N is for Naps #AtoZChallenge

Can you believe I almost couldn’t figure out what to pick for N? I mean, honestly. I am a champion napper. I was before the pandemic, and I probably will be after the pandemic.

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Part of this is because I’m severely sleep deprived, sure. But the other part is that I love naps. In fact, I took two yesterday and still went to bed at my regular time.

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M is for Meal Planning Service #AtoZChallenge

Regular readers of the blog know that I have a medical condition that requires a lot of food restrictions. I can’t eat a lot of things that are considered staples, and the transition has not been easy for me. Most of the foods I depended on for my meals are now off limits–foods like beans and cauliflower, for example.

I also hate to cook.

This has been an interesting combination. For one thing, I had built up a list of go-to recipes. And that worked pretty well until I couldn’t eat most of the foods in my recipes anymore. Because I don’t like cooking, it’s hard for me to imagine different ways of making any of these dishes.

When left to my own devices, I have three things on my plate: meat, vegetables, and rice. I can eat any kind of meat, basically, and a limited amount of vegetables. However, I’m usually just eating salmon, spinach, and rice.

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L is for Letting Go of Perfectionism #AtoZChallenge

I hinted at this in my knowing my limits, flexibility, and even my Instagram posts for this challenge, so I’m just going to go ahead and admit it in full right here: I am a recovering perfectionist.

I know. It’s shocking.

But, really, it’s why I overcomplicate things most of the time. Because I don’t have to just know how to do things, I have to know how to do them right.

It has been easy to be flexible about this blogging challenge, about my teaching, about the 30-day yoga challenge I undertook, about how often I cook, and about how often I go for a walk. Do you know why? Because I have done blogging challenges before. I’ve had to change my teaching mid-semester before. I’ve tried cooking every day, and I know my exercise habits.

You know what I don’t know how to do? Live through a global pandemic.

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K is for Knowing My Limits #AtoZChallenge

I hit a wall in week two of the Safer at Home order.

Then I hit a wall during week three.

See, what happened is that I was actually doing too much, still. Too much talking to people on the phone, too much walking around my neighborhood, too much being okay.

So I had two realizations during those two wall hits: I’d had enough. Of what, I wasn’t entirely sure. But I knew that I was exhausted and I felt like I didn’t have enough time and also that I was overwhelmed.

Yes, this is during self-isolation when I have nowhere to go and nowhere (save a handful of scheduled meetings) to be. I had still figured out a way to make myself busy.

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I is for Instagram #AtoZChallenge

I joined Instagram in *checks first post* 2014 and since then, I have made exactly eight posts.

See, the thing about Instagram is that I don’t get it. I mean, I get it. But I am not really a pictures person. I’m a words person. I love words. I have a lot to say about most things, most times. (Anybody who knows me well or is a regular reader of the blog is like, “MOST????”) Anyway, the point is that a platform based on pictures doesn’t really speak to me, generally speaking.

I mean, honestly, do you know how long it took for me to add pictures of book covers to my book review posts? A long time is how long because I was like, “Who needs pictures? It’s a book! It has words! Look up the book if you want to see the pictures! This is about words!”

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H is for Hygiene #AtoZChallenge

Like almost everybody, I have upped my handwashing game. I make sure to wash my hands when I come into my home from outside. I wipe down my door handles and phones and then wash my hands again. I try not to touch my face. I usually fail at not touching my face (though I am more cognizant of the fact that I’m touching my face and therefore try not to use my hands to touch my face).

Like most other people, I also enjoy all of the handwashing guides set to different songs. I’ve seen a lot I like, but my favorite so far may be the “Thong Song” one because that song is a bop that slaps. (Did I use those terms right?)

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G is for Group Text #AtoZChallenge

…of which I am in more than a few.

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I do not even know how many at this point. Some are for planning purposes; some are me and my homies. I’m in a group where we send each other meal ideas each day, another that includes updates of my friend’s partner’s comics. Another led to the birth of a hashtag that I would share with you but it is the insidest of inside jokes and literally only makes sense within the context of the group text thread.

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F is for Flexible #AtoZChallenge

Like the fact that I’m writing this post after midnight because I started working on something else and lost track of time, perhaps?

Or the fact that I woke up for some unbeknownst reason (stress, probably, because I knew I needed to go to the grocery store?) at 6:15 a.m. so I just got up and did yoga after making my list?

Or maybe like the pep talk I gave myself before I went to the grocery store for the first time since all this *waves hands* started so I reminded myself that, you know, they may not have everything I need so to get what was available and make substitutions as necessary? I mean, that’s why I bought plain unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of unsweetened vanilla milk, for example.

mrs incredible flexible
I’m trying to get to Elastigirl levels, here.

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E is for External #AtoZChallenge

The D key on my keyboard doesn’t work. Worse, I have to press it down so hard to make sure that a D shows up when I want it to that the letter has rubbed all the way off–so much so that you can see the light from the keyboard pretty clearly. The D key is also cracked, which you can’t see, but which I can tell because of how hard I have to press it. Oh, and this all started with my E key sticking and now my R key also doesn’t work that well. You know, I go to type “press” and it comes out as “pess.” Super fun with chatting.

The point is that it sucks. It’s hard to type anything. This has been bugging me for ages. I mean, at least a six months, easy. If not a whole year. Ahem.

d key
The case of the missing D key.

(I know: this is horrible.)

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D is for Daughter #AtoZChallenge

My daughter is here with me during this COVID-19 crisis, and I could not be more grateful.

Regular readers of the blog may remember that my daughter started a study abroad program in Japan this past September (2019). The plan was for her to do a year-long program, but decided that it would be better for her to take the semester option. So after the winter break, she didn’t return to Japan.

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