May 2017 // The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is Here

Summer doesn’t officially start for another few weeks here in the northern hemisphere, but in my heart and mind, it’s already here. This is my favorite time of year but to be honest, I’m not sure why. The heat is intense, the bugs are everywhere, and the threat of severe weather is worrisome but something about the season makes me feel alive and happy again. I love the rain that rolls in the evenings and the warm nights I spend on bar patios with friends. Summer is when new connections are forged, and beautiful memories are made. I’m so ready to see what June has in store for me.

But before I do, here is what I am currently:

Writing some essays, or, I am learning how to write essays anyway. I’ve decided, I think, that becoming an essayist is the dream. I’m hoping to learn by example. I’m consuming popular longform non-fiction pieces from my favorite publications, reading print magazines, and this month I’ll be diving into some work from one of the greats, James Baldwin. So, the writing around here is going to get a bit more serious, and some of the fun and personal type stuff, book reviews, poetry, etc., will probably be moving to Tumblr.

Planning the design of the first issue of Zen and Pi the zine. I now I have been talking about this forever, but this time I mean it. I wanted to complete one project this summer, and this is it. By the middle of August, I need to have something ready for print at the very least. I’ll have more info next month.

Making some big home improvements! I haven’t written much about my house, but that’s because I hate it. We bought it years ago, during the recession, when we didn’t know what we were doing. We got a good deal, but it needs a lot of work. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that home ownership isn’t exactly for us and we’ve barely made any progress fixing this place up but if I ever want to be happy here, or sell this place and find a home I love, I have to start. First up is a new swamp cooler, then paint, then flooring maybe?

Anticipating Game of Thrones season 7! Okay, so GoT doesn’t actually premiere until July 16th, but it’s all I can think about, as far as media and pop culture go. Outside of that, I’m looking forward to Denver’s Pridefest the weekend of the 17th. I wish the parade wasn’t scheduled for the same day as Father’s Day though. Every year I feel like I have to choose or try to squeeze in both.

Reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the many used books I’ve picked up over the past few weekends. I finally finished The Mind’s I: Fantasies And Reflections On Self & Soul by Daniel C. Dennett and Douglas R. Hofstadter. This is my second attempt. It was still hard to get through, but this time I really tried, and it was so worth it. I’ll still need a third read through though.

Watching Sense8 and House of Cards on Netflix. Sense8 is visually amazing, the acting is on point, and sci-fi enough to get you out of your head and away from all the crap going on in the news. House of Cards is the opposite. It’s this world, only worse, which, I’ve learned, can be therapeutic in its own way. Plus, Claire Underwood is the smartest, sexiest, most badass female character I love to hate at the moment *heart eyes emoji*.

Feeling better! Last month my doctor expressed some doubt that the medication we started with would keep my ulcerative colitis symptoms under control. I won’t know for sure until I’m off of the steroid I’m on for short-term relief, but so far, through tapering off, I’m still doing okay. I think this is a good sign. If I feel good through the end of June, I may be able to stay on these meds rather than moving into harsher options. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Needing a little reassurance from the universe that all this good in my life isn’t a sign that terrible things are on the horizon. I don’t know how to feel gratitude and practice mindfulness with all this anxiety. I don’t deserve so much in life, I’m worried there will be hell to pay eventually.

Loving the fact that my local Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a WOMEN ONLY screening of the new Wonder Woman film and gives no fucks about the backlash from weak egoed men. I’m also living the fact that they offered free tickets to the new creepy movie. It Comes at Night for rewards members. Seriously, if there’s an Alamo Drafthouse in your city, there’s no reason for you to go to any other theater. If there isn’t, bug them until there is.

Hating that I’m losing my route next year. It’s a lot to get into, a lot of politics and specifics I’m not even sure I’m allowed to get into but basically, the school district I work for is experiencing an employee shortage, and things have to change to maximize the people we have. So my easy-peasy route with the perfect hours and the awesome kid is going away, and I have to make some tough choices next year. Also, I still hate Donald Trump and every single Republican asshat pushing cruel and destructive healthcare and environmental policies. I cannot wait for midterm elections!

Hoping the summer passes slowly, but I know it won’t. The winter months drag on for eternity, and the summer is never long enough to recover from the cold and drab and depressing. Maybe I’ll learn how to slow down time?

All in all, this month was good, but I may have been too busy looking ahead to really appreciate it. I have to try harder to appreciate where I am. Where I am going will come soon enough, and when it does, I want to know I enjoyed every step of the way there.

