Chicago

How Winter Kills

Like the snow in Metro Detroit, I’ve been in and out of everyday life. And like the snow, my mind should be ever present during this particular month, since it’s supposed to be the month of new beginnings; of making resolutions to change things.

But like the snow, I’ve only surfaced in bits in pieces whenever life seems to be most inconvenient.

This depression sucks.

No. I mean literally. It sucks the life and energy out of me. And throw in a (un)healthy dose of anxiety with it … well it just makes life all the more interesting.

I’m trying my best to move past this depression; doing all that I can physically and clinically do, but the weight of this sadness seems to be omnipresent.

Thank God for an understanding Husband; one who has stood by me through thick and thin. He’s been there through the low-hanging, non-anxiety moments and all the way through the high-octane drama-fueled moments. Sometimes I wonder – scratch that – I always wonder how I’ve managed to find my soulmate and my best friend who still loves me despite all the baggage I carry.

If anything, Hubby (and the furkids – although the fur-dog has been on my last nerve lately … ) is the reason why I keep getting out of bed every morning.

Even though I’ve written the occasional post about the grief I’ve been experiencing, I know I’m not usually so outright with my depression. But it has been suggested to me that I start writing more about it, because this seems to be the only outlet where I can openly talk about my struggles.

And although this blog is (and always will be) about living child-free after infertility, I thought that this was my little corner of the universe where I can tell you about my life, both good and bad. So here’s where I lay it out on the line:

  • I’m still grieving over the death of my father. Between my two parents, it’s become apparent to me over the past year and a half that I truly was a “Daddy’s Girl.” I thrived in the moments when my Dad would play around with me and tease me. And there were the silly jokes the two of us would play on each other that only the two of us would get. And I miss those things horribly.

 

  • In the same aspect, I realize how much different my relationship with my Mom has always been; particularly now that my Dad had passed. I’ve always known that we never had that “Mother-Daughter” bond that is constantly seen in movies and TV shows; we’re just two very different people. And without Dad being there as a buffer, this relationship has only intensified … and not always in a positive way.

 

  • Even though it’s been over a year since deciding to move back to Detroit, not a day goes by that I don’t miss living in Chicago. I miss the city and the atmosphere. I miss the late night trips to Dim Sum or Korean BBQ with my cousins. I miss walking.

 

  • But what I miss the most is that Chicago represented a new life for me. A life where Hubby & I carved out a place for ourselves; where the two of us really started focusing on us as a “Family of Two.” And while I love my hometown and take pride in telling people that I’m from Detroit, I miss that part of our lives where we were just far enough from “home” where Hubby & I could be our own family.

 

  • And finally … even though Hubby & I have decided that child-free living after infertility is our life, there are still those days where I worry about our future and what other things in our lives we can contribute to the greater good of our world. Will all I have to show at the end of my life is that I’ve worked hard for a living? That I loved my family and friends to the best capacity that I could? What about my legacy? What will I leave behind? And will I have made a difference in someone’s life? I know now that having kids won’t necessarily “satisfy” or provide answers to all of those questions, but having lost my Dad … and knowing the person he was … this is something that weighs heavily on mind.

 

I could probably go on with more “issues” that seem to run endlessly through my anxiety-ridden head, but these are the ones that are constantly in my stream of consciousness. These are the things that keep me from doing the things I would normally enjoy doing.

Like reading.

Or knitting.

Or taking pictures.

Or writing.

Or simply watching TV.

But I’m trying … at least I’ll try to work on the writing bit.

And maybe Mother Nature will be kind enough to work on a mild winter for the rest of us.

Holding It Together

The last thing I needed to do was to drop all the keys into the kitchen drawer to the right of the stove. That was the directions given to us by the building manager. Hubby was heading out the front door to the apartment that we had been only partly living in over the past year.

Now the apartment was empty; all the furniture taken apart and stored in the rented Penske truck that caused such a major hassle earlier that morning. All of our belongings since moving to Chicago more that 2.5 years ago were now in boxes, also in the rental truck.

