I sat down to write a “five things on Friday” post tonight as a way of saying “hey.” Of letting you know that I’m still around. Of giving my creative muscles a much-needed stretch. But I only made it through one thing before I got winded and had to go back inside. Nothing seemed interesting enough—or, if it was interesting, I couldn’t come up with a clever way to talk about it.
That creative apathy has been my reality lately. I write a tweet, stare at it for a minute or two, and then delete it for being dull or cynical. I mull over a blog post for weeks, draft it in a 20-minute flourish, and then condemn it to the drafts folder because it’s too twee or too whiny or too much information.
I’m not going to say that it’s because I’m OMGSOBUSY because c’mon. We all are. I’ll just say that by the time I walk in the door every night, I have exactly enough mental stamina left to press the buttons on my microwave. And then……. A Facebook feed full of “likes” is too much noise. A day’s worth of tweets is too overwhelming. A social engagement is too stressful. A book or a blog post is too much work. Give me Fixer Upper or give me bed.
Today was very much the same, but with a very unexpected bright spot smack dab in the middle. So here I am, feeling just inspired enough to spend the evening writing a few words worth sharing. It may not be a finely crafted list of five thoughtfully curated things, but it’s a way of saying “hey.” Of letting you (and me) know that real events—interesting events—are taking place, in spite of my occasional unwillingness to notice:
- I went to Texas two weeks ago, and it was absolutely glorious. I always forget how strong the sun is down there. How I can feel the prickly scorch on my skin after just five minutes outside. That’s what really struck me this time. I might not like overwhelming heat, but I don’t like wearing winter sweaters in May, either. What I do like is eating brisket tacos on a quiet patio as a warm wind rustles the leaves overhead. That is the Texas moment that I carry with me as I trudge through the freezing rain on my way to work in the morning.
- Sean and I are going to Ireland in June. We didn’t have a vacation planned for this year and we didn’t have a vacation planned for this year and then all of a sudden we did. Nine days driving around the Emerald Isle, drinking Guinness and eating cheese and sleeping in B&Bs (unless we’re sleeping in a castle instead).
- Every single neighbor in our townhouse owns at least one dog now. When the front door opens, it sounds like we live in the local animal shelter. It’s too much noise for two quiet cat people. We gots to go, y’all.
- I have a new obsession, and it’s called Tiny House Hunters. As someone who feels like she’s bursting out of her 750 sq. ft. apartment, do I understand why otherwise normal-seeming parents would move their two teenage girls and twin babies into a 600 sq. ft. house? No. No, I do not. But I absolutely celebrate their willingness to pursue their tiny dreams in front of cameras for the world to see.
- As an avid consumer of podcasts, it’s important that I share two of my newest favorites: FiveThirtyEight Elections, which is co-hosted by Nate Silver (the statistician who’s been predicting state-by-state election outcomes with startling accuracy since 2008) and will help you make sense (or probably not, because it defies logic) of our country’s slow and painful devolution into Trumpland. And The Popcast, which is all about pop culture and is hosted by two hilarious Southerners who will help you forget (at least momentarily) about our country’s slow and painful devolution into Trumpland—when they’re not comparing Herr Donald to the Smoke Monster on LOST, that is.
- As of 10:30 tonight, I am no longer a grad school widow. (At least until June when the summer semester starts.) Just like last May, we have a full schedule of events planned—from a celebratory weekend in the White Mountains to Red Sox games to a quick jaunt to Philadelphia. It’s nice having my buddy back full time—however brief it may be.