Something I enjoy reading on blogs I follow is the weekly roundup week end round up. My weeks don’t follow a typical M-F 9-5, anymore, after leaving my job. But, seriously, who actually only ever had to work 9-5? I (easily) logged 50 hours and more every week at job #1, and then 20-25 hours with my adjunct faculty work. Then, as much time as I could into my doctoral work, I worked, researched, and wrote, with a lot of crying in between. Many times, I forgot to remember to find something to enjoy in the process. Huh, no wonder I became so burned out I gained over 30 pounds in three years (yes, that happened, my doctor called me out) and volunteered to leave my job during a company workforce reduction. And gave away about 90% of everything I own, reducing my belongings to 12 boxes in storage.
It’s especially important for me to remember to find something to enjoy during this time of radical change and total upheaval in my life. Remaining mindful of everything around me that is good is good for me. 🙂
In the spirit of universal love for weekends, and my penchant for nearly everything vintage, I’m going along with the Friday feelzzzz. Because who doesn’t love Friday, and Friday can still be something I enjoy, right? Besides, Friday I’m in Love has been a go-to anthem to power through those Friday morning rush hour commutes for years. Since I used to turn to music to help me game up for Friday, I’ll begin by sharing what I’m listening to this week.
Something I’m Listening to…. Bad Girl by Lee Moses
One aspect of living alone I treasure is the quietness of solitude. But, I love a good jam and private living room dance party, too. That’s another benefit of living alone, you know…. Whatever I want, and however loud I want. 🙂 This morning’s stream is deep, deep, soul – Lee Moses. You might recognize this song from Jessa’s relapse dance scene if you’re a Girls fan. Otherwise, unless you are a mega connoisseur of deep soul, you probably would not recognize him. While Lee Moses is now regarded for the artistic and musical merit of his work, his albums, at the time, were generally considered commercial failures. Back to Girls, whoever does the sound design for that show nailed this lyrical narrative.
Something I’m Reading…. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I consume books like a whale shark does plankton. For years I lamented the dramatic reduction, and for a couple of years complete lack of, reading for pleasure. When you’re working upwards of 75 hours a week in emotionally and intellectually draining work then working on your PhD with a comparable full time credit load, there’s little time left for indulgences. Unfortunately, reading for pleasure (and writing) wasn’t something I got to do as often as I wanted. I’d longingly decline invitations to friends’ book clubs. Copies of Vogue, Phoenix Magazine, and Southern Living would get 2-3 issues deep before I’d read them. Occasionally, I’d take my unopened Vogues to Bookman’s to sell.
Sacrilege, I know. But a PhD is anything but holy.
I started making a list of books I would read when I graduated. My only steadfast non-research related reading would be my annual New Year’s Day opening of Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy Bennet is my girl! Now that I’m no longer working full time and focusing on my dissertation, solely, I have some more time. And this summer, my reading list got some love.
Eleanor & Park. Not a new read, and I’m not much of a YA reader, anyway… But – I devoured this book. Read it in a day!
Something Pretty for My Self Care…. Ok, several things this week
In principle, I understand, and advocate, the importance of self care. In practice, I have been… pretty terrible at it, myself. I wouldn’t have gained as much weight, been so stressed out I essentially quit my job, and fallen off the radar of so many social scenes if I were better at it. But, sometimes we all need to give ourselves a bit of slack and forgiveness. And sometimes, we just need to give ourselves credit for doing the best we can. Sometimes the win is I drank my coffee before it became cold. Hey, if that is the win of the day, that’s a win! Ummm, on that note, today I did not finish my coffee before it became cool. But I’m still drinking from the cup.
- My dissertation chair was in town this week. He knew I’ve been struggling. We both love spinning, and it’s become a little tradition for us to meet for a collaborative dinner and spin class when he’s in town. He knew I haven’t been going because I can’t justify the cost when I’m living on no income with plans to leave the country after I defend my dissertation. He treated me to a #PartyOnABike class. Afterwards, he took me to dinner and instead of discussing my data collection challenges and progress, which I check in with him every week about so he already knows, we talked about me. What’s going well, what’s a struggle, and how I’m coping with the massive changes I implemented in my life. It was really good to hear someone else tell me I’m doing better than I want to let myself believe. I may not be averaging 1,000, but then again, no one does. On the note of my dissertation, my extension of study request was approved by the college district that is my study site, so that is very good news. Even better news, I have formally completed my data collection and can move on to straight analysis. At this point, I will graduate as quickly as I can finish Chapter 4 and write Chapter 5. It’s almost here!!!! I’m really – truly — almost done!
- I started a happiness box this January, taking the cue from a post by Elizabeth Gilbert. Well, it’s been quite the crap shoot as to if I wrote down something before crashing to bed at night. The win is I get it in some days! Much like my reading, my pleasure writing slipped a bit, too. I splurged on this beautiful little day planner that I repurposed to be a highlight journal for me. Plus, it’s so pretty sitting on my bedside table, and will be more packable than a jar when I begin my little sojourn. And, there are stickers. I can attest, you are never too old for stickers!
- House sitting for a friend in my old central Phoenix neighborhood. Backyard evenings playing fetch with Majerle and Edie. Testing new recipes in her remodeled, gourmet kitchen with her Lebanese Cookbook from Phaidon. I’ve made eight recipes, so far, with another night ahead of me for my test kitchen, and this is going on my Christmas wish list (Momma, if you’re reading this….).
- I long ago adopted the habit of buying myself flowers. While there is the camp that views flowers as wasteful, to me, they are beautiful and make me happy. I picked up a bunch of stock at Trader Joe’s Sunday and stuffed them in a used pickle jar. They still are vibrant and fragrant as they were five days ago. The lovely fragrance I smell as I type this post and the simple act of me smiling every time I see them is worth the $3.99 I spent this week.
Something New…. Hong Kong Latte Art
Thanks to Hannah of The Sunny Side of Things, I now know where those adorable dim sum dumplings and little kitty cat latte foam sculptures can be found. Her post on Hong Kong itinerary and highlights also feeds my thirst to explore that vibrant city. I dare you to look at those latte foam kitties and dumplings and not smile.
Your turn…. How about you? What is something you particularly enjoyed this week? What is something you have planned for the holiday weekend? Comment below and let us know!