I couldn’t help but feel sad; feel like, once again, I was a failure. After all, I had moved to the city of Chicago in hopes of forging a new life for me outside of my suburban life in Michigan; outside of our families, who had now been inundated with babies and kids in general. The move came at a time when I needed it most; when the latest birth in the family had proven too much for me to deal with both physically and emotionally. I’m not proud of how I had acted  after the birth of Hubby’s niece, but (as much as I love her to pieces) I felt as if I was spiraling downward into the deep abyss of Infertility depression. Again.

So yes, moving to Chicago was a way to stop me from free-falling. It was a way for me to step back from Infertility and focus on something new. It was a way for me to look at my life from a different perspective without the emotional ties or memories of what had happened in Detroit since the day Hubby & I decided to start our own family. And now, I was moving back to the same place I had “escaped” from back in December of 2008.

Hubby noticed the sadness in my eyes as I headed to the front door after placing the keys in the kitchen drawer. “It’ll be alright,” he told me, placing his arm around my waist.

“Aren’t you even a little sad?,” I asked him knowing how much he loved Chicago. I would have thought that he would have been a bit melancholy over the whole move.

“We’re together,” Hubby told me. “And really, that’s all that matters.”

I knew he was right; after all, wherever Hubby is will always be home. Yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I would be moving back to those same emotional ties and memories that I had left behind. To be honest, it felt more like I’d be moving back to even more emotional memories, especially since I had lost my father less than 9 months prior. How would it feel to go home again? To see all the places I had been to while in the throws of Infertility treatments? To see family and friends again, many who still to this day ask us why we don’t have kids? To know that I had failed to give my parents … my Dad especially … any grandchildren? To know that the only grandchild my Mom has lives a thousand miles away?

I reflected on all these thoughts on the long drive east on I-94. As Hubby followed behind me in the Penske truck, I could feel myself slowly sinking into the deep abyss. After all, 2011 was supposed to be less emotionally stressful than last year … Especially since 2010 was far from stellar. Nothing could possibly top the year I got fired, dealt with another pregnancy in the family (this time much better than in 2008), took my career in a different direction, and unexpectedly lost my Dad (and not to mention a beloved fur baby within the same week).

But as easy as it would be to let the abyss swallow me whole, I knew I had to find the positives amongst all the negative. So while listening to the entire INXS back catalogue I tried to reflect on what Hubby & I accomplished in the short time we lived in the Windy City.

“We made it to Chicago,” I thought, knowing that we had always talked about moving there since our days in college. As much as we loved the Detroit area, we wanted to experience true urban living.

“We mastered public transportation.” I added that to list, knowing full well that growing up in the Motor City pretty much meant that everyone drove themselves around in their cars rather than utilize public transportation.

“Learned more about Chicago than just the Magnificent.” I chuckled at that one, since we loved heading into the various neighborhoods and exploring the intricacies of the city.

“Spent more time with my Chicago cousins,” I thought; grateful for this fact, especially since these were my Dad’s nieces … and none of us ever expected that Dad would be taken from all of us so quickly.

Then as my thoughts turned to family, I remembered the biggest positive that came out of Hubby’s and my short stint in Chicago. Of all the things that happened while we were living in this “Second City,” I had actually accomplished the one thing that I had set out to do when we first decided to move out of our hometown. We had finally separated ourselves from all the emotional baggage that came with Infertility and found our resolution to our journey. And while it wasn’t the outcome that either of us had hoped for when we set out to start our family 14 years ago, it was one that the two of us could live with.

“So what if there are days — like today, for example — that I’d still feel like a failure?,” I thought, as the sun finally began to set on that hot August evening. “At least we have each other.”

And all I could think of at that moment was Hubby’s words: “We’re together,” Hubby told me. “And really, that’s all that matters.”

Forgive

Sidewalk Grafitti on the streets of Chicago. Took this shot from inside the car on a rainy day.

Thought this would be PERFECT for what’s supposed to be “The Rapture” …

Sabbatical

Almost a week and nary a post. <sigh> When did life suddenly get so busy?

But before I go babbling on about shtuff, I want to send a great big THANK YOU for all the wonderful birthday wishes I got last week. It truly means the world that I have friends, both IRL and online, that care so much for me.

