Posted in about me, socializing

Birthday climbing party

About a month ago, we learned that we can rent the climbing gym for a per-person fee (with a minimum number of people). We agreed that it would be fun but that acquiring enough people would be challenging.

The Climbing Daddy’s birthday was last month and mine is in a few days. We decided to use that as an excuse to attempt a climbing party.

It did not disappoint.

First, having the gym to ourselves was phenomenal.

We hired a friend’s son to be the babysitter for the evening and had games for kids to play, so if parents wanted to come and their kid didn’t want to climb, there was somewhere for them to go and something for them to do.

I didn’t get to climb as much as I thought I might. We had the place for three hours, and I definitely didn’t do even as much climbing as I do when we’re there on a normal day for an hour or so.

Regardless of that, it exceeded expectations.

We were surrounded by friends. And climbing. What could be better?

Several people who hadn’t planned to climb decided to try it (and enjoyed it!), both adults and kids. It was fun to watch people who were wary of climbing all the way up try it, make it—and celebrate with them when they came back down.

I tried to climb up a large overhang and failed twice, but it was fun to try. (It didn’t help that it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve climbed.)

Several of us agreed: we need to do it again. And I suspect we will.

Posted in about me, meandering

I hate writing titles

I know they’re important. Really important. I get it.

Maybe I hate it because I’m not good at it.

But where does one go to get feedback or training on title-writing?

The only training I’ve had has talked about titles as a means of getting clicks (“Use numbers! Five ways to write great headlines!”), and I guess that’s part of it, but really, I just want a solid title that piques curiosity in people who sift past clickbait.

I’m not selling anything (including ads, etc.), so it’s just a matter of sharing. I take time to write, I think it’s generally interesting, and I’d like people to read (and maybe reply! I’d love to be able to spark conversations!).

Thousands of people? Not necessarily. (That feels stressful, but maybe it would be OK.)

Only my biggest fans are going to click through and read if the title is crap.

It’s like when Dustin Hoffman realized that he had been dismissing potentially interesting women because of how they looked. (See that interview clip here.)

So. As with many things, I do my best, and people click or they don’t, and on we go.

Posted in about me, ebb & flow, food, physical health

The former deliciousness of peanut brittle

For a long time, peanut brittle was one of my favorites. And it was an infrequent treat, which made it even more delightful.

It’s been years, maybe decades, since I had peanut brittle.

There was some at work the other day.

I took a piece. Or two…

And you know what? It wasn’t that delicious.

I relayed this story to a friend who reacted with sadness, but no! It’s not sad at all!

Peanut brittle is crap. It’s (formerly) tasty crap, but it’s still crap.

And now, if it shows up in the teachers’ lounge again, I won’t have to expend any energy to pass it by, because it’s not delicious.

It’s not the first time this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The list of things that are no longer delicious just got one thing longer.

And yes, there have been a few things that I had for the first time in years and yes, they were still amazing. (A cream doughnut from McMillan’s Bakery immediately comes to mind. Only ate a couple of bites but YUM.)

But it’s OK to let your taste buds get pickier about junk food. Your body will thank you for it.

Posted in about me, ebb & flow, mental health, mindset, tips

Making just a little time to let yourself feel better

I found a good reminder for myself. Something that I was doing that I shared with my online world a few years ago that maybe will help you, too.

Here’s the context:

I was working part time, teaching band. The schedule was brutal, many of the classes were brutal, and there was very little professional fulfillment.

I was taking Anatomy and Physiology online at the same time. Super-interesting, but also brutal.

And parenting a 5-year-old.

That semester, The Climbing Daddy (who was not yet my husband) and I were also house-hunting and ending up buying (we closed in December, shortly after finals, in the midst of concert season). Because, y’know, there wasn’t already enough going on.

But I was using Duo Lingo, a language-learning app, and doing a bit each day, among other things, and apparently, it helped the overwhelm.

This is what I wrote:

So there’s work, which is … less than amazing.

There’s A&P, which is interesting but sucking out whatever life blood work leaves.

Meal planning and prep has gone to hell.

Exercise is still happening—almost exclusively running and climbing—but not as frequently as I’d like.

But I’ve done a little bit of Spanish every day for almost three months, and I’ve recently started playing my uke most days just for 5-10 minutes (F is learning, too, so we play together), and these things help me feel a little bit like I have free time. Which makes everything else a little more bearable.

 

In conversation surrounding this, I mentioned that our eating was still relatively healthy, just more pre-made foods which I wasn’t excited about, partially because of quality, and partially because it was causing a lot more trash.

But the point is—if you’re feeling like you’re at your limit, take 10 or 20 minutes and do something you enjoy. It’s not that much time, you can totally find it some days, even if not daily, and it will help your mental game.

And it’s nearly all a mental game, isn’t it?

Posted in about me, gifts, parenting, storytelling

Father’s Day gifts…belated

So … it’s not anywhere close to Father’s Day.

Here’s the story:

The Kid and I went to Burst of Butterflies, a local painting place (canvas, ceramic, etc.) where he painted two small identical tiles that said #1 Dad.

We were traveling for the actual holiday and picked up the tiles after we returned. We had talked about what we were going to do with them but didn’t do it.

And didn’t do it.

And forgot about it.

A week or two ago, I was cleaning out one (of too many) piles in the office and found the tiles.

Oops.

So I mentioned it to The Kid, and we decided to continue with the plan.

What was the plan again?

I’m not sure that what we settled on is exactly what we had decided originally, but what we made turned out well.

He chose a photo of himself with each daddy; I had them printed.

Using some craft foamy stuff, hot glue, and wide popsicle sticks, we made a picture frame for each photo (photo very much not removable), then added the tile to the top left corner, as per The Kid’s requirements.

We agreed that magnets would be the best way to make them hangable—they’re very imbalanced—but I don’t have any on hand. Those will need to be added later.

Overall, they turned out well, and we’re both happy with how they look. As for the daddies? They haven’t seen them yet, but moreso than in June, they’re sure going to be surprised!

Also, on a tangent: as we were getting all of the materials out and organized, The Kid said, “You know, Mom, we could make a video about making this and post it on YouTube. And then other kids could know how to make a great Father’s Day present.”

We could. But Mama is tired. And other minor resistances.

So when I sat down to write a blog post and was completely uninspired, I asked The Kid, “What should I write about?”

“Mom! You should write about making the Father’s Day presents! It’s a good story!”

And so it came to be.

By request:

The end.