Wednesday, November 30, 2011
We have a room that is largely unused.
Well, I shouldn't say unused: it simply has no respectable purpose. It's the catch-all of the condo, kind of like that one drawer in the kitchen that attracts pens, paperclips, safety pins, pennies, and whatever else we happen to find lying around. We call the room an office, but the desk only takes up a teeny bit of the space. We used to have a futon in there (so it could have been used as a guest room, I suppose), but Nick sold that to my cousin a few months ago when she moved into her own apartment.
So, what has been sitting in the room? Baskets of clean, folded laundry belonging to yours truly. You know me and closets. I must defend, however, that I have not had a dresser since I moved in with Nick. I grew up with a big closet and two dressers, so it was a bit of an event figuring out how to store all my stuff with only a closet to work with (albeit a really big one).
I do not think my volume of clothing is absurd for no one has ever questioned my storage needs—heck, when I moved into my aunts' home, my dad came out and built additional areas to hang my clothes without any reaction (though, he may have just been dulled to clothing volume because of my mom's collection).
Nick, on the other hand, seems to think I have a lot of clothes. I find this laughable because his closet is all but bursting at the seams; he has four or five long containers that slide beneath the bed; AND he has a five-drawer dresser. All storage areas are full. (Of course, he doesn't switch out winter and summer clothes like I do, but still.)
Anyway, my storage system in this dresser-less existence was an impressive combination of baskets and stacked containers, but it required constant vigilance.
All that changed when I realized that I could fit a dresser in the room with the futon gone. That's right: after nearly six years, I have a dresser! It's wonderful! I spent a day reorganizing my clothing and other miscellaneous bits then decided that I might as well claim the whole room as sort of a closet-entryway…second-closet…outer-closet. By that evening, I was calling it my closet proper, and Nick was all, "Wah!?"
And behind the door:
I have found myself wandering into this room more, lighting candles and buying Wallflowers. It's absolutely sinful. I think Nick is in a state of bemusement. I did let him retain a tiny corner of real estate to keep his computer desk…see? I can share.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The things that come out of Nick's mouth…you can't just make this stuff up.
We were in the car after an evening shopping excursion. We were both silent and listening to the quiet radio. Nick broke the silence, feeling the pull to confess his dilemma.
"There has been a fly stuck in my car."I arched an eyebrow, not even turning to look at him as he spoke.
"Yeah. And I would shoo it outside, but it'd probably just DIE. I don't want that on me. I don't want to be a fly-killer."He quieted. We let the radio fill the silence once more. I was forced to consider the plight of the poor fly for the rest of the drive.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Sophie, like many cats, has very expressive eyes. I can tell when she's feeling happy, sleepy, bored, or affectionate just by looking at her. I can also tell when she's disappointed.
Sophie, I'm sorry. I can't play now because I have to...(get dressed/go to work/paint my toenails).
She gives me those Puss in Boots eyes, and I feel terrible (but continue to get dressed/go to work/paint my toenails anyway). When I let her down, Sophie turns to a more reliable companion, one who always drops everything just to play with her:
Friday, November 25, 2011
I decided to use my time away from work this week to give our home a really deep clean—you know, with my nose an inch away from the kitchen floor to see if that's dirt or part of the pattern to scrub accordingly. Knowing that every nook and cranny sparkles is a heady rush, and I wish I could maintain this level of clean constantly.
Unfortunately, that would take time that I do not want to pull from elsewhere, and this level of clean makes me not a little neurotic (and Nick not a little miserable):
Don't empty your pockets on the coffee table! Don't leave your shoes on the middle of the floor! Don't do ANYTHING in the kitchen!
If I let the sheen dull just a touch, the comparisons of me to Benito Mussolini are a bit more of a stretch.
I replenished my backup cleaning supplies earlier this week, and I felt very old and boring. I zipped into Target with a bounce to my step and left with two bulging bags. I was giddy, drunk on the shopping spree. I eagerly unpacked my bags the next morning, lining up my bounty on the table to admire my acquisitions.
My, how the times have changed. I had no baubles. There were no flirty flats or swirly skirts. There was nothing fun at all, and yet I was absurdly pleased—so pleased, you'll note, that I had to take a picture. It's times like this that I have to laugh at myself.
I remember giving my mother hell about her cleaning ways when I was a young child. "Why do we have to clean EVERY week!? Nobody else does this! None of my friends have to do this!" You see, I took it for granted that tabletops always shined, toilet bowls always sparkled, and that everybody's home carried the scent of lemon cleaning supplies…all without any work.
Despite my childish protests, she carried me along, and scrubbing became habit ("...Because we respect our possessions," she would say). Still, I vowed that I would never be the fiend that she was. I mean, when she would go to a store, she'd get all glassy-eyed and eager at the cleaning aisle—THE CLEANING AISLE! When Pledge advertised a new product, she'd run right out to get a can.
What a nutcase…
…and the transformation is nearly complete. Pft. I didn't ask for this, you know! It's a sickness, I tell you!
And for Heaven's sake, Nick, it takes one extra step to hang your coat IN THE CLOSET. What do you think this is?—a democracy!?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It makes me step back and see all that I have; it opens my eyes to the fortune in my life. It has nothing to do with the meals of epic (literally) proportions. (But on the subject of the food, I am still humored by my turkey: oh, the days when I was a creative person with a creative job. I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence…)
Also, I have little interest in the history of the holiday or the debate of what that first Thanksgiving was really like. Instead, I like the modern translation—what Thanksgiving means to me. The day gives us the opportunity to see the simple gifts in our lives that we so often overlook. It's one day not ruled my commercialism because it centers on what we have instead of what we want.