I must admit, Hubby & I started celebrating my birthday the Friday before the holiday; kicking it off with SIL’s birthday in Detroit. Since the two of us (SIL & me) share birthdays exactly two days before and after America’s Birthday, we have tended to celebrate our birthdays in some combined manner; typically either on the Fourth of July or on her actual birthday. So yeah, we ended up at lunch with Hubby’s side of the family and exchanged gifts at that time.

And because I had been dying to get into the water again (one day at the beach two weeks ago was obviously not enough), I twisted Hubby’s arm by dragging him to the local waterpark in suburban Detroit. We lost track of time, spending close to four hours of swimming in the wave pool and floating down the lazy river … and it was wonderful!

My only complaint? When did my 38 year old body begin to need an hour nap after spending that much time in the water? Geesh … I can remember spending hours and hours in a pool and STILL have enough energy to stay up all night during the summers.

But after a wonderful nap that Saturday, I got to spend some quality time with my youngest cousins (Dad’s side); taking them to Mexican Village downtown Detroit and driving them around to show them more than the relatively non-diverse suburbs of Southeast Michigan. (Think old Detroit Train Station … ) Yeah, I think we opened their eyes to the tragic beauty of Detroit.

Original Exterior and Interior of the Detroit Train Station
(Michigan Central Station)

Current Exterior and Interior of our Tragically Beautiful Train Station

On my actual birthday, Hubby & I were back in Chicago. My Mom tagged along with us to meet up with some of her university friends (from back in the Philippines! In the early-to-mid 1960’s!) It was a very hot and humid day, but we managed to have lots of fun at the Art Institute of Chicago (my Mom’s a BIG Van Gogh fan) and at Millenium Park. We had lots of fun taking pictures next to and underneath “The Bean.” Afterwards, we hit a Chinese Restaurant closer to our apartment and ate dim sum along with the traditional Noodles that each person should eat on their birthday (it represents Long Life).

So yes … that’s what I’ve been up to this past week. That … and doing some website stuff for one of Hubby’s friend (and getting paid for it … woo-hoo!).

Oh, and did I forget to tell you that I got a job?! Not just any job … the traveling job that I had been wanting! Woo-frickin’-hoo!! The only downfall is that I’m not going to be able to start until the end of August. Which means … yeah, still no major cash flow into our bank account.

The upside to it all? (Other than actually being able to say that I’m technically no longer unemployed … ) Now I can tell people that I’ve decided to take the summer off for a sabbatical! Tee-hee!

Again, thanks for your birthday wishes AND thanks for all the good vibes and prayers y’all sent my way in regards to my job search. You guys are AWESOME!

Careless Memories

My Favorite D2 album

In the past two months, Hubby & I have spent more weekends in Detroit than we had here in Chicago. That’s the most we’d been home since the beginning of the year.

Needless to say, we’ve been listening to a lot of good tunes in our digital library during five-plus hour drive home.

Lately I’ve been on a Duran Duran kick; thanks to Hubby downloading their entire digital library. And it’s been fun singing Rio and Hungry Like The Wolf at the top of my lungs somewhere between Battle Creek and Jackson. But I must admit, I’ve been playing their first studio album more than the others.

It’s that album, simply titled Duran Duran, that reminds me of being 12 years old again and camping in Kitchener Ontario with my cousins. Where we’d play that cassette tape over and over again, most likely driving our parents insane.

It’s fun listening to the songs that never made it to the radio; those B-sides or other non-single-worthy ones. (Night Boat, anyone?) It’s like going back to visit an old friend and reminiscing about old times. Remembering how things were back in those days.

Duran Duran’s first studio album was very … New Wave. Lots of synth and distorted guitar; awesome awesome bass lines and — as I listen to it more and more — some incredibly complicated drumming.

Not that I don’t like the rest of their albums … I just wonder what it would’ve been like if they stayed in that New Wave sound, rather than heading to a more Pop-oriented direction. Perhaps they wouldn’t be as mainstream. Perhaps they would have never hit it big. Who knows?

I had that thought in my head since our drive back to Chicago last week. And that thought lead to another one which had me contemplating a couple “What If’s” in my own life.

