: we are not at a wrestling tournament. 

We’ll test everyone else tomorrow. For now he’s holed up in his room and wears an N95 anytime he leaves, but looking at the school quarantine rules, that might be unnecessary since the girls might have to stay home the same amount or maybe even longer. He’s going stir crazy. Quarantine isn’t fun or novel anymore and we’ve watched all of the things by now. 

I am grateful that we’re all as vaccinated as we could be. I wish I’d jumped on boosters sooner. So far everyone feels fine, which is simultaneously frustrating and reassuring. Part of me hopes that everyone tests positive tomorrow so we can be done running from the unknown. The other part of me knows how lucky we are and that we shouldn’t press it. I laughed at the CDC’s new guidelines but now I’m definitely benefitting from them. Trust the scientists, right?  

I worried that this would feel like a failure and I’m surprised that it doesn’t. I’m glad that it doesn’t. I hesitated to put anything out there, but I also hope that other people won’t feel like their efforts were wasted if they get hit too. We avoided infection clear up to the “highly contagious but mostly mild to no symptom” variant, which is the one I’d pick if I had to pick one. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Good intentions

 I often find myself saying the same thing to several people at work, suggesting that there are messages that lots of people need to hear. One of them is this: If you want to build a new habit, the first step is to make it as easy as possible. You basically want it to be easier to do the new thing than to keep doing the old thing. So for example, when I wanted to work out in the mornings, I slept in my gym clothes. At that point it was easier to just go than to justify sleeping in a sports bra for no reason. It's weird, but it works!

I'm not doing resolutions, but I have decided on a few personal challenges The first is that I want to work on reducing my use of disposable things. I've got reusuable silverware in my office and my purse, so that's easy. I'd really like though to get away from plastic shopping bags. It's so dumb  that I pay .10 to crumple it up under my sink, occasionally use one, and then throw them all away in a giant fit. I own lots of bags. I have a laundry basket in the backseat of my car for the sole purpose of corralling purchases. I don't even do my own shopping that much anymore, so why, why, why is it so hard?! If anyone has any tips, I could really use them. In the meantime I'm embracing my inner abstainer and only allowing myself a store bag if it's paper, since I use those for recycling. Which is how you found me walking out of the drugstore this morning juggling a handful of sinus meds and tampons. 

My other intentions, I hope, are easier (and less cringy). 

I'm giving myself a challenge for January to spend the couple of minutes before class working on my handstands. I'd LOVE to be able to do a full handstand at the end of the month, but even if I don't I will definitely be more comfortable upside down. 

I am challenging myself to back into parking spots (so far so good!) 

I'd like to work on reducing my orders from Amazon and I think I have a plan. My goal isn't really morally driven (Jeff Bezos created a brilliant company and I guess if he wants to be an asshole he can) but it hurts my wallet and my soul to get packages on a near daily basis. My thought is that if I have a designated "check out day" that I will be less inclined to hit the "Buy it now" button and maybe make more thoughtful purchases while also reducing the number of boxes that get delivered since the orders will be combined. 

And a goal. I would really like to publish an article. About something. Somewhere. I don't have anything more specific than that yet, but I do have an accountability partner and some ideas of what I might write and...that's about it. But I've now stated it out loud so my chances of success just went up and hopefully it'll be easier to keep moving forward than to justify why I didn't. 

I'm definitely only making eye contact with 2022 out of my peripheral vision, for fear of inciting something that none of us are prepared for (see: welcoming 2021 ridiculously and where that got us). But if you are setting any goals or challenges for yourself I would love to hear them and support them in any way that I can! I don't have a word for 2022 but if I did, I think I'd want it to be "Encouraging."