Hey, my pigeon pie! So on this blog I've been sharing a lot about my book-writing process, but you know what? Other shtuff's been going on too. That said, I thought today would be the perfect time to update you on some things that have been happening in my little ol' life as of late. It's been a doozy of a week, after all, so here goes nothing:
1. I had a burfday!
If you know me well, or if you've been reading my blogs for a while, then you'll know that I am kind of a super weirdo about my birthday. Every year, I experience a slight terror as the day approaches. Can't explain it. It's just the way it is.
However, despite my propensity for temporary birthday insanity, this year was notably different. In fact, it was spot on perfection, largely because it was the ideal blend of solitary reflection time and time with people who make my heart sing.
I spent Tuesday exploring Prospect Park, thrifting, eating chicken and waffles, and in the evening I met some lovelies for bar trivia. I personally crushed it in the Broadway show tunes round, and I felt just oh-so-loved by the folks who were there to celebrate. So yeah, all-in-all a wonderful day.
As always, a special thanks to my husband, Daniel, who has learned to prepare himself for whatever kind of emotional nightmare I'm going to be on my day of birth. He planned the day's festivities, so any enjoyment I experienced is all due to him. He did, however, tell me, "If you don't write about your birthday weirdness in your book, the world is missing out." So look forward to that!
2. I cried numerous times while watching an episode of Fixer Upper.
First off, THIS SHOW. Do y'all watch Fixer Upper? If you don't now, you will soon. While it follows the same basic premise as pretty much every other home renovation show (WANT NEW HOUSE > NOT ENOUGH MONEY > FIND CHEAP HOUSE > CONSTRUCTION > REVEAL > CRY), Fixer Upper is really the standout of the HGTV lineup if I do say so myself. The hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are the best TV duo in television history, giving everyone who watches the show all kinds of life and marriage goals. But what makes Fixer Upper particularly special for me personally is that it showcases, in a pretty major way, my old collegiate stomping grounds of Waco, TX. (Sic 'em and stuff!)
Anyway, this week's episode was extra extra special because -- get this -- one of my life's dearest friends, Kaley Eggers, was the one whose fixer got upped! AAAAHH!
And holy sweet moly, could there be a more deserving person? Kaley is a foster parent to a precious eighteen-month-old boy, she shares all of her wisdom on her blog Adventures Of The Ordinary Life, and she's the most charitable soul I've ever met, not to mention wildly talented (have you seen her Youtube channel, Ukulele Kaley? It's gold. *Bonus: feel free to enjoy this five year old video in which Kaley lets me sing Ace of Base's I Saw The Sign with her while shaking a maraca*).
The entire time I was watching the episode on Tuesday, I was in a total dream state, crying at pretty much anything Kaley said or did. Then when they did the reveal -- forget it. I was a mess. And as a Fixer Upper scholar, I can say with full certainty that this was the best reno ever. The episode doesn't appear to be online yet, but you can see the transformation on the Magnolia Market blog.
(Oh P.S. If you're already falling in love with Kaley, she's got a great post up right now about ways to get involved with foster care that you should definitely read).
3. My life is forever changed...
From time to time, I'll find myself saying things like, "If I had _____, it would change everything." I've filled in that blank with things like a juicer, a gym membership, a hideaway litter box, etc. It's part of my deeply embedded cognitive distortion that objects are the key to my happiness. Turns out when I get those things, my life is usually the same, except that I've just got a bunch of stuff.
Well, folks, I finally obtained an object that has legitimately changed EVERYTHING. Here she is:
You know how they say you should spend your money on experiences rather than objects? I don't know who says it, but someone does. Well, anyway, that's how I feel about this bike. Yes, it's quite clearly an object, but it's opening up a world of new experiences for me. I've been wanting a bike for as long as I can remember, but I never wanted to pull the trigger and buy one because I felt I didn't know enough to make an educated purchase. Then one day last week, I was just like -- screw it, let's do this thing. I hopped on Craigslist and snagged this beauty for $80. It squeaks and it needs a tune up, but it's my baby, and she will take me all over Brooklyn and beyond.
