Archives for November 2013

Day 20: Changing the Way I Think About Thinking

077 | 365

Yesterday, I lay awake in bed my brain churning for hours before my alarm was due to go off. I was worried about something and my brain turned it over and over again imagining every outcome – every possible outcome except what actually happened:


In all that stress and worry and hours of thinking, nothing happened, everything was fine, and I lost hours of sleep for nothing.

Prone to overanalysis anyway, I’ve always been the introspective sort to weigh my options, dissect things and events in my mind and take things down to the bare bones to evaluate – so while this isn’t a new thing, it’s something that’s actually really starting to annoy me.

It annoys me because I have real stuff to think about.

What’s real: job hunting, programming my thermostat so I don’t spend too much money heating the house when no one’s home, my stepfather’s recent surgery, securing childcare while my stepfather recovers from surgery, why my hip hurts every time I run.

What’s not real: the thought that somebody could yell at me about a thing that a rational person wouldn’t be mad enough to yell about. For example.

You see the ridiculousness.

And if I were to dissect that, I could see what that thought would upset me: I hate conflict. I’m a people pleaser. I try to not intentionally upset people. I work hard. Yelling is yucky. Do not like.

No wonder I wouldn’t want that.


What I need to do when the hamster wheel that is my brain starts turning is this:

What is the worst that could happen?

If that bad thing happened, what does that mean?

Will I care in a week, a month, a year?


Will it work? I don’t know but I do know that realistically, I can’t do anything about hypotheticals, really. I can only deal with reality. I am a creative person, and nearly every worst case scenario that my brain can create has been worse than reality (I’m that creative, y’all). I gotta start using my power for good instead of evil. Would be nice to start envisioning some happy plot lines, wouldn’t it?

If you’re an overthinker, how do you deal with it? Do you give in to the thoughts or are you able to channel your thinking in more positive ways? If you’re a recovered overthinker, how did you kick the habit?

Day 19: An Ode To My Dog

Gotta capture his sweet moments

I didn’t want a dog. I’m allergic. I didn’t want to do the work. I knew the responsibility would fall to me.

I wasn’t really wrong.

Look at how cute he was, though. Like you could resist.

09 | 03 | 10

He was naughty at first. Nipping hands, scratching arms…

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He even did a lot of damage to the furniture.

We used to spray bitter apple on everything to deter him from biting, chewing, and otherwise destroying. It helped a little bit.

Those first few years were TOUGH.

People have said, “Oh, he’s a labradoodle – it’s that lab side of him that makes him so playful and young – he’s gonna be like a puppy until he’s about four years old.”

Uh. What?

But he’s gotten mellower, our puppy has. And though he’s still a bit on the excitable side, and though he still likes to chew the heck out of everything, he’s so much a part of our family that I can’t imagine our world without him.

When he catches a glimpse of The Princess walking home from her bus stop, he races back and forth from one window to the next until she approaches the front door where he waits, tail wagging, to greet her when she enters.

When he hears Pumpkin’s bus, he stares intently out the window until she starts walking up the driveway and then he races to the door to welcome her home.

Yesterday, The Princess didn’t come home. She had rehearsal for her school musical.

He saw her friend approaching and did his typical window race and then he waited.

And he waited.

And he waited.

And she never came in the door.

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And he was sad.

Tonight, I picked the girls up from their dad. Puppy was eager the whole way, standing next to my seat. We pulled in the parking lot and I asked, “Are you ready to see your girls?” He jumped onto the passenger seat, tail wagging, his eyes scanning the parking lot. Waiting for his people.

It’s these kinds of things that make me love him more – that he knows that we love him and that he loves us back. Just as he matters to us tremendously, I can tell that we matter to him. That his demeanor is different when the girls aren’t around, that he actually appears sad when he doesn’t get to curl up with Pumpkin in the morning to watch cartoons or in the evening with The Princess – you can tell his puppy world is off kilter.

As I type, he’s curled up next to me on the couch. I love this time of day, just the two of us – one with opposable thumbs and one without – just holding the couch down.

The girls are home and my house is settling from the loudness that’s been missing for the past few days. I can tell he’s feeling it – and is now joyfully exhausted. His people are home.

I’m glad I was forced to cave in to the whole ‘getting a puppy thing’ because my life is better with him in it.

I can easily say that now that I’m out of furniture for him to chew.

Day 18: After the Rain

out came the sun...