I am thankful for my family: often dysfunctional but always loving. I am thankful to have Nick in my life because of his overwhelming kindness. I am thankful to have my health and access to pain management resources. I am thankful to have a job when so many others have lost theirs. I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I am thankful that I am happy…I am thankful that life looks beautiful to me.
Have a very happy Thanksgiving and take a moment to remember who and what in your life matters most…our time here is never long enough.
Monday, November 21, 2011
The things that come out of Nick's mouth…you can't just make this stuff up.
I have two desks at work: one at the local regional building, and one at the company headquarters. I've been locked out of one of my desks in the past because I did not have my full set of keys with me. In a moment of delayed enlightenment, I decided to place all my work keys on a ring and attach the ring to my security badge that I wear on my hip. That way, my desk and docking station are accessible to me at all times, no matter the building. GENIUS. When I am not at work, I leave my badge clipped to my purse.
We were walking through a parking garage on Saturday when the clip of the badge broke. At the rolling "ching" of keys against concrete, I stopped and walked back to see what I dropped. Nick looked over my shoulder when I bent to retrieve my badge. He seemed startled to see that my badge had fallen and exclaimed, "Oh!"
I raised my eyebrow and stared back at him curiously as I placed the badge safely in my purse.
(N) I thought it was a spoon. I thought you stepped on a spoon.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The blanket's back.
I love fall colors, but I don't keep this blanket out year-round. When I look outside and see the leaves so vibrantly green with life, I don't want to be reminded that their vigor will be short-lived. I hide the blanket as soon as the ground thaws. Sophie understands how it is, but that doesn't make it any easier—you see, she loves that blanket.
If I didn't know better, I would say that Sophie has become clingy, always sitting with me on the couch…but I know better. I know that I've got nothing to do with it. I know that I've just gotten in the middle of an attraction bigger and stronger than anything I could have imagined when I bought that plush throw.
Meanwhile, I harbor jealousy toward a blanket: she's loves you more than me…wwaaaaanh!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Tuesday was November 15th. Throughout the entire day, I had this nagging feeling that something about November 15th was significant. I have an amazing memory for dates which counterbalances my forgetfulness with refilling the cat's water bowl—so I was extremely irked that I couldn't figure out what happened on November 15th. I was getting ready for work the next morning when the light bulb lit.
I don't use a bathrobe regularly, but I have one hanging from a hook on my closet door. That morning, I decided that my need for coffee exceeded my need for propriety in the form of non-nakedness. I decided to grab my robe and head toward the coffeemaker. As I yanked down the robe, I got a glimpse of my gold honor cords that were disturbed from their resting place.
November 15, 2010 was my last official day of school. I can't believe it's been an entire year (but I really should, because I've been paying on that student bill for several months now). I pet one of the golden tassels and shook my head. Earning those cords once seemed so important…and there they hung, completely forgotten.
I looked behind me to the top of the desk where my degrees sat, collecting dust in their leather portfolios. I gave three years of my life to full-time studentship while also working full time…and for what? In that moment, I realized that the real token that I was awarded for my work was confidence.
My classes did not give me new-found skills—I had those skills before. What I didn't have was the guts to use them or the global understanding to use them to the best benefit. Completing my degree expanded my world and gave me breath.
I know that I want my MBA. I've looked into programs, and I've purchased materials to study for the GMAT. I completed my BS for my career—but when the time comes, I will complete my MBA for me. (As such, I certainly will not be enrolled full time!)
I look back and wonder how I survived with so little sleep, so little downtime, so little…everything. A friend told me that we get through what we have to get through simply because we have to. Nothing important is really impossible, you know. My outlook is still shiny and like new, unlike those expensive pieces of paper. I may not be smiling as big as I was a year ago (if I was, I'm sure my face would have cracked and fallen away by now), but I'm definitely smiling.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Yes, I know I missed it again…calculated risk. After logging into work for a few hours on Sunday, I wanted nothing more to do with computers. I knew I missed it when I went to bed. Sophie wrapped herself around my ankles to get my attention, to point out that I was forgetting something. If cats had thought bubbles, I'm sure hers would have said, "You stupid human! I even posed for pictures today! I demand you write cute things about me RIGHT NOW OR ELSE."
It's probably good that she hasn't figured out how to make typing work with those fluffy paws. You would be seeing a lot of "Sophie is so awesome" posts if she had—if vanity had a face…
Here's something funny that just came to me: I am often irritated by pretty humans that know they are pretty (and make sure that you do too). In cats, I find it highly amusing. Thank you, Sophie, for associating with a couple of lowly humans a few times a week. It makes us feel important.
Anyway, a quick recap of the cat's week to get you through until next Sunday: she ate a bunch of times, buried her poop in a box in the basement, and got yelled at for chewing on my work laptop. All in all, a pretty eventful and tiring week.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
My mind is susceptible to detail overload: my thoughts become wild and race away in different directions. I am always so indecisive on which one of them to follow that I lose copious amounts of efficiency—it practically bleeds out of me. To offset this, I make lists.
I have been a list-maker for as long as I can remember. I feel this weird obligation to the almighty list. If it's on the list, I have to do it. Soon. This obligation makes lists the perfect weapon against my mental blur.
First thing Monday morning, I scribble down the big things I want to get done by the end of the week. As the week winds down, I start making lists for the tasks that pop up after Monday. Knowing I would have to spend a few hours working (from home) this weekend, I made an updated list yesterday morning when I got to work.
As I was cleaning my desk to leave for the weekend, I noticed that my Friday list was right next to my Monday list, and oh how different they were. Monday's list gave a vibe of can-do-it-ness and crisp positivity…but by Friday, the tone was considerably less optimistic. It's tired, cranky, and hinging on antisocial. Hmm. Looks like someone needs an attitude adjustment.
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