We didn’t want to be late — not for the Curriculum Evaluation to qualify us for Black Belt training. We’re not always on the ball for evening classes, after school and work and whatnot, but Saturday morning was an entirely different beast.

As we wrangled our oversized karate duffel bags into the car, I caught a whiff of something. My sense of smell has changed over the past several months (presumably due to The Change Of Life), so gross things like skunks, farts, cat shit, and BO all smell the same to me now.

“…I think Dad left a fart in the car overnight,” I ventured.

Connor paused, considering. “Yeah,” he agreed. Then, “It’s the Fart of Inspiration!”

So, thanks, Dad, for wishing us good luck with your lingering fart. I’d like to think it helped motivate us through our two-hour test!

Lunch Break Freewriting

When I’m working in the office, I find that I rarely take an honest-to-god lunch break. I’ll eat at my desk, I’ll take a few minutes to check my phone, but mostly I’ll work through my allotted 45 minutes. When I’m working from home, I’ll set a timer on my Apple Watch and do some tasks around the house to get away from my work — unload the dishwasher, put away some clutter, whatever other randomness catches my attention — then assemble my lunch before taking it back to my desk to eat while I work.

In the Before Times, I would occasionally walk next door to Starbucks over my lunch break and do some blogging on my phone and Bluetooth keyboard while enjoying a tasty beverage. Since the indoor passageway between my building and the adjoining one has been demolished, that’s not a routine that I’ll be reviving anytime soon, since it’s 25°F outside and I’m not down with bundling up just to go get a coffee.

The blogging part, though… that’s going to need to make a comeback.

I’ve been going to a therapist about twice a month for the past six or seven months, and I really wish I’d started therapy sooner. It’s a huge help to have someone listen to me talk about what’s been going on in my life, then bring my attention to aspects of my narrative that I wouldn’t have thought twice about. The whole experience reminds me of going out for coffee with my BFF back during college: we’d talk about our problems, talk around them, dive into what their causes might be, and brainstorm actionable solutions. Adding a licensed behavioral therapist into the mix gives that conversation more direction, as she can pick out key points and lend her expertise in helping me recognize certain behaviors and reactions in myself.

In between sessions, though… writing is a valuable tool for me to get my thoughts and emotions out of my head and into a space where I can see them, acknowledge them for what they are, recognize what they aren’t, and generally get myself into a healthier headspace.

Taking time to blog is a gift to myself… and my family. We all deserve the best version of me.