I woke up shivering and in the dark in a home without power this morning. Apparently over a hundred thousand west Michigan residents did this morning, so we all had the same off-kilter sort of morning. Getting ready for work by candlelight and driving to a nearby coffee store for a big mug of caffeine and some kind of warm breakfast – before venturing into the office.

I arrived at work to a semi-dark parking garage, a mostly-dark lobby, and a building with some generator power and instructions to head home.

I did.

I arrived at my own house, after detours around closed roads (presumably because of downed trees) to functioning electricity, warmth, and a trampoline that thankfully didn’t fly out of my back yard with yesterday’s high winds (big big thanks to my brother-in-law who came over in the middle of the Lions game – not even at halftime! – to flip it upside down so the wind wouldn’t catch it and lift it away. Again.). I came home to a refrigerator keeping all my food cold and a freezer that’s keeping the frozen stuff frozen.

I’m kind of lucky.

Power was quickly restored at work but today I am working from home in comfortable pants, a thick sweatshirt and with fuzzy socks.

I have a strange guilt about not being in the office – which is silly, since y’know, I did show up in the first place and I am making progress on a project that needed to get done. (Work ethic – I have it. Also? I’m one of the few people who probably works harder when I’m working at home – feeling the need to prove myself to others, I guess. I worked at home for six years — and was insanely productive the whole time. It’s how I do).

I am grateful to have a warm house.

Hell, I am grateful to even have a house. I saw photos from areas hit hard by yesterday’s weather – the devastation makes you catch your breath. How a storm can whip through and change your whole life.

Make no mistake, I had it easy.

Though I look like I got dressed in the dark today (because I did! FINALLY! I have an excuse!), and even though I’m tired (do you know how exhausting it is to wake up to see if power has been restored?), I’m in my home. I’m sitting at my dining table doing work that I would be doing in my cubicle.

They’re estimating that some people will be without power until Thursday. Hopefully, for them, that’s a gross overestimation. By Thursday, most of those people will have to empty out the contents of their refrigerators and start anew. It’s getting too cold for those people to stay at home until Thursday so many will stay elsewhere. The nursing home where my grandmother lives is currently without power – she’s on portable oxygen. She can’t be the only one. Though, she has places she can stay until power is restored, it’s amazing when you start thinking about it, the impacts of a storm – a freakish autumn storm – on so many lives.

And here I sit at my dining table doing the work I’d have done in my office had there been power (there’s power there now; tomorrow will be back to normal). The sky is gray and it’s still very windy.

But I’m in my house and I’m feeling lucky.

Day 17: How to Make Gougere (They’re Basically Cheese Puffs. Awesome Cheese Puffs.)

A few months ago when the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids opened, Chris and I went wandering around to see what there was to see and to try some of the offerings from some of the vendors. Not all the vendors were up and running at full capacity and some only had a limited  selection of their wares. One of those vendors was Field & Fire.

Field & Fire’s head baker-dude was one of the head baker dudes at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, so needless to say, I had a few expectations of what F&F would have to offer, and that it should be phenomenally good.

I was right.

That first day was also the first time I’d ever tried a gougere. If you’ve ever had a cream puff, a gougere really isn’t all that different. It’s a kind of a puffy-bready-savory-peppery thing. Looks like a roll or a biscuit and then you bite into it and then AWESOMENESS ENSUES.

They’re so amazing that it’s a semi-regular thing we do – stop at Field & Fire for gougere and to Simpatico (the coffee place in the Downtown Market) for coffee (cappuccino for me, latte for him).


Sometimes it is not logistically feasible to go to the Market. So I wanted to try to make gougere on my own.

Know what? It’s not that hard.

Mine are not yet as amazing as the ones from Field & Fire (which shouldn’t be a surprise – trained professional versus me), but they’re not bad.


Here’s how you do it.

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° (you’ll want the racks to be kinda in the middle).
  2. Lightly butter a baking dish (or go sans butter if you’re using parchment paper or a Silpat).
  3. In a large saucepan, combine: 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1 cup water and bring it to a boil.
  4. Once it boils, remove it from heat and add 1 cup flour. Whisk until smooth. [Note: at this point, when you whisk it all together, it will pull away from the sides of the pan and become this sort of blobby ball of shiny dough. This is called “pate-au-choux” or “pat a shoe” as my kid calls it.]
  5. Let it cool slightly and either dump into the bowl of your stand mixer or dig in your cupboards for an electric mixer.
  6. One by one, add 4 eggs, beating thoroughly after you add each egg.
  7. Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese {I’ve made it with white cheddar, I’ve made it with orange cheddar. I’ve added parmesan once. Some recipes say to use gruyere. So, add the cheesy goodness of your choosing}
  8. Mix in about 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper – you can add more if you love pepper, or less if you don’t. I love a really peppery gougers, so… I don’t really measure, just add it til it looks right.
  9. Scoop in heaping spoonfuls onto your baking dish (I make very very big scoops).
  10. Bake at 425° for about 27 minutes-ish, turn your oven down to 400 and then bake for another 7 – 10 minutes.
  11. Let ’em cool a bit.

