Up The Down Escalator

I’ve got that running-up-the-down-escalator feeling again.

It’s mainly an issue of priorities, I think, plus a lack of physical activity (again, due to priorities and scheduling conflicts). I feel better when I can get outside and walk, or go to the Fitness Center and take a class, but the past week or so hasn’t been conducive to that. Chiropractor, salon, Weight Watchers open house, standing lunch date…

I also have stuff I want to do at home in the evenings, like process and post the photos from my son’s sixth birthday, and post my regular Dear Connor birthday blog entry (which is currently waiting on photos), and just write to get stuff out of my head, and start some sewing projects, and clean up my home office area, and — and — and.

What actually happens in the evenings, though?

  1. Get home from work. Catch up with husband for about half an hour.
  2. Hubby goes to work. Make dinner while son plays Kindle Fire or Nintendo DS.
  3. Eat dinner with son.
  4. Clean up kitchen while son eats dessert (and sometimes a snack) and watches TV.
  5. I supervise while son takes a bath, brushes teeth, and takes allergy meds.
  6. He puts on jammies, chooses a daily calendar sticker, and we read a book.
  7. Lights out.

After lights out, I stay within earshot for the next half hour until he calls me back upstairs to talk some more and massage his feet. That means no going into the back office to edit photos on my desktop computer or going into the sunroom to sew.

By the time I get back downstairs and I finally have some uninterrupted “me” time, it’s 8:30pm (or later) and I’m mentally done for the day. I’m only good for reading or playing on my phone or watching TV — I don’t have the oomph to create, only consume. I turn into a pumpkin around 9:30pm, but I’ve been much better about going upstairs and getting my own bedtime routine happening, and turning my own lights out between 10pm and 10:30.

During that hour after Connor goes to bed, though, if I’m not totally exhausted, there’s plenty I could do. I’m going to have to just prioritize it somehow: figure out what’s most important and carve out time for it. One task a night, whether I feel “up to it” or not. I’m a grown-ass woman, and I should be able to get up and do the things that need done, even when I’m tired. Even if I tell myself I’ll only do it for ten minutes, and set an alarm; or if I manage to get all the ingredients of the muffins or quickbread or whatever set out before I put my son to bed; or if I go straight across the hall to my bedroom to quietly tidy my closet while I’m waiting for Connor to request his nightly masseuse visit. Shit can get done one way or another.

Small bites of big projects. Baby steps. Specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, timely goals — not vague ideas of Getting Something Done After My Son Goes To Bed.

Yeah, yeah, I can do that.

Partial Eclipse 2017

Back in December, I procured three pairs of eclipse glasses online, in preparation for the (partial) solar eclipse that happened this past Monday.

It just so happened that the day of the eclipse was also my son’s last day of Pre-K. I sent one pair to school with him, in the hopes that his teacher would be willing to let him look at the eclipse during or after naptime; I brought one pair with me to work; and I left one pair at home for my husband.

Around 2pm, I headed outside.

Me in eclipse glasses

I texted my husband at home, who also donned his eclipse glasses.

Hubby in eclipse glasses

As it turned out, my son also got to check out the eclipse at Pre-K. Not only that, but he insisted on sharing his glasses with his classmates and teachers, so everyone got to enjoy the eclipse!

Alas, I didn’t have my photography equipment with me (and I didn’t have a proper filter for eclipse photography, anyway), and putting the eclipse glasses in front of my iPhone camera just didn’t cut it. But! One of the videos I took of my view of the eclipse had a bonus eclipse-shaped lens flare at the end.

Even though I wasn’t in the path of totality, that was still WAY cool to see.

Come April 2024, for the next solar eclipse in America, my city will be in the path of totality — and my son will be finishing up sixth grade, if I’ve done my math right. Unless I make plans to pick him up from school, or his Junior High has an after-school eclipse-viewing party, chances are that he’d be on the bus on the way home during totality. One way or another, though, he’ll see it… and I’ll send him to school with the same eclipse glasses he took to his Pre-K class so many years before.

Bitchfest

I took a break from posting daily to the blog when I decided that pulling something notable out of my ass before I went to bed at night just wasn’t worthwhile. As usual, I have a backlog of relevant topics to write about — my son’s Pre-K graduation, my monthly “weight loss” update, various camera tests from months ago — but I just can’t get enthused enough to sit down and blog.

My son has regressed to getting up several times a night after lights out (we had been down to once max). That irritates me at a very vulnerable point in my evening: I’m winding down and anticipating those glorious 90 minutes of my day that belong only to me. When that time is interrupted, I get cranky and I yell and I eat and I don’t do anything I had wanted to do because now I seriously am not in the mood and fuck it all anyway I’m gonna watch Good Eats and mess around on my phone instead.