4. I am obsessed with my heart rate.
Y'all, I got one of those Fitbit thangzzzz! It was a birthday gift from my parents (thanks maw & paw!), and similar to the bike, it has changed EVERYTHING. With full understanding of how egocentric this sounds, let me just say: I just love having data about myself. This thing tells me how well I sleep (8 hours every night like a goddamn baby), how many steps I take (I live in NY, so this is usually pretty good), and what my heart rate is at any given moment (right now it's 79 BPM, NBD). Just look at this chart of my heart rate from my birthday! I was a nervous wreck during that Broadway round of trivia.
(For any doctors out there: this was an unusually active day for me. I promise)
5. Anxiety is my boyfriend.
While we are on the subject of my elevated heart rate, and in the spirit of not using this platform to pretend like HI EVERYTHING IS GREAT ALWAYS OKAY BYE, here's something pretty real that has been going on with me lately: my anxiety has been through the roof. I've written in the past on this blog about my struggles with depression, and I found that experience so valuable that I've decided to dedicate myself to talking about this stuff more and more. After all, one of the things that propagates the stigma and loneliness associated with mental illness is the fact that we just don't talk about it enough, soooooo imma talk about it.
While depression is a rotten friend I know all too well, anxiety is kind of like my obsessive boyfriend. We spend a whole lot of time together, usually way more than we should. Lately, some things in my life have been going on that are really feeding into my anxious tendencies, and it's made for a particularly intense season. In the past couple of weeks, I've had times where I had to cancel plans with friends and miss out on some good stuff due to the fact that my boyfriend (anxiety) was just being a real dick.
By the way, here's an interesting thing about having anxiety: when you're in the thick of anxious, obsessive thoughts, it often feels like nothing good is going on in your life. But that's not reality. The reality is that most of my life is spent riding my bike, sitting comfortably in chairs, reading, watching Survivor, eating delicious meals, and of course, writing. There are no monsters out to get me, no major crises that I need to solve (fun fact: I have stress dreams about being elected president. No joke). It just feels that way.
So that's what I'm trying to remember this week, and for my fellow anxious head cases out there, I hope you can remember it too: your thoughts are not reality. Your thoughts are your thoughts -- nothing more.
6. My hubs and I are podcasting!
On a MUCH lighter note, here's some fun news: my husband and I are starting a podcast! Obviously, my love of podcasts has been well-documented. Over the years, I've been wanting to hop on the podcast bandwagon myself but I couldn't for the life of me think of what I would want to talk about. I wanted to find a way to riff about "whatever" while also having some semblance of structure, but a clear idea just wasn't coming to me.
Then, a couple of months ago, in one of our many conversations about the wonderful world of television, Daniel had the idea to start a podcast in which we review TV pilots (the first episode of a series, typically used to sell a show to a network). We're calling it Pilot Party and Daniel is editing our first episode right now!
That was my one stipulation, by the way: I didn't want to have to edit. I'll do literally everything else, but after years of audio editing in college, I feel like I've put in my time.
But anyway, if TV is your jam, we'd love for you to listen! And if you have a first episode of a series that you'd love for us to cover, shout it out in the comments section! In this first episode, we are talking about Grey's Anatomy, so if that's a show you dig (or that you don't dig and you want to laugh at it), have a listen! Our goal is to have the first episode up next week, so if you want to be alerted when it goes live, you can hop on my email list.
Oh, and in other news, since we started this process, I've had an avalanche of new podcast ideas, so it's possible that I'll be running, like, 50 podcasts by the time this year is over. I'm sure my anxiety will thank me!
So that's my life! Stay tuned, folks!
Oh, and question: you know how my bike changed EVERYTHING for me? What object would do that for you?
Also, geez, material items aren't the key to happiness. When will you ever learn?