If you have a lot left over, I’d say to pop them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer… left out at room temp, they lose their appeal after about a day – and with all that egg and cheese it seems it should proooooobably be kept cool.

{And if you’re in Grand Rapids, you should stop by Field & Fire for a gougere. Or a loaf of bread. Or croissants. I’m not getting paid to say nice things about them. They’re just that good.}

Day 16: In Praise of Single Parents. Or, Just Me.

Every Friday morning, with very few exceptions, my daughters and I get up and venture out to a nearby grocery store for doughnuts and coffee. When I tuck in the girls on Thursday night, usually I’ll say “Hooray! Tomorrow is broccoli day!” and one of them will say, “NOOOOO! DOUGHNUT DAY!” and then when my alarm goes off Friday morning, I’ll gently shake each of them awake, “It’s doughnut day – get up, get dressed.”

Traditions, yo.

Doughnut day was born of a time several years ago when the Ex, before he was the Ex, had to go out of town for several weeks for training and I was left at home to care for the kids on my own. I spent a lot of time planning meals, I remember (peanut butter pancakes, for example, was better in theory and didn’t really win over the crowd as I’d hoped), a lot of time organizing so I could have it all together.

But then.

The girls wouldn’t sleep. They’d give me such drama at bedtime. I was so exhausted by the end of the day, I just wanted them to want to rest too. Right around that time, I ran into our family doctor in the grocery store. She was buying her son a doughnut for staying in his bed all night – and that’s when it hit me: If bribery is acceptable for the doctor, it’s acceptable for me.

And thus doughnut day was born. “If you go to bed at bedtime without fuss all week,” I told the girls, “on Friday morning, we’ll go out for doughnuts.”

And they did.

So we did.

And we’ve been doing it almost every Friday since.

Now that single parenthood is a way of life and not just a temporary situation, I’ve found that bribery makes a lot less sense. However, I’m not always sure what the right answer is. I am torn at times between why should I give you something for doing what I’ve asked of you and I’ll buy you a pony if you will just throw the damn empty Capri Sun pouch in the trash!

Though I’ve yet to buy any large animals, my method seems to be somewhere in the middle – and that some days are better than others.

Parenthood, as a rule, is just…tough. Even under the best of circumstances, you’re still faced with all of the stupid battles people make up to terrify you into thinking you’re ruining your children – breastfeed versus bottle, stay at home parenting versus working outside the home, organic versus the regular old stuff that’s cheaper. If you believe what you read, we’re faced with countless ways each day that we an really really irrevocably damage our kids (Oh, you let your kid watch an hour of Nick Jr while you were cleaning your kitchen? You might as well just say sayonara to all those brain cells you just helped kill).

When you’ve got a partner in the home, you have someone to share the blame responsibility with. Someone to help lighten the load. Someone to watch the kids while you scrub the counters so you don’t rely on Dora and her creepy backpack to keep Junior entertained. Someone to take over when you’ve had a rough day and need just five minutes to yourself to regroup.

When you’re on your own, you don’t have that. And so you juggle.

Even if the other parent is still in the picture – if you’re the one doing the heavy lifting in your home, solo, yeah, you’re a single parent.