So, how about you? Was May good or bad to you? What are you looking forward to in June? Are you as in love with Claire Underwood as I am? Let me know in the comments (:

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

The inspiration for these posts come from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured image via Unsplash

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April 2017 // My Birthday Month is Over

May snuck up on me guys! I wasn’t ready to start looking back or looking forward, I was too busy just enjoying the right now. April was good! It was my birthday month if you remember me mentioning it in my last “Currently” post and I celebrated it the whole just as I hoped to. I hate to leave this time behind, but it’s time to take the focus from selfish wants to bigger things. It’s time to see what May has in store.

But before we do, here is what I am currently:

Writing to-do list after to-do list after to-do list. I’m trying to stay on task now and come up with a real plan for starting and completing real projects where I make real tangible things to make some real tangible money. I love blogging, but I want to do so much more. I say that every month I know, but I realized that I have to work on building the right habits. I have to learn how to plan and how to work through my fear and doubts.

Planning a summer project. In just a few weeks my schedule is going to change a bit, and for the easier, I hope, and I’d love to use that time to start a small practice project. I failed miserably at the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but instead of letting it go or giving up, I think I’d like to make a zine out of the thing. I Think it will be a good stepping stone to bigger things next year.

Making a real effort to produce less trash. I’ve started to face the ways that I am personally responsible for the current state of the planet. I use too much energy. I waste too much water. I produce too much waste. I want to do better. I’m starting by replacing a lot of the disposable items I buy with zero waste alternatives.

Anticipating the contagious feeling of freedom that comes from working with children about to go on summer vacation. When you are an adult who works in the public education system, you can’t help but catch a little of the enthusiasm and happiness that the children exude around you. I have to work through the summer, but still, it feels like I am looking forward to days spent outdoors, in parks and next to pools too.

Reading a huge book, intimidating in both size and subject matter. The Mind’s I, edited by Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett, is a collection of writings from some pretty big names on how we develop a sense of personhood and the difference between self and soul. It’s very interesting, but it’s not easy. I also read Orlando by Virginia Woolf this month, a surprising and beautiful story about a man who becomes a woman and lives for over 400 years.

Watching The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods two shows I was super excited for last month and two shows I highly recommend you check out. I highly recommend the books too! This month I am looking to House of Cards which looks even scary than the Trump Presidency and a welcome escape.

Feeling tired, so, so, tired, and a little down. I think a lot of it is because of the steroid I’m on to suppress my immune system. It’s working, I feel better, but the side effects are rough. My moods, my appetite, my energy levels, they are all over the place but I’m tapering off of them, and I’m hoping for the last time for a long while. It all depends on whether or not my other medication works. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Needing a new place to write for. Femsplain, the first online publication to accept my work, and pay me, is closing its doors. They have a new project, Aloe, of which I am also a contributor, but Femsplain was my first home, and I am sad to see it go. I’m trying to see the silver lining. This might be the kick in the ass I need to move on to bigger and better things.

Loving the return of thunderstorms. This year has seen some pretty extreme weather already this year, but here in Colorado, we are in a slow build. My favorite time of the year is coming, the time when they afternoon storms roll in like clockwork. The best ones though come in the middle of the night. I wake to rain pounding the windows and thunder rolling overhead. I snuggle in next to my girlfriend and concentrate on the storm. I feel safe, and loved, and warm, and alive all at once.

Hating that it’s only been just over 100 days since this new administration took over. One hundred awful, scary days, and so much more to go. I’m grateful that so far most of what him and the Republicans have tried to do has failed, but every morning, when I wake up and turn on the news, there is an immediate sense of anxiety. Every morning I wait to hear in what ways that man has embarrassed or endangered us all.

Hoping all the momentum I see building on the left keeps growing and carries us right into the midterm elections next year. There is a movement, people are coming together all over the country, nearly every weekend, to protest, speak up, and resist in all the ways they can. I’m excited!

So, all in all, this month was the best so far this year. It was a time for me to be selfish and take in a little extra attention from loved ones. It was a time of healing and of getting used to my new normal with this illness. I’m looking forward to May and to continuing to grow surrounded by the love and support I know I am lucky to have. I’m looking forward to bigger things and a better, more focused, more motivated me.

So, how about you? Was April good or bad to you? What are you looking forward to in April? Are you going to buy me a birthday gift? Let me know in the comments :)

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Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

The inspiration for these comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love.

Featured image via Unsplash