10 Random Things: Summer Edition

Ugh, I hate starting blog posts by pointing out how long it’s been since my last post, but, well, it’s been over a month since my last post, so there is a lot to cover, which means that every time I think about updating my blog, I get overwhelmed by the fact that there’s so much to cover, so I just…don’t. This has been a terrible plan because it just gets me farther and farther behind. So, let’s get to it.

Since my last post, the following happened:

1. I turned 40 and celebrated my birthday by having dinner with a friend of mine, my daughter, and some of her friends. I also went to see Toy Story 4 and enjoyed a cupcake.

2. I shipped my daughter off to China for a Buddhist boot camp that she has described as a “hell realm.”

3. I attended the Rocaberti Writers Retreat for screenwriters in The Dordogne, France for  a week. It was held at Marouatte Castle, which is an honest to god medieval castle in France.

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Update: 20 things to do before I turn 40

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Today is my 40th birthday, which means it’s time for me to do an update of my big list as well as talk about next steps.

A ✅ means I did the thing.

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The Teacher Becomes the Student Who Be Clubbin’: January Wrap-Up

1. I went to a club with my friend last week because it was 90s’ night. First of all, the start time for the event was 10 p.m. AT NIGHT. And yes, I said that like the old person that I am.

Her: Did you nap?

Me: Of course! I have to take a nap just to make it to bedtime.

Anyway, we had fun, but the music was not great. We found at when we got there that it was a mix of 90s/00s, and at the end of the night, we both thought of songs that should have been played.

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#AMonthofFaves Goals, Goals, All Types of Goals

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#AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals –  Reading challenges, personal goals, resolutions – how did you do? What are your goals for this month, this season or next year. Check in here.

These were my goals for 2018:

  • deal with my mail as it comes in ❌
  • eat the frog when it comes to grading 🤷🏾‍♀️
  • enter at least one writing contest ✅
  • work on my creative writing every day ❌
  • see Hamilton ✅
  • eat more vegetables ✅

✅ means done, obviously.

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#AMonthofFaves: What Worked and Didn’t This Year

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Today’s prompt:

#AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t. What habits, routines or rituals worked for you this year – either something you kept doing – or something new that you started? What did you try that didn’t work … or what did you used to do that no longer works for you?

Okay, I wanted to make this a teaching reflection, but I am still grading my students’ reflections so haven’t gathered enough evidence on that yet, so that will come later. In the meantime, here are some things that worked and didn’t for me this year:

1. I found a gym that offers water aerobics classes and, since this summer, have been going twice a week. That’s not enough but it’s better than the once a week at the beginning of the year. The summer break was a godsend because I discovered that the morning water aerobics classes are where it’s at, so this semester, I’ve been getting up on Friday and going along with my regular Tuesday night class. For the past two weeks, I’ve been forcing myself to go to the Thursday night class I don’t like all that much so I can get in three days of gym time. This has tremendously helped my mood as I’m sure you can guess.

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#AMonthofFaves: A Day (or Weekend) in the Life of Yours Truly

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Today’s prompt:

MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life. What did you do on Saturday, December 8th … or that weekend – December 8-9. Let’s take a peek into each others lives as as we chronicle what we all did on that day (or during the weekend).

It’ll be weekend for me!

December 8

3:30 a.m. – Wake up because I fell asleep at 6:45 p.m. after getting home from the gym. Eat food, futz around online (which includes trying to figure out why a book I know I rated on Goodreads doesn’t have a rating and why another book is showing up as having been read twice when I only read it once).

4:31 a.m. – Heat up some tea, read a little bit

5 a.m. – Have a lie down so I can get up at a reasonable hour and face the actual day

7:22 a.m. – Wake up for realsies, meditate, fool around on Facebook

8 a.m. – Get out of bed, shower, eat, etc.

9:45 a.m. – Head to my support group, run errands, eat some food, futz around online (this will happen a lot)

2 p.m. – Grade papers

2:10 p.m. – Slight grading crisis, phone a friend

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Because 999 Times Wasn’t Enough, pt. 2: The New Normal (Nov 2018 Wrap-Up)

So, it’s been several months since I’ve done this (JUNE???), so let’s see if I remember how.

Okay, so I mentioned previously that work had been stressful for most of October (hahaha understatement), so I spent most of November recovering from that and realizing that, once again, I was a mess. I had gained weight again, I had new/worsening symptoms for my IBS, and I (re)discovered just how much debt I’m in. (And the latter two happened at the end of the month.)

Anyway, I was lamenting to my mom about my weight gain and how I don’t understand how it keeps happening because I know I need to manage my weight better to help control my IBS, and I know what to do, and I know how to do it, yet I am always surprised that when I don’t track my food or I make it to the gym less often, I gain weight and then have to start all over again. I mean, you honestly would think I have learned by now.

And my mom said simply, “Because it’s not your default to take care of yourself in that way.”

I was, as the young people say, shook.

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Patti LaBelle and Step Aerobics

Today is the last day of class before the end of NaNoWriMo, and my students are very studiously working on their drafts, so I figured now is as good a time as any to update.

1. First, let me just say that watching my creative writing students write during NaNo has been such a delight. They come in and get right to it. Headphones on, laptops or notebooks open, and away they go. I have put a prompt up on the board every day (some requested it), but I have no idea if they’re using them–I just know that they’re intensely focused on writing. It is a joy to behold.

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This has been a week

First, I had an IBS episode, which was not as bad as you might think except it was terrible because I was an emotional, weepy mess. If you know me at all, you know I don’t tend toward the emotional OR the weepy, so I thought I was probably dying (this is not really an understatement as I always feel like I am effectively losing my mind if I cry for more than, like, five minutes especially if there’s no evident cause). Anyway, it turns out my instincts about living to regret the croissant and many cookies I ate last Friday were right on and also the emotional response can be explained by science.

Then, Dana Johnson came to visit our school as part of its writer in residence program. (This is a good thing, btw. She was amazing, and when I asked my students the most important thing they learned this week, quite a few of them said “Just try even if you think you’ll fail,” which was a thing she mentioned in her talk. So! Yay for that!) Right, so that’s good, but her visit also led to me having a slight existential crisis because she’s in charge of the PhD in writing at her institution and while I absolutely am not interested in finishing the PhD in literature, the idea of a PhD in creative writing still excites me. Is it possible? Maybe. But do I want to devote the time to it? Who knows?

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Adventures in Car Buying + Weekly Wrap-Up

1. Okay, so I know I mentioned that I hit a parked car this summer, but did I tell you that I ALSO hit a pillar in the parking garage of my complex? Well, I did. Which means that I have dents on both sides of my car now. Because of that, I came to the conclusion that I must not like my car very much (I mean, I am not this careless in general) so got it into my head that I would sell my car and buy a new one.

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