Since I’ve been on my own with the kids I’ve…

  • only been to book club once. I don’t want to take them to a sitter so I can go sit at a restaurant for several hours on a school night to talk about a book I might not have had time to read anyway.
  • learned to workout later in the day – working around the kids’ schedule rather than my own.
  • gotten better at cooking. I’m the only one doing it, I hardly every get a break, and if I’m going to eat my cooking all the time, I’d like it to be good.
  • learned that my definition of good cooking differs from the kids’. Spend time cooking to be met with a turned up nose? Way harsh, kids.
  • been the one to get up with the kids when they have bad dreams or comfort them when they can’t fall asleep. The 3:30 a.m. wake up call from Pumpkin the other night after she had a bad dream left me bleary eyed for most of the next day… her too. But, we’re in it together.
  • taken the brunt of their frustration for…well… everything. What’s more fun than an overtired child? Well, pretty much everything. As I said to a friend the other day, talking to a sleep deprived child sometimes is akin to negotiating with terrorists – treading lightly to avoid setting her off. Having no one else to pass that off to means that I’ve…
  • had to get better at counting to ten and keeping calm. Child upset about not being able to attend a party because another event is scheduled at the same time? Sure, tantrums are no fun to listen to, but, if I stop and listen – I know why she’s upset. It’s valid. I’d be upset too. By not reacting in kind, by keeping calm, we can navigate out of the funk a bit faster
  • gotten better at reading my children
  • had a lot of fun being ridiculous with my children – singing and dancing around the living room at the top of our lungs? YES PLEASE.
  • learned to choose my battles – not everything is a big deal
  • had to find ways to keep ourselves entertained without breaking the bank
  • tried to always keep my kiddos in the forefront of my thoughts when making decisions, particularly those that might affect them

I can’t speak for everyone, or for everyone’s experience – but I have noticed that I get down on myself quite a lot – arguments with the girls can leave me mopey. My overtired child told me the other day, “NOTHING YOU DO IS IMPORTANT!” and I felt gutted and cried because I’m trying so hard, working so hard and they don’t see it.

So for those of you who might need to hear it: You’re doing hard work. You’re doing a good job. What you’re doing is important. You’re doing the best you can with what you have. You can ask for help if you need it (and I’ll listen if you need to vent). They tell me the tough times get easier and they’re already getting easier than they were so I imagine maybe, just maybe, they’ll keep getting easier. Television won’t break your children. And neither will a doughnut a week. Don’t take it personally if your kids don’t see the value in what you’re doing  – but know that they will realize some day how much you care, how much you love them, and maybe they’ll realize your struggle and maybe they won’t. You’re raising good people. Being a single parent doesn’t mean that your kids are gonna be broken relationship-phobic hooligans (Y’all, I just really wanted to say “hooligans”).

The day-to-day stuff falls on my shoulders and sometimes I get tired. Years ago, necessity made me create a new doughnut day tradition, these days necessity has taught me more useful things.

We’ll all be okay.

Now hand me the remote and pass the doughnuts.




Day 15: Getting Things Done

When I was working full time, I would come home exhausted, throw together a meal at the end of the day, half-heartedly shove the dishes in the dishwasher when the meal was done, and just barely do enough to keep the wheels turning because HELLO? EXHAUSTED.

I kind of have no excuse for that now.

And though I have a tendency to do the things I need to do, mostly because I can’t stand to be surrounded by chaos, I find myself making massive to-do lists for myself every Wednesday evening – things that I should do over the next four days.

Things like the furnace repair appointment and doing laundry and putting the clothes away and scrubbing the bathtub, helping the kids pack for their weekend at their dad’s, pay the house payment, write a blog post (…check!), return library books, etc etc etc.

Some weeks, my list is so long, I have to turn the paper over.

I find myself moving from task to task and never truly relaxing, and then feeling exhausted come Sunday.

Idle time makes me nervous. It serves me well to keep moving, to get things done.

This morning I vacuumed the crumbs out from between the planks on the dining table and then polished it. The sun streaming through the window shined off my table in a way that brought a smile to my face.


I like results.

So much of what I do in my life has no immediate results. My lists give me results. I write it down, I do it, I cross it off. BOOM.

I’ve been a list person all my life. I like lists. I like accomplishments. (And I LOVE how clean my living spaces are RIGHT THIS MINUTE).


Day 14: Thursday Ten: Sniffly Sneezy Stuff Head edition

1. I have a cold. I have a cold and I’m trying to guzzle water like crazy (which actually isn’t difficult because I’m so thirsty and ice water is tasting super delicious). Guessing my daily vitamin C hasn’t done the trick (I keep the bottle of vitamins in my car so I don’t forget to take them). It’s nothing world ending, just… well, I’m out of Kleenex and have a roll of toilet paper sitting on an etagere in my living room and there’s really nothing classier than having a roll of toilet paper in your living room. BRB, need another glass of water.

2. Sometimes my reflection isn’t my favorite. I said I would be nicer to myself this week. I’m kind of exhausted – and it shows.
close my eyes then i won't see

3. For the stress that work causes, I realized yesterday that most of my department is very strong. Our skill sets overlap a tiny bit – enough that we can swoop in and help each other out when need be. My work situation is less than ideal – because hi, 24 hours a week – but just yesterday, four of us wandered back and forth from one desk to another, each of us helping each other out in various ways, getting things done. I think that’s awesome.

