Thursday, May 16, 2019

Cloudy Skies

We're having a Springtime rainstorm in the Bay Area. The skies are cloudy, the air is cold and misty, and the pollen all over the ground is mushy and wet. Overall, I'm enjoying the weather.

While driving to work earlier this week, I had a moment of self-awareness. I noticed that I'm feeling kind of blah with my life right now, maybe I could even call myself depressed. This observation didn't come with any emotion, it didn't make me sad or happy, it didn't spark a desire to change things for better or worse. It just was. Sarah is feeling blah. The skies are cloudy. A frog is an amphibian. 

My life is good. Nothing much is happening, but everything is always happening. My days are on a busy loop, an endlessly repeating cycle of rushing, rushing, rushing that gets tiresome. They go like this:

I get woken too early by the dog or my husband's alarm clock, or both. I drift back to sleep. My alarm wakes me, I push "snooze" and I doze, I drift in and out of wakefulness. I check my phone and get sucked into social media instead of starting my morning. Finally, I get out of bed and I feel rushed as I do my morning chores, get ready for my day, and light a fire under my children's hind ends to get themselves ready as well. I usually end up yelling at one or both of them before we get out the door. They go to school, I go to work. 

Work is a weird mix of wonderful and not wonderful. I love my job. For a long time, being a veterinary assistant felt "not good enough" to be my career. I felt like I needed to aim higher, be more, earn more. Then, at some point, I didn't feel that way anymore. I am happily comfortable as a veterinary assistant. I like what I do for a living. I like my coworkers and my schedule. I don't like being in an office that is consistently understaffed. I don't like the feeling of never being able to do all the things that need to be done, the feeling of more rushing. 

After work I cram in shopping, laundry, cleaning, kid homework time, kid reading time, kid extracurricular time, cooking, cleaning up after cooking, packing lunches, pet care, showering, and time with my husband. (Rush, rush, rush.) Sometimes I am efficient and feel very lucky to sit down and read a book, watch a movie, or write a blog post. Then I sleep. Then I do it all over again. 
And again, and again, and again. 

Also, I read the news about the progression of climate change and I feel sad for my beautiful Earth and I worry about the problems that my children will inherit. Then I read the news about the legislation in my country trying to regulate people's bodies and limit access to healthcare and I feel sad for my people and I worry about the problems that my children will inherit. 

I know that I am making a mostly positive impact within my little circle of life. I know that I am building and shaping two little humans, and that that makes a difference. I know that I am helping my coworkers and our clients, and that makes a difference. I know that I am doing what I can to help my Earth, and that makes a difference. I know that I am important, loved, lovable. 

Still, I feel gray. The skies are cloudy. Today I'll sit with these feelings. I'll let them be here for a little while. I'll welcome them into me as a part of my sometimes drab, repetitive, constantly evolving existence. I will listen to my favorite flavor of angsty girl music and allow myself to just be blah. 

I know my mood will lift, just as I know the storm will eventually blow past. 
It always does. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Books of 2018!

I consumed a total of 45 books in one year!!!
One of those books was unfinished because I really didn't love it. Twenty-seven of those books were audiobooks. A year or two ago, I would have considered audiobooks as some sort of "cheating" and not real reading at all, but my outlook has changed. I love a good audiobook!

In the order that I finished reading them, here are the books of 2018:

