Category Archives: Life

Time Off

So, I know I’ve had some time off recently, though not really planned.  But this weekend marks the start of an actual vacation!  One that I’ve planned and saved for!  One that I’m very excited for!

Saturday after work, M and I will be driving 6 hours up to Minneapolis, MN.  We’ll spend four days bumming around my old stomping grounds.  Sunday, we’re going to the Renaissance Festival with a couple of friends of mine.  No real solid plans outside of that.  We do want to hit the Mall of America and I’m thinking also Walker Art Center and the sculpture garden.

Then, we come home and work for two days before tripping up to Wisconsin for the weekend for my cousin’s wedding.  It’ll be nice for M to finally meet a lot of my extended family.  I just met his this past Sunday at a family barbecue.

It’ll just be a nice, much-needed break from the routine of everything.  I’ll be able to see all my friends from MPLS and I’ll be able to see my family in WI.  And I’ll have M with me the whole time!

Even with my days off and my new schedule where I’m working an earlier shift and subsequently getting off work earlier, I still wind up feeling overwhelmed by everything I’m trying to do.  I’m hoping this vacation will relax my brain and help me get back in the mindset to tackle all my goals head-on.  I’m hoping it will help me re-focus on what I really want to do and lose the things I’m doing just to do.

Sometimes you just get stuck in your own routine.  And that’s exactly what vacations were made for.  Step outside of the rut you’re wearing down for yourself in your daily path.  Jump on to a trail less traveled.  I know meeting up with my old friends will give me new purpose.  John is such a brilliant artist and I’ve seen him take some great strides in his own career recently that make me want to follow his lead.  And Jamie struggles with a lot of the same productivity/focus issues that I do.  Lately, she’s been researching how to put her time to better use and her determination really inspires me.  Being around those two is going to do me worlds of good.

I have some posts scheduled to go up while I’m gone, but I won’t be promising a weekly update this week (I’ll be in Minneapolis).  And next week, I’m skipping the Pinterest Project in favor of my cousin’s wedding.  But after that, I’ll be back with more ferocity than ever in terms of my commitment to producing quality content for this blog to make it everything I want it to become!

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Weekly Update #36

Okay, I think I’m more or less back on track with my posts. Thank you guys for bearing with me. The health issues in my family have fixed themselves more or less, it seems. And the internet issue has been more than fixed.

I started a new schedule this past week. Instead of working 11:30 PM to 8 PM, the second shift at APAC, I now work 8 AM to 4:30 PM. It means getting up at the ungodly hour of 6 AM, but it also means feeling like I have more time in my day. I’m actually very excited for this new schedule. Once I adjust to functioning so early in the morning and I’m not constantly exhausted, I’m very much looking forward to using that free time after work in better ways.

M and I went to go see Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday. It was very good! I highly recommend it! It’s not the average superhero movie. It’s not as straightforward as other “hero-saves-the-universe” movies. Each character has an interesting and compelling backstory, and this first movie is a great introduction to the characters. The sequel is slated for release in 2017 and I cannot wait! Groot and Rocket are my favorite. I do wish that Gamora’s character had been treated a little differently, though. She’s supposed to be this bad-ass character but sort of gets sidelined into a damsel in distress. Not too happy about that one.

Next Saturday, M and I are driving up to Minneapolis for a little vacation. I’m pumped to see all of my friends again as well as for M to meet them all. I will post as consistently as possible while I’m away. Then, two weeks from today, my cousin is getting married in Wisconsin. M and I will be attending that as well.

And that pretty much does it for new and exciting things in my life. Until next time, my dear readers!

“I Think I Need Some Space…”

M and I both live with our parents for the time being.  We’re both working and trying to pay down our massive student loans, as you do now-a-days when you graduate college.  Most of the time, M stays at my house because it’s closer to work.  M lives about 45 minutes away from where I live, and about an hour away from where we both currently work.  On days off, we typically spend time with M’s family at his house.