4. Every time I have to look up something on Urban Dictionary, I die a little inside.

5. I finally took the plunge and bought…eye make up remover wipes. Why? My new mascara is pretty awesome but doesn’t wash off easily. You can only wake up so many mornings looking like you have a black eye before you take action.

6. I think sometimes of taking a vacation planned solely around getting tacos as all the best places.

7. A busy week coming up with The Princess’s school musical AND her first gymnastics meet of the season, plus my stepfather is having surgery. I could do without such a chaotic week, but we’ll be even more thankful (heh) the week after when all of this is behind us and it’s Thanksgiving! (Bonus: Thanksgiving food. I LOVE Thanksgiving food.)

8. I’m done with winter already. Can we fast forward to spring thaw?

9. I now have my grandma’s dresser in my closet because she doesn’t have room for it in the nursing home and Pumpkin isn’t ready to give up her dilapidated dresser (emotionally attached to a dresser – a girl who loves her furniture. I can relate). But I don’t want to actually put anything in it, because once I do, I know that will be when she decides she’s ready for it… and then I’ll have to empty it. So, yeah. Empty dresser, taking up space, and waiting for an eight year old to love it. Super.

10. Television commercials for perfume boggle my mind. You know that stuff could totally smell like skunk pee and you couldn’t tell from a commercial. Why bother? Have you ever seen a perfume commercial and thought to yourself, “Well, I really liked the way that woman walked! I bet it’s because she smells so good! I better go to the store!” No, you probably haven’t.

Day 13: I Cried While Watching Parenthood and I Don’t Even Have PMS

In my ongoing quest to not need a crane to tear the roof off my house to lift me out, I remain committed to my daily (almost daily) workout routines. The weather is getting colder and my hip is acting elderly, so lately workouts have been 45 minutes of the Nike Training App while watching television – don’t judge, it works. I get moving and if I’m entertained, it’s easier for me to block out the fact that there are a stack of cupcake cookbooks on the table by the door and shreds of tug of war dog rope strewn across the floor.

I digress.

Last night, I took a break from watching HGTV during my workout and instead played an episode of Parenthood. I’d watched the first episode of the first season on Sunday afternoon, so it was time for episode two.

I might have cried.

More than once.

I cried for the parents coping with their son’s Aspergers diagnosis.

I got a little misty about the bitchy mom wars (stay at home versus work outside the home moms – my least favorite war. YUCK).

And I cried at the scene where Sarah is interviewing for a job. And then I cried when she didn’t get the job.

Perhaps it is because I’m also a Sarah who is job hunting. Or a single mom. Or because my hair will never look as good as Lauren Graham’s. But when she sat across from the interviewer, eyes welling with tears and almost pleadingly says, “I really want this job,” my heart damn near broke in half for her.

(Perhaps this is why I should stick to HGTV…)

I took my daughters to a local animal shelter the other day and we signed up to be foster dog-parents. It’s kind of cool, actually: you go to the shelter, pick out a dog, take it home for the weekend (they’ll even provide you with dog food). They only ask that you post to the shelter’s social media sites to let potential owners know about the dog – is it good with kids? Other animals? What’s its personality like?

I have no intention of getting another dog right now. I like our dog; he’s a good protector. I can’t afford another dog. I don’t want to spend what little free time I have vacuuming up dog hair from the inevitable black lab the girls would talk me into.

But, we have love to give. I think some of these dog weekends might be okay.

Already the cold weather is bringing me down. Yesterday was the first day this season where Reynaud’s turned my fingers white and made them ache. Got a long few months ahead of me.

It’s a bizarre moment when you see someone in a television show or a movie and that person is battling similar battles as you are. Not that you think you’re a special little snowflake (and by you, I mean me), but the feelings that you feel that isolate you,

i really want this job

and you realize that there’s nothing special about the way you’re feeling. There’s nothing new under the sun. Moms have struggled before you, moms will struggle along side you, and they’ll struggle long after your struggle is over.

You should probably stick to HGTV.

Day 12: A Children’s Book for Adults by Dallas Clayton. A review.

It's Never Too Late by Dallas ClaytonIn college during midterm and finals season, I would keep my copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh The Places You Will Go” on my desk. I’d read it before I ventured out onto campus into my next test-taking adventure, certain that if it was not luck provided to me by reading those words, it was a certain bit of centeredness, calm, that I got from the ritual.