  • Dust (Silo #3) by Hugh Howey
  • Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich (unfinished)
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Audio)
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... by William H. McRaven (Audio)
  • Hidden Figures: The American Dream & Untold Story... by Margot Lee Sheerly (Audio)
  • The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom (Audio)
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children by Carla Naumburg
  • The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson (Audio)
  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Audio)
  • Gregor the Overland (Underland Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Collins (Audio)
  • A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
  • Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Underland Chronicles #2) by Suzanne Collins (Audio)
  • Gregor and the Curse of the Warm Bloods (Underland Chronicles #3) by Suzanne Collins (Audio)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson (Audio)
  • Gregor and the Mark of the Secret (Underland Chronicles #4) by Suzanne Collins (Audio)
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson (Audio)
  • Gregor and the Code of Claw (Underland Chronicles #5) by Suzanne Collins (Audio)
  • The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finked (Audio)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Audio)
  • The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
  • The Boys In The Boat: The True Story of An American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold... by Daniel James Brown (Audio)
  • The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) by Brandon Sanderson (Audio)
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson (Audio)
  • The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6) by Brandon Sanderson (Audio) 
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  • The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
  • Educated by Tara Westover (Audio)
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Audio)
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education... by Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb (Audio)
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl  (Audio)
  • Persuasion by Jane Austin  (Audio)
  • A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne (Audio)
  • The Girl On The Cliff by Lucinda Riley
  • The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Audio)
  • The Way Of Kings (Stormlight Archives #1) by Brandon Sanderson  (Audio)
In case you didn't notice... 2018 was the year I became hooked on Brandon Sanderson audiobooks. I highly recommend his books. I thoroughly loved Ready Player One. Carve the Mark and The Fates Divide had me sucked in immediately. I couldn't put down Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances. 

I keep track of my reading on Goodreads, so you are welcome to be friends with me there and see what I'm reading. 
Happy reading in 2019! Do you have any books you're excited to read?!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Money, Health Care, and Freckles.

Guys! I don't write in here often enough. This is such a great outlet for me. Have I told you that I compose the beginnings of blog posts often in my head, but then never actually get to type them here? Well, I do.

This is not one of those pre-composed-in-my-head posts, though. This is straight off the cuff. As a result, it's bound to be rambling and off-topic. Forgive me, or just skip this one.

I have so many things I could write about, so many things I want to write about. Did you know that I spent four solid days in Ohio a few weeks ago and that it was splendid? I want to write about my visit there, but not tonight.

Tonight, I am going to write about my children. Shocking, I know. (I always write about my children because my children are my life, because I am a woman of privilege in America and we're all destined to be mothers who give up our everything for our children, and it is exhausting. But that is for another post.)

Something new came to us in the mail this week. It was a statement from our health insurance company telling us that Emma, my beautiful, small child, has REACHED HER OUT OF POCKET MAXIMUM for the year. That has never happened before. This year, since the insurance coverage changed to make her speciality medication copay $150 each month, and we had our usual number of rheumatology appointments, PLUS a special visit to the podiatrist and the multiple X-ray views he wanted of her ankles prior to her appointment, well... I guess that all adds up.

I never expected that my child's medical bills would be more than mine in the course of the year. *sigh*

The good news is that she is doing well. The pain she had in her heal and ankle for the past several months seems to be due to tight tendons as a result of growth spurts, and not due to her arthritis at all. Regular stretching, new shoe inserts, and more supportive shoes seems to have greatly improved that situation. She has had intermittent pain in her jaw that I can't explain. Is it arthritis in her jaw, or just some fun TMJ type of thing? Great question. Who knows?

She sure knows how to read, though, and I sure do love that.

My boy child, Liam, is a splendid little creature. His medical out of pocket total for the year has been $0 because his annual "well check" was covered by insurance and I don't recall him needing medical care at any other time in 2018. Yet. (Somebody, please knock on wood.)

Liam makes me crazy in the way that a small child is bound to make a mother crazy. He has a few "character" sweatshirts that he really likes. One is Yoda with a hood that pulls over his face, complete with eye-holes and Yoda ears on top. The newest is a bright yellow Pikachu sweatshirt with cute little ears on the hood. He wears his yellow Pikachu sweatshirt most days, ALL DAY, at school. I have to force him out of it at the end of the school day, when we are about to walk home in 80ºF weather. The thing is filthy after 2 days, but I'm only going to wash it once a week, so there.

It's a good thing the kid is adorable and fond of solving math problems.

I'm tired and I'm not exactly sure I'm making sense, so I'm going to go now... Almost...

Just remember that adorable children (and adorable adults) might have "invisible" illnesses that cause them to reach their out of pocket maximum for the year at the beginning of October, and you have no idea what their struggles in life might be, so please, be kind.