With both of us already lacking in personal spaces away from family members, it’s hard for us to have individual spaces within our already small rooms.  As much as I love M, I do need time for myself and I very much enjoy having a space that’s specifically mine.  M is the same.  He needs that same sort of space.

We finally rectified the issue.  M bought me a little desk and rearranged his room to make space for it.  I don’t really have room in my room for another desk, but I was able to make other arrangements for M.  He brought an old computer over and we cleared off a wooden table for him to use as a desk.

I can’t speak for M, but it’s very important for me to have my own space as well as time to myself to work on my own personal projects.  I love M, and I love spending time with him, but everyone needs time for themselves.  And that is usually facilitated by a space all for themselves.  I am really lucky I have someone who understands that and is willing to give me that space.

Weekly Update #35

Today, my dear readers, started off pretty poorly. I occasionally go long stretches where I have trouble sleeping – which I am unfortunately in right now – and then this morning Disco was being especially needy. Poor kitten, his food bowl was half empty and we just can’t have that! Then, the little punk decided to knock a bunch of stuff into some very hard to reach places. It was not fun to move heavy furniture around to get the necklace and other various items the furry terror knocked off.

M and I are attending a wedding the first weekend in September, so we had to go shopping for outfits for the both of us. M was easy. He just needed a nice dress shirt. We went to several stores looking for a dress of some sort for me and had zero luck. It always frustrates me when I see so many cute dresses, but can’t find my size. Eventually, I was able to find several cute outfits at Target, and not just for the wedding.

The highlight of my day was the dinner that M and I invited our respective parents to. We figured it was about time they met each other. The dinner went well, I think. I hope, anyway. It seemed like it went well…

Other than that, it’s been a pretty normal week.

I’m late in posting because right after dinner yesterday, we went straight to game and that ran until 11 PM. I was asleep the moment my head hit the pillow. But I’m typing this on my lunch break at work – that’s how much I love you, my dear readers.

Weekly Update #34

You know, I think I forgot to say anything, but as of July 28th, this blog has been around for an entire year.  Happy birthday, Day Old Sushi!

Now that that’s out of the way, on to how my week went!  This morning I made brunch for my parents and M.  I made almond cinnamon pancakes with caramelized apple topping and homemade whipped cream.  Bacon on the side, of course.  Bacon always on the side.  It turned out very well!  I even put some blueberries in a few of the pancakes – mainly for my dad since he loves blueberries.  My parents paid us back by making chicken kiev for dinner.  Served over rice – it was delicious!  I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunches at work!

I’m going to start writing more letters.  I might make a longer post about it, since I did get the idea on Pinterest, but who doesn’t like getting things in the mail that aren’t bills or credit card offers?  I have tons of stationary and fun ideas about how to decorate the envelopes and such.  I’m very excited because (hopefully) sending the letters means I’ll get letters in reply.

Today I also finally got around to cleaning my room.  Vacuuming, deep-cleaning the bathroom, picking up, taking out the trash.  It looks much better down here now and I feel a lot better.  I’d been putting off the cleaning for weeks now.  Partly because I’m a terrible procrastinator and also partly because I just didn’t have the time.

Also as part of my cleaning, I started tidying up my desktop and other computer files.  I also updated my planner with things like bill due dates and appointments.  Usually, I just wing it or use post-it notes to remind myself of things.  But I’m trying to get my life more in control.  The more organized I can get myself, the better off I’ll be, I think.  Trying to pay off student loans and trying to find a different job weighs a lot on my mind and I forget about the little things like needing to call to reschedule a doctor’s appointment or making a payment on my credit card.

Do you, my dear readers, have any tricks on staying ahead of the game?  Getting organized?  Share in the comments!