There’s always been a place in my heart for children’s literature, for nonsense rhymes. There’s a bigger place in my heart for literature that is fun, but has meaning. I admit it, I’m a sap. A mushball. An emotional sponge soaking up what is around me and feeling ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. It’s just me. I’m just that way.

“What would you care
of bills and debt?
Or opinions of people
you’d never met?”

The day I received a copy of Dallas Clayton’s new book, I stood at my kitchen counter reading it out loud to my daughters as I read it for the first time. Several pages in, my voice broke and my eyes welled up with tears. By the time I turned the last page, I knew I’d found a keeper of a book.

It resonated with me. It hit me at the core. It was indeed, a children’s book for grownups.

“And the truth
is that nobody has all the answers.”

And maybe it’s because of where I am and how life is – and if things were smooth sailing, perhaps I’d not appreciate it as I do.

“And everyone’s mind
gets all full of mess,
and we all read the signs
and we all try our best.”

Without getting too cheesy, this book is uplifting and spoke to my heart with a quiet simplicity. I didn’t find it overbearing, heavy handed. It didn’t feel like it was forcing me to try to feel something.

By and large a lot of what we experience in life, to varying degrees, is universal. There are struggles and we’re all needing to find our way, make the most of what we can. But I find that when I am at my most stressed, books like this from Dallas Clayton, or Dr Seuss bring a bit of calm. Maybe it’s the pictures – just how often do we get picture books now that we’re old? Maybe it’s the calming rhythm of the rhyming text. Maybe it’s the acknowledgment that yeah, life can be really hard, but it’s hard for everyone, and if you can look past some of this crap (Note: Dallas Clayton doesn’t say “crap”), you’ll see there’s a lot of amazing and wonderful things to be experienced.

“…or you smiled like a mom
or you cried like forever.

These are the moments
you’re going to remember…”

I kind of really loved this book. This one will stay in my library for awhile. And like Seuss’s book that I reread before exams, I am certain that there will be times when I’ll revisit this one for its comfort, as well.

Day 11: Because WRITERS BLOCK

I’ve been staring at this screen for far longer than I should have already – typing, then deleting. I have no real ideas what to write about, only that I loathe the thought of laying any more negativity out there after yesterday (I survived, by the way).

It’s a Monday and Monday’s are my least favorite day of the week which means that I am really not much different than anyone else you know. It’s a new week and a new week always has such promise, doesn’t it? You start fresh and you have no idea really where it will go. You would think, then, that Monday wouldn’t have such a bad rap, but it still does because MONDAY.

So, I’m challenging myself a little bit this week because sometimes the brain needs a manual re-set in order to stop some negativity. And since I can turn the clocks back and make the days longer again…at least not until spring… I better find some alternatives.

Rockin Colors Mural | Jennifer Mercede

This week, I hope to:

  • Focus on a really cool freelance project that has come my way which could give me the opportunity to learn things that will be beneficial for me to know in my regular work life as well. It’s a heart project, something I was asked to help with that really appealed to me because of the impact it could have for a family, so I’m eager to do work, no matter how small, that makes a difference.
  • I will focus on learning new things rather than being afraid of what I don’t know
  • I will clean the sensor on my camera because my god, Sarah, just clean the damn thing already


Campaign of Good Fortune | Jonathan Brilliant

  • I will cook more meals, even if I don’t want to. Even if there is a refrigerator full of leftovers. I hate leftovers. I won’t eat them. I’d rather eat real meals with my kids than another bowl of cereal. I’ll cook.
  • I’ll brainstorm a solution to a scheduling problem I’m face with. I will not let it stress me out. I will remember that in the overall scheme of things, juggling my schedule is not what really matters, and I will do what needs to be done because despite all my whining, I usually manage to do what needs to be done.
  • I’ll read more. Even if the book is crap, it still counts.
  • I’ll also finally make the time to stop multitasking and watch a movie all the way through without doing twelve other things at the same time.
  • I’ll quit adding things to my Netflix queue that I have no intention of ever watching


  • I’ll try to be kinder to myself. I’m doing the best I can, in all of the ways I can. It does me no good to beat myself up about things that aren’t – jobs, appearance, any of that. I am doing what I can with what I have. I’ll keep doing what I can. That’s all anyone can ask of me, and I’m the only one holding myself up to some unrealistic standard. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this week isn’t going to be the week where I suddenly decide to give myself a break and be cured of my tendency to criticize myself… but… this week, I’m definitely going to try to notice patterns, and try to avoid it where I can.


Anyway. That’s my week, what’s in store for YOU this week?