ALL THE THINGS

Mid-Winter Update: Radical Acceptance Part ???

Happ Sunday, friends! I hope you are keeping warm and enjoying your weekend.

It’s been pretty hectic here. You are probably not surprised to learn that I have overcommitted myself, so my weeks have been passing quickly in a frenzy of work assignments, writing assignments, violin practice, running, and yoga. Phew! I was so overloaded last week that I had to duck out of violin lessons, and my (wonderful) violin teacher sent a very nice message telling me to be kind to myself. IS MY SELF-LOATHING THAT OBVIOUS TO EVERYONE? Apparently. Hah.

Despite the busy weeks, I find myself relatively content during the week. I’m getting interesting assignments and new projects at work, and though I have to put in some extra time to finish competing deadlines, I’m happy with my new opportunities. I love my morning yoga classes. I enjoy my running group (when it’s not snowing. I can’t believe I used to avoid running in 50 degrees in Texas, when now I consider that warmer – WHAT HAVE I BECOME).

I still struggle on weekends, though. There’s not a lot to do here, and once our endorphins from our group Saturday runs fade, we’ve been struggling with finding things to do. We’ve had some disappointing experiences the past couple of weekends, but I think a trip to Bloomington today will be just what we need. I’m proud of us because we’re really digging into this place. There are times in life when everything lines up serendipitously – I still remember the restaurant we were eating at in 2015 when Husband received a call with an offer to interview for a postdoc position in Austin. He had been looking all around the country for a postdoc job, but I wasn’t ready to leave Austin yet. He got the job and we were able to spend 4 years there together. They were some the happiest in my life! And we’re so lucky he was able to find a faculty position (especially before the pandemic!) Maybe where we’re living now isn’t our dream location, but I still feel very strongly that it was the right move for our family and that we’re in the “pay your dues” and “change brings growth” part of life right now. I keep telling myself this, at least. I think I will feel much better about everything when it’s warm again.

YOU HEAR THAT, SNOW? YOU’RE NOT WANTED IN THESE PARTS.

I somehow was able to find more time to practice violin this week. Our concert is on March 6 and I’m still not feeling GREAT about it, but I have been listening to the concert pieces over and over (thanks, YouTube) to help me learn parts by ear, especially the really difficult portions that require me to shift to 3rd and 5th position on the E string. Those notes are so high that I cannot even think about what they sound like when I read the music.

This song right here is giving me heartburn.

I play first violin (the melody), so it’s really pretty but…whew. So fast, lots of shifting into second and third position. Husband is very supportive with my screeching practice sessions. “It sounds great,” he told me a month ago after a particularly rough practice session. I gave him a dubious look in response. “I mean,” he said, “there are some intonation issues, but you’re playing all the notes!” (For those of you who do not play an instrument, “intonation issues” is a very polite way of saying, “YOU ARE NOT PLAYING IN TUNE. AT ALL.”)

I’ve also been struggling with the house…in that, it looks like shit, but there’s so much to do with it that I feel paralyzed by where to start. I finally spent some time this morning really thinking intentionally about the living room and dining room and what can be done to make these rooms more cohesive spaces (we have a narrow living room that is really awkward with a fireplace right in the middle of it). Spending focused time thinking about the next steps and jotting down ideas has been really helpful, along with picking potential paint colors (that I need to run by Husband, obviously). Our first house was a rental, so we couldn’t do much with it, and our second home had already been flipped when we moved into it. This is the first house where we’ve had remodeling projects and I’m trying to take it a day at a time without feeling overwhelmed. I bought a book to help me with the design choices and have been pinning ideas…but so many of these websites feature aspirational, expensive-looking rooms that aren’t very helpful or realistic. Where are the websites featuring the couple who wants to save their disposable income for, say, a trip to Chicago or Amsterdam, rather than buying new couches to ~use as a focal point~ ? I just want the house to look nice by the time we have visitors. Right now the only concrete plans we have is with my brother, who is visiting us in August. My brother is so chill and I don’t think he’ll care what the house looks like, but my mantra right now is, “IT MUST LOOK NICE FOR PATRICK. IT MUST LOOK NICE FOR PATRICK.” That is providing me some much-needed motivation to get over my design paralysis.

I should probably wrap this blog up here soon, because it’s already very long, and I need to work on some assignments I procrastinated on before we take our day trip. So here are some random things.

  1. Square Donuts. Husband and I both subscribe to the school of, “If you run a long distance, then you deserve a decadent breakfast.” After our long run yesterday, we decided to try Square Donuts, which are popular locally. We hadn’t tried it yet…it was so yummy! I had a raspberry cheesecake donut. I think it’ll be a tradition after every Saturday long run!

2. Work from home gifts

I’ll be honest, I still struggle with working from home sometimes. It’s gotten much better, but I do miss being in an office and winter just bums me out, in general (can you tell, reader? CAN YOU TELL?) But I looked out the window last week and saw the sun peeking into my pretty office, the snow melting in the backyard…and I thought, fine, I give up. This is scenic. I GUESS. WINTER 1, JENNY 0.

Apollo has also gotten into a really bad habit of wanting to snuggle on my lap while I work. I cannot accomodate this request for long periods of time, as (A) it is not ergonomically friendly to hold a dog on your lap and try to type at the same time, and (B) sitting on my lap all day will not ease his separation anxiety issues. But I have given into letting him snuggle on my lap a little before putting him in his puppy bed. He gets lots of kisses and scritches, though I would prefer he not chime in during my meetings.

3. Knitting sweaters

Or trying to, at least. I have started on Sewrella’s Simple Knit Sweater and it’s working up really quickly. I don’t know why I feel like I need to do an Instragram-looking flat lay, when the only flower I have around is a dead yellow rose my Sinfonietta conductor gave us all for Valentine’s Day. I TRIED.

Alrighty, if you made it this far through this post – thank you. I hope you are keeping safe and warm, and I’ll talk with you soon!

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