Productivity: To-Do or Not To-Do

I always seem to have a to-do list about a mile long and I can hardly seem to find the time and energy to get any of it done.  I work the mid-shift at work, 11:30 AM to 8 PM.  I get to bed around 11 PM and wake up around 9 AM.  Well, let me rephrase – I get out of bed around 9 AM.  My cats do a good job of waking me around 6 AM.  At that time of morning, I’m too tired to do anything but lay in bed and try to fall back to sleep.

I’ve never been much of a morning person, but when M leaves for work at 9 AM, I always go see him to the door.  I”ve then started making it a habit to shower and get dressed right away.  Then I’ll typically do a blog post or a little bit of tidying up in my room.  Nothing fancy, just bringing dishes to the sink upstairs, throwing trash away, putting laundry in the hamper.  But other than that, I don’t get a lot of maintenance work done in the mornings.  Laundry piles up, I haven’t vacuumed in about two weeks, and I haven’t found time or a way to get better organized (which I feel like I desperately need).  I have tons of things I need to research, check up on, look into, etc.

I don’t have the time in the mornings to tackle some of my more demanding tasks and I don’t have the energy to do them when I get home from work.  My days off inevitably fall to marathoning something on Netflix with M and any plans I had for getting things done go out the window.

I need to figure out a way to be more productive.  To make the best use of my time.  I get sucked in to the TV or internet too easily.  And any free time I have with M is spend enjoying his company instead of tackling a task or two off of my to-do list.  I ‘ve found a way to keep track of all the things I need/want to do and a way to prioritize my tasks, break larger tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones.  But I still haven’t found a way to find the time to get any of these tasks done.

Maybe that’ll be my next big self-improvement project – learning how to better manage my time and get more things done during the day.  Or at least on my days off.  Let me know in the comments if you, my dear readers, have any advice on being productive.  Tips and tricks to make yourself get more done are especially welcome!

Weekly Update #33

Another week come and gone.  Still working on my various skills at work.  In order to move forward, I need to work mainly on my handle time.  So that’s what I’ve been doing.  It’s slow going, but we’ll see how I improve week by week here.

It’s my friend Mike’s birthday today!  I wanna wish him a happy birthday for the whole world to see!  Assuming the whole world reads my blog, which I know they don’t, but still.  Happy birthday, Mike!

And also a happy birthday to my boyfriend’s brother, Ryan!  He’s turning some kind of age.  I think we’re doing lunch with him or something.  I don’t know yet, I haven’t been told what the plan is.  But I have a card that I think will make Ryan love/hate me even more than he already does.  I’m kind of excited to see his reaction to it.

I’ve started doing a little bit of research into the possibility of going back to school.  I know, I already have 3 degrees, but none of them are really working for me.  I mean, I may still try to teach English in Japan, but I would need further education to teach Japanese here in the States.  Teaching really isn’t my thing, though.  And translating is more or less out because freelance work is not gonna pay my student loans back.  For my other degrees, there’s not much work in the music industry here in Iowa.  The music culture here is a lot more who-you-know than what-you-know.  And I don’t really know anyone.

I’m looking at possibly going back for Health Information Technology.  I would have to do it part time or online because I really can’t afford to not be making money.  I don’t want to have to take out even more loans, but right now I’m still in the research stage.  I think I would actually enjoy the work I’d be doing.  I like inputting and organizing data.  Color-coding things, answering questions about insurance and the law and all sorts of fun stuff.  I’m not even being sarcastic, that kind of thing is right up my alley.  Bonus: it would be a job where I wouldn’t have to be on the phone all the time.  And better pay.

Has anyone else gone to school for Health Information Technology or currently work in the field?  Let me know your experiences in the comments!

Weekly Update #32

This week has been a bit of an exciting week! Work has been going, and I’m taking steps to further that portion of my career. M bought me a ring. Insurance is confusing. And I got to talk to my best friend for the first time in forever!