(Edit: I also somehow smashed my right index finger when I turned off the bathroom faucet after my son left it running, and my legs are way stiff and sore after yesterday’s 20-minute slow-ass run for the first time in nearly a year, plus did I mention I’ve gained like ten pounds in the last year, so I’m uncomfortable and my clothes don’t fit right.)

On top of that, now I’ve got a hair up my ass to update my professional website so it actually reflects my current skillset, instead of what I did ten years ago. If I can’t make time to fart around on my personal blog, how am I going to squeeze in PHP coding to surface visualizations based on relevant Google Sheets data?

What the hell is up with me? I don’t know.

*checks menstrual calendar app*

Well, fuck. Yeah, I guess I do know. And being told you’re PMSing by your phone is only mildly less irritating than being told (or having it ever so gently suggested) by your significant other.

Work meeting first thing in the morning, so I’d better wrap this up so I can lay awake for an hour, exhausted, like I have for three of the last seven days.

License Renewal

I’ve had more than one person do a double-take at my driver’s license photo lately. It’s just as well it was coming up for renewal.

I remembered before my birthday that my renewal was this year — then I forgot again, until yesterday.

My birthday was April 22nd. Oops.

As it turns out, you have up to six months after expiration in the State of Ohio before they make you retake the driving test. Not sure how the police would react if I got pulled over with an expired license… but now I don’t have to find out.

I loved my experience at the Downtown License Bureau so much that I left them a four-star review on Yelp. A+ would renew again. The whole visit took five minutes, ten tops. I wasn’t really timing it, but it was superfast.

My hair is now officially red instead of brown (guess I’m keeping up with this dye job for a while), my height is one inch shorter, my weight is ten pounds less, and my license doesn’t expire until my son is finishing up the third grade.

Now that’s some perspective.

I Know I’m Tall, But…

I look ridiculous in this shirt.

The product photo on the left is straight from the Wish app, which lets consumers buy ultra-cheap goods from China.

On the right, Yours Truly, at 5’9″, seriously wondering a) if this is even the same shirt that’s pictured, and b) if so, how short is this model?! I bought an XL (I wear a Large in U.S. sizes), and while it almost fits in the shoulders, it is comically short on my long torso.

I’ve contacted the seller via the Wish app to request a refund. I successfully was refunded by another seller the last time I bought something that didn’t fit, so I have high hopes. I only paid $5.70 + $3 shipping, though, so even if they decided not to refund my money, it wouldn’t break me.

So far, I’ve returned two out of the three items of clothing I’ve bought on Wish. I think I’ve learned my lesson: stick to knock-off Pokemon tchotchkes and other non-clothing purchases.

Hat tip to my bestie Amy for letting me know about this app! You evil ho.

Chillin’

Some evenings, all I want is to kick back and watch some Good Eats.

Sure, I had other stuff planned, like uploading some photos and packing up some shoes to return, but none of it was urgent.

My son didn’t get up after lights out (for the second night in a row! w00t w00t!), and I enjoyed a carefully planned after-dinner snack and a decaf with two episodes of my favorite TV show.

(Well, I mean, not my ALL-TIME favorite… I can’t diss Next Gen like that… but it’s my favorite at the moment… even though it’s been off the air for years. Hooray for Amazon Video.)

Anywho, tonight just felt like one of those nights where I wanted to chill instead of being productive. And I’m OK with that.

Digital Clutter

I have years and years of documents, projects, photos, and music stored on my two external hard drives.

I probably haven’t opened 75% of these files in the past two years.

Nowadays, when I have a few minutes to an hour to sit at my home PC and do some “work” — post-processing photos, mostly, either for uploading to Flickr and the blog or to print for my photo album — sometimes I find that I can’t find what I’m looking for.

All I wanted to do was to print a couple of collages I’d put together a few months back. (I’m printing multiple photos on one page, as an experiment, laid out like you’d see on Flickr with the photos resized so they fit nicely in even rows.)

I couldn’t find my damn Photoshop files.

Had I saved them in their own Project folder? Did I put them on the Desktop, since I knew I’d be accessing them soon? How about just in the folder with the other photos from the fair?

I finally did find them, and got them uploaded to print. In the process, I discovered how hopelessly behind I am in printing individual photos for the family photo album.

I need a new process. We live in this highly mobile era where I can (and sometimes do) order prints straight from my iPhone, yet I also want to print film photos and photos from my Nikon, and keep them all in chronological order in the photo album (mostly).

I can’t make myself prioritize clearing digital clutter over clearing physical clutter, though. I’m bad with both, honestly, and it comes from not putting things in their place as soon as possible — or not having a place designated for the thing, and just putting it somewhere for now.

All I know is that clutter is frustrating, whether it be physical or digital, and it keeps me from being efficient at whatever I’m trying to accomplish. I’m seriously going to just have to carve out some time to deal with the clutter.

All of it.