Now, I must clarify before I head down this path … I typically don’t do this; travel down the road of “Shoulda, Coulda , Woulda.” Especially since I’m usually pretty deliberate about the choices I make in life.  (Well, at least I am now … ) So what I’m about to write below, is more of a … dream sequence, if you will.

*****

A "New Romantic" Duran Duran

When Hubby & I got back from our honeymoon, we started house-hunting. After seeing quite a number of houses, we finally narrowed it down to two. One was closed to both our places of employment and perfect as a “starter home.” It was only built two years prior; and it had more of a modern feel to it with open ceilings and skylights. It was one we thought would be easy to resell if we needed to move to a bigger place once we had our kids. But for the time-being, it would have been a perfect two-story home for the two of us.

The second home was older and a bit further from our work places. It a ranch-style home with bigger bedrooms and a finished basement. It had a large kitchen and dining room where we could see having family gatherings. Oh, and the best part (at least for me)? In-ground pool in the back yard (it’s the Cancer in me that looooves water!!). This was a house that was was ready for a family; ready for a couple to start their family.

So, out of the two … which one do you think that Hubby & I chose? I’ll even give you a couple seconds to think about it.

.

.

.

.

We chose the first house. Well, rather *I* chose the first house; Hubby defaulted on me to make the decision.

To me, it made more logical sense. Close to work. Easy to sell (so we thought at the time). And perfect as a “starter” home. Oh, and not to mention quite a bit less in price than the second house.

And I truly did love our house. It was funky; it was cute. And it was close to two “downtown” locales where we could hang out on a nice sunny day.

Except now it’s been close to 14 years — not to mention a move to a different city — and the house remains ours. There had been no need to “upgrade” to a bigger house since the kids never came. Nor was there the finances to do so, after all the infertility treatments we had paid for. And when the opportunity to move to a different city amidst the economic downfall of 2009, our house remained (remains) in our name.

So this is where I start to wonder “What if.”

As in “What if I chose the second house? Would we still be living in Suburban Detroit? Would we have had no reason to move to another house … let alone another city? Would we have those children we always wanted? Would Hubby & I have stayed in the same jobs … or better yet, move up in our respective careers? Or, better yet … would I have finally been able to be that stay-at-home Mom that I always wanted to be?

*****

My Cousin got to meet JT back in the late '80's. Totally jealous!

At the end of August, our lease will be up on our 2nd floor walk-up in Chicago. With Hubby freelancing and diligently working at trying get financially vested in a “virtual” ad agency that he & two others have started … well, the income hasn’t been too steady and reliable.

And me … well, let’s just say I’m still unemployed. For now. Which means that I have no income coming in at the moment. (Cross your fingers that I’ll not be unemployed for much longer!)

In any case, this means that our stay here in Chicago may be time-limited. Although not completely set in stone (things change from day to day), it looks like we’ll be moving back to the house in Suburban Detroit. The same house that contains many of those memories that I hoped to put away once we moved to Chicago.

Realistically we know that it makes sense to move back and regroup, so to speak, until our house sells. But emotionally … I feel as  if I’ve failed in my goal to start anew.

I know it’s futile to think of what could have been; especially if things didn’t turn out the way they did here in Chicago (in regards to my employment). And I know that my life experiences and the decisions I’ve made in my life have made me the person I am today.

But sometimes … just sometimes … I wish that I could peer into my future so that I can make the right decisions now.

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(Just for you, Kara … )

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Split

Like the current Stanley Cup Finals series, the ApronStrings Household is split.

For those that aren’t sports nuts like the two of us, that means that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers are both tied with two wins apiece after Game Four in the seven-game series.

Not that I mean to say that Hubby & I are at odds with one another … well, at least when it comes to our relationship. Rather, we’re at odds when it comes to cheering on which hockey team we think should win the coveted Cup.

I should start off by saying that, first and foremost, I will always cheer for my hometown Detroit Red Wings wherever we live. But since they failed to make it to the finals this year … I had no choice but to choose an “adopted” team.

I should also add here that if I had my druthers … and if the Red Wings weren’t going to make the Finals … I would have absolutely loved to see two different teams vying for the Cup this season. And those two teams would have been the Vancouver Cannucks and the Montreal Canadiens. To me, it only seems fitting that the year Canada won Gold in a Canadian Olympics, then they should also deserve to have Stanley return home … at least for the year.

And yes, Mrs. Spit. I know this would have made you very very happy, also. 🙂

Instead now, Hubby & I find ourselves — for the first time in our married lives — rooting against each other. Him cheering for a team, simply because they’re considered the underdogs of the series. And me cheering for a team, for the mere fact that this team’s town has become my adopted town.

Hubby cheers for his team, simply because his opposing team has long-been rivals of the Detroit Red Wings. While I cheer for my team because it’s been 47 years since this team has won the Stanley Cup.

Either way, it’s been fun watching the series with Hubby. And it’s definitely made watching the NHL’s “second season” much more interesting.

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Meet Al the Octopus; the Detroit Red Wings mascot. For Wing Nuts, like ourselves, throwing octopi onto the ice during Playoff Season is a long-standing tradition for the Red Wings Franchise.

As for how Al got his name … he was named after Al Sobotka, the general building manager for Joe Louis Arena; and the wonderful soul that picks up every thrown octopi and twirls it over his head.

Motor City Kitty

Live in Chi-town, but love my Motown ...

Live in Chi-Town, but love my Motown

I didn’t realize how much I missed “home” until being back in metro-Detroit this past few days. Maybe I’m just contributing the feeling of “home-sickness” to how jaded I am with my former employer. Which is bad, since I really truly do love the city of Chicago.

Anyway, we’re back in Chicago for the next week or so. We have some business to take care of along with making sure that Yami & Rain haven’t taken over the entire apartment with their crazy antics. (We never know what kind of trouble a smart black cat and a senior-citizen deaf cat can get into!)

Oh and next week we get to go see this. I am such a Gleek!

But anybody that knows me, knows I have a penchant for music. Love to sing. Love to try out harmonies. Love to listen to any type of music with a great beat and an amazing hook.

So it’s probably no surprise to most of my HS and college friends that I’m heading back to Detroit to embrace my Goth/Industrial roots on Memorial Day Weekend. Yep … after missing last year, Hubby & I are going to head down to Hart Plaza to attend the Movement Festival; otherwise known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF).

Huh? Goth/Industrial music related to Electronic Music? Specifically Detroit Techno?

Yes, I say. My love for New Order naturally lead me to the darker Joy Division; then Bauhaus and all their reincarnations, which eventually led me to all other Goth/Industrial music out of the now-defunct Wax Trax label out of Chicago and the likes of Front 242, KMFDM, and even Kate‘s Meat Beat Manifesto. 🙂

Yes; the same Chicago that brought on the birth of hard-thumpin’ bass-pumpin’ House Music. Which, alongside Detroit Techno began the (r)evolution of Electronic Dance Music.

Anyway it’s no surprise that in my college and post-college years, I spent lots of time at a bar/nightclub called Industry, which played a lot of industrial music mixed in with Chicago House and Detroit Techno.

Okay … so that was a quick lesson on the history of how I got into Electronic Music.

What I really meant to talk about was that this year is the 10th Anniversary of the inaugural Music Festival. Those who attended that first year will agree that there was something quite … for lack of better words, spiritual about that weekend. It was as if all the stars aligned and remain aligned for the entire holiday weekend. Not that there weren’t any hiccups during the first year, but the fact that Detroit managed to put together something that garnered international attention … and not have it be about the Auto Industry or the crime rate of the city … was nothing short of incredible.

That inaugural year was actually captured on film by a few of Hubby’s friends who were putting together a documentary about how the DEMF finally brought Detroit Techno back to its home. But because of a multitude of issues, the film … was never released. Until now, that is.

Ten years later, The Drive Home will finally be shown on the Big Screen; it’s premiere being included in the pre-festival parties next Friday. I am sooo excited to be going!

For me, the best part will actually be seeing snippets of Hubby in some of the film footage. You see, Hubby & I were asked to “cover” the event for a HS friend of his, whose website was pretty well-versed in the NYC club scene. So as “Media” guests, both Hubby & I were able to get access to areas that the typical festival-goer did not have.

Now how do I know that Hubby might be on film? Well, it’s because we’ve already seen him on the trailer! Check it out …

Yep, that's Hubby on the rail to the right, snapping pictures!

Anyway, I find myself connecting with the overall theme of this documentary. The fact of the matter is that Detroit Techno, while its roots come from musicians who have lived in Detroit, was more influential internationally than it was on its own backyard. However, as the years and decades past … the importance of this style of music was eventually recognized in the city from which it was born. While these artists and musicians (because it’s not all about DJ’s and sampling … ) are considered legends in other countries (such as the Netherlands and Germany), they go mostly “unnoticed” and they feel most comfortable when they’re back in their home town.

And especially since this last visit back home, where we spent more than just a typical two-and-a-half day weekend in town, I’ve noticed I’m also more at ease when I’m on more familiar ground.

Again, this may all be as a result of my most recent stressors here in Chicago. But I can tell you this … I’m looking forward to our drive home next week.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for The Drive Home … hope you enjoy.

And while you’re at it … check out the part of the article we wrote for his HS friend’s website. I’m actually amazed it’s still out there on the web. Well, at least Part II is … not sure where Part I or III is! LOL!

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Itchy & Scratchy

Day Three (and supposed last day) of beautiful Chicago weather. Not sure how high we hit today, but at the end of the work day I saw a sign that read 78 degrees.

AND, since tourists are out in full swing in Chi-town … riding home on Lakeshore Drive, I saw tons of people on the sandy beach of Lake Michigan. I even saw a couple bikinis out there! Which … I really hope they didn’t try to brave the lake water, because I’m sure it’s waaaay to cold!

But with great weather in the Spring comes one of the worse things of the year … and that’s those seasonal allergies. I knew they’d hit me one of these days when I noticed on Wednesday the trees beginning to bud. And today … yup, they hit me at full force.

Itchy eyes. Scratchy throat. Nonstop runny nose. Yep … gotta love allergies!

Despite it all, I wouldn’t trade the beautiful weather for anything. In fact, I’d rather OD on Benedryl before I’d spoil a great weather day!

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Busy day tomorrow; lots of cleaning abound. Must. Expose. Myself. To more. Allergens. (Oh joy!) But it’s all for a good cause … as this means that my niece and nephew will be heading into town Sunday evening!

So without any more ramblings … here’s my Lenten Dailies.

Daily Good Deed: On the bus ride from work to meet Hubby at the cafe on the opposite end of Michigan Avenue, I noticed a guy struggling to pull out money for the bus fare. So instead of making him dig for change, I took out my handy CTA Card and paid for his fare. Yeah, he was pretty grateful …

Daily Though of Gratitude: Visine for itchy eyes and Benedryl for all the other nasty allergy symptoms. At least I know I’ll be sleeping soundly tonite!!

Spring Has Sprung

What another beautiful day in Chicago … and apparently we hit a record high 83 degrees in the city today.

Let me tell you, it was verrry difficult to want to stay focused at work today. Not only because I had been working on these reports; which were strictly data driven (and boring as h*ll) … but because I would have rather been outside enjoying that incredible weather.

Rest assured, I got outta Dodge as soon as possible and met Hubby down on Michigan Avenue. And apparently, the rest of those lucky students and families that get an Easter Break were on the Magnificent Mile as well. After an entire winter of stragler tourists, I forgot how nuts it could be once the weather turned nice.

Anyway, Hubby & I took advantage of the nice day and did a little exploring. We ended up in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago and had a nice dinner at a small French Bistro. Then we walked next door to the pet store and oogled over cute puppies. Which of course had us missing our own menagerie of furbabies.

So we headed back home and decided to go for an extra long walk with our Kozzy-girl. All of us, dog included, need to lose that Midwestern Winter weight that we all put on these past few months.**

Our poor Kozzy … She was so excited to go for a walk. And even moreso when she realized we were walking much further than we normally do. Except … well, except then she realized that she had to walk that same amount back home. That’s when her pace slowed down considerably, her tail slunk down a little lower, and her tongue started hanging out of her mouth. And when we finally got back home, she lapped up all the water in a bowl in a manner of seconds.

Now … well, now she’s crashed on the rug right next to our couch, snoring. Loudly.

So. Adorable!!

The thing is, that I know today is just an April Fool’s joke. Because even though tomorrow is also supposed to be nice (three days in a row … woo-hoo!!) … the rest of the weekend is going to drop back down to the 50’s and be a bit rainy.

Well … must enjoy it while we can!

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I’m coming up on the last days of Lent. Can’t believe it’s almost the end …

Good Deed of the Day: I spent some time today with a co-worker who was disappointed in the outcome of a possible opportunity. Previously, we had talked about how things happen for a reason. And this discussion today; well, it was just a recap of that prior conversation. I hope it gave her some comfort.

Grateful Thought of the Day: I love warm weather … it puts a little spring to my step. I’m so thankful for days like today. It always makes me look forward to more days like today.

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** Seriously! I put on a skirt that I hadn’t worn since late October and … well, let’s just say it was a little snug. Grr …

Wanted: An Old Skool Spring Break

Wow. It’s bee-yooo-teee-ful outside here in Chicago. It’s a nice 68 degrees outside and sunny. But the best part is that tomorrow it’s supposed to reach the low 70’s!

Unfortunately, I’ll be stuck behind my desk at work for most of the day. Boo.

At least I was able to enjoy today; as I worked from home. How enjoyable is it to be able to take a mid-morning break to walk our doggie? And I just love not having to wake up any earlier to get ready for work on these days, when all  I have to do is roll out of bed, stumble to my trusty laptop and sign into the office. Oh how I wish I could do this more than once a month!

Today being the Wednesday before the Easter, I’ve noticed a lot more students out and about enjoying the nice weather. Which makes me believe that these kids are all on some sort of Spring break or semester break of sorts.

Jealous!!

Makes me wish I could be back at school just so I can have those extra days off. And it’s not just because you automatically get those days off … it’s more that when you’re off at that time, your entire “business as usual” routine stops. There’s no other person that you’re responsible for when you’re off. There’s no other person relying on you to make sure things are in order for him/her when you’re gone for the week. And most of all, there’s no pile of work waiting for you when you return from that time off.

Now, scheduling a vacation … even just between Hubby & I is a pain in the neck. After all, last time we went away (to Vegas, baby) … and even though people knew we would be gone, chaos still ensued which ultimately ended up with Hubby having to deal with work-related things. While on vacation.

Blech. When did we become so responsible?

But speaking of vacation … I know that I’m ripe for another one sometime soon. Maybe it’s the fatigue I’ve been dealing with. Or maybe it’s the feeling of being overworked that has me feeling like this. Either way, I think it’s time some quality Mr. & Mrs. ApronStrings time.

Unfortunately … and this goes back to the whole scheduling a vacation thing … that probably won’t be until August; when we’re scheduled to go on an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle with my parents.**

Oh, I take that back. It’ll be in July to Toronto for Hubby’s cousin’s wedding. But even then, it’ll only be for a long weekend.

Anyhoo … I wish that my numbers would come up in the MegaMillions lottery. That way I can go on vacation and travel more often!

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Whew. I did it. I blogged for two straight months … IN A ROW!

And thanks to NaBloPoMo … I get this lucky badge to add to my awards and such. Woo-hoo!

But hold on to you’re seats, kiddo. I still have 5 mores left of posting daily to fulfill that Lenten promise. So without further ado:

Random Act of Kindness Today: Sunday it was my kitty, Rain that needed all the attention. Today (and in most days that I work from home), it was my other kitty, Yami. So … before taking our Kozzy-girl out for that mid-morning walk, I let Yami snuggle on my lap and paw away at my computer for a bit until she got fed up with me trying to take a picture of her on the PhotoBooth application on my laptop. She’s just too adorable to resist … but when ya gotta work … 🙂

Grateful Thought Today: Work-From-Home Days … for all the reasons I listed above. Plus … the fact that I tend to concentrate better on reports and projects without the constant interruptions and meetings. Somedays it can be a challenge (read: still get interrupted by emails and phone calls and IM’s), but it’s worth it just to be able to sleep a tad longer.

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** Thank G*D for my parents love of traveling … if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think Hubby & I would have the gumption to plan something on our own. But really … it would be nice to have a quick getaway with just Hubby & me; to recharge our batteries.

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