Anne, my bestie, lives in Japan. She teaches English and is often busy with photography projects as well. Our schedules don’t often allow for hours of chatting. It did when I wasn’t working, but now that I work nights, not so much. The daylight hours between here and Nagoya are about 12 hours off, so her mornings and my nights line up. And since I work nights now, that opportunity is no more. But it was really nice to catch up with her. I’ve known Anne since 2006, which would be about 8 years now, I think. That’s a long time for me to remain close friends with someone. I’m just kinda bad at keeping in touch with people if they’re not living in my immediate vicinity. Anyway, I’m starting to get off topic. The point was that it was nice to talk to her.

Insurance is confusing, as I have previously stated. I was dropped from my parents plan at the beginning of the month and the plan I signed up for through work was supposed to kick in. There were some issues with documentation and also somehow I’m also on Medicaid now? I keep getting welcome letters and cards from a bunch of different insurance companies. I haven’t had time to sit down and sort out what’s what. But that’s exactly what I have to do tomorrow because I need to get some refills on my meds. So that will be a fun morning on the phone with various insurance companies and then 8 hours on the phone as a representative of an insurance company.

M bought me a ring on Wednesday. Not an engagement ring. Not yet. Just a promise ring, for lack of a better term. Because of our respective debts, we aren’t where we want to be in our life together and this ring is sort of a promise that things are moving forward, even if they are moving slowly. We had to get the ring resized, so I get to go pick it up on Tuesday. I’m very excited to wear it! It means a lot to me that M thought that much about how I’ve been saying I’m frustrated with our current place in life and decided to do something to remind me that we will get to where we want to go. We will. Eventually.

And that’s pretty much been my week.

Weekly Update #31

Okay, dear readers, I am back with internet and back in action! Let me tell you about all the awesome things I’ve been up to.

Last week, I was petsitting the dog I usually do – Birdie. As always, she’s a sweet heart. And this time was especially nice because M decided he’d stay with me while I was staying at the dog’s house to watch her. It was nice because we got to spend all that time with each other. Since we both live with our parents, it’s hard to find time where it’s just us and no one else around. Even just sitting and watching tv in a house all by ourselves was nice.

Bonus: there was a pool. M and I both had July 4th off, and we spent just about all day in the pool. It was really fun! I hadn’t been in an actual pool in I don’t even remember how long.

When I got back into my regular routine at home, I got caught up in working. I’d neglected some chores while I was at Birdies (laundry is my main downfall), and my parents very kindly put up my armoire so I had to sort through all my clothes again and reorganize them. I have far too many clothes, so that was quite a task!

I’m getting back on track now, and posting will return to the regular schedule as of today. Thanks for bearing with me through this little bit of turbulence!

Weekly Update #30

This week, I shook things up a bit. I actually did things outside of work and hanging out with my boyfriend! Crazy, I know, right?

I’ve been getting pulled here and there for little tasks to assist my TL. I’m taking this as a good sign that hopefully in the near future I will be given more responsibility and more time off of the phones. I would very much like to be off of the phones. End goal in working in the call center is to get off the phones.

On Wednesday, me, my family, and M got together for a combined birthday dinner for me and my mother. Our birthdays are a week apart. We ended up going to Red Robin and because M kindly drove, I was able to have a couple of Orange Blitzes. They taste like liquid creamsicles and are gloriously alcoholic. Kate got a little buzzed. It was pretty sweet.

Then, on Saturday night, a bunch of us from work went out to Buffalo Wild Wings. Since some of us didn’t get off until 11:00, we didn’t meet up until 11:30. Which is actually pretty late for me. I’m usually asleep, or at the very least in bed, by 10:00. But it was nice to go out with friends since M was spending time with his family since he took overtime on his birthday this week.

Today, we celebrated M’s birthday by going to lunch with his family, then spent some time wandering around the local mall until it was time for the weekly tabletop gaming session. Which is actually where I am now, waiting for everyone to get here and/or update character sheets.

Looks like we’re getting ready to start. I’ll have to end it here, dear readers. Check back on Tuesday for some character development fun!