Mish Mash

Ever have a few weeks where it feels like time is grains of sand in a raging windstorm and as hard as you try to grab onto the sand it just slips through your fingers?

Yeah.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here before but I’ve been seeing an online counselor and dealing with a bunch of really old stuff that I thought was resolved but isn’t, and getting help dealing with a current situation. I’m also working on building up a bit of savings, so I’m working extra side jobs to help pad the piggy bank (more on that later).

I’ve been forcing myself to relax more, and I found myself semi-addicted to the video game The Elder Scrolls: Legends, which I can NEVER remember the name of when I try to tell people about it. I seriously have to Google it every time, how silly is that? Anyway it’s a super fun deck-building game like Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone and it’s free, so that’s what I’m playing.

At the end of June I applied to be a Lyft driver, but it took two full weeks to get approved (I think my application fell through the cracks somehow because only my driver photo wasn’t approved almost immediately and within minutes of me putting in a support request they approved me) and I haven’t given any rides yet because I’ve been too busy doing other things! Hopefully this weekend.

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July’s book club book.

This week I started donating plasma which actually pays fairly well. Yes, you can sell plasma but not platelets or whole blood. It’s actually not bad because most of it is just waiting around or answering questions: the actual donation takes about 30 minutes and I just read my book for sci-fi book club or texted on my phone. It’d be nice if I could have written this blog there but I can only use one hand at a time, ha.

And speaking of book club books, month’s ago we ready the first book of The Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes. WELL DANG IT THOSE BOOKS ARE GOOD so I’m reading book 3, Abbadon’s Gate. THERE ARE 9+ BOOKS IN THE SERIES AND DANG IT I’M GOING TO READ THEM ALL. So I’m making myself read Panacea at my plasma donations and reading The Expanse at night. Compromise, right?

edge-3.jpgAlso, last night I kinda sorta joined a gym! It opens in the fall but it’s a 5,000sf facility with weights, kettlebells, classes, cardio, cardio cinema, tanning, massage chairs and a SAUNA. Oh and a smoothie bar. And I can bring a guest EVERY TIME. They even have a WEIGHT SLED. I’ll finally be able to deadlift more than 105 lbs!

I’m still working on my makeup business, too. A girl’s gotta hustle, amirite?! If you are interested in that I’m on Facebook or you can follow my additional Instagram account:

https://www.instagram.com/andrea_is_younique/

So anyway, I’m scatterbrained right now, but I’m still working on my cookbook and I’m still thinking of new, fun recipes to share with you! I hope you’re all well and I am still here and thinking of you.

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In Which I Meet Someone I Admire

If you’ve been reading this blog since its beginnings, you will know that just a few months after I started A Measured Life, I hit a very dark period in my life. I sank into a very deep depression that was also punctuated with moments of near-panic anxiety. I was home alone a lot due to schedules and the extreme amount of snow we had that winter just fed into the feeling of isolation. The worst part was I’d forgotten how to laugh.

My bio on the website for my day job used to read “she has a million laughs”. My coworkers used to tease me about all the different ways I’d laugh, giggle or guffaw. But the loss of my father in 2012 and the harshness of winter poking at my Seasonal Affective Disorder threatened to down me, and I lost all my laughs.

One day at work I had a spell of panic (I hesitate to call it an actual panic attack but I felt the sudden NEED to ESCAPE) and I left early to meet up with my husband. He suggested pizza (one of my favorite foods), and afterwards we stopped at a bookstore to look at anxiety books. I wandered through the self help section until a little gray book with a tiny mouse dressed like Shakespeare on the cover caught my eye.

51ALXBi0vaL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_The footnote on the back sold me on buying the book: “Jesus is the author’s hair-dresser. You can tell him apart from that other Jesus because they pronounce their names differently.”

I could tell this was going to be my type of book! I started reading it that evening in bed, and during the PROLOGUE I was giggling maniacally! I laughed so hard my husband came in to check on me. I’ve been hooked on Jenny Lawson ever since. Her website, thebloggess.com, is where I go when I feel lonely and I want to have a twisted laugh to make myself smile. It’s also a place of acceptance for those who suffer from depression, anxiety and a whole host of other mental health issues, for you see, Jenny herself suffers from these things.

When she announced a new book a year ago I pre-ordered it on Amazon the first day I could. And when I found out a couple of months ago that she’d be coming to PHILLY to sign books I knew I had to go! Philly is just a 20 minute train ride for me, so it was a no-brainer. I told my boss the date and that I would be leaving early and I waited patiently. Then came a snow storm that was supposed to drop up to 36 inches on the city. And then none of my friends were able to go with me. I started to talk myself out of it. But the more I thought about it the more I knew I had to go. I had to say thank you to the woman who could make me laugh when almost nothing else could (Parks & Recreation was my other saving grace). Luckily the storm dumped it’s load much further north and the city was running fine by the time the event arrived.

Now I’d never been to a book event before, so I figured if I was a half hour early that would be fine, so around 6:30 I waltzed into the Barnes & Noble at Rittenhouse Square and found standing room only. The staff had no clue how popular she was!

It was also about a thousand degrees in there. I’d dressed for the 3 block walk from the train and was quickly out of my coat, hat, gloves and sweater. I was excited, and I listened to the other people also chatter excitedly. Someone whispered she had just posted on Twitter that she’d landed about 6:45, so we’d have a bit to wait.

Around 7:15 the elevator door near me opened and there she was! She walked around the corner and saw the almost 200 people there to see her and waved and it was amazing.

I had been worried that I wouldn’t be able to see her from where I was standing but I shouldn’t have been. (Sorry for the blurry cell phone shots, my new camera hadn’t arrived yet.) She spoke for about 15 minutes, reading the beginning of her new book: YOU ARE HERE. I laughed, I teared up, and at times I noticed the room was silent except for the sound of her voice as she told a story – everyone was enraptured. After that, a Q & A session followed, and then, THE SIGNING.

I was in the top quarter of the line, but at first it seemed to move very, very slowly. While I waited I wrote on a sticky note what I’d like her to write in my book. The very copy of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened that helped me through those dark times. I wanted to say thank you, but I knew how many people there would want to say their peace as well, and I wanted to keep it short. The closer I got to the front of the line the more nervous I got. People were giving her hugs and taking photos with her. I wanted both a hug and a photo, but when the woman behind me offered to take it for me I balked, too shy to say yes, and I declined. And then, suddenly, it was my turn.

I smiled and said hello and briefly but clearly said “I just wanted to thank you because two years ago I was in a very, very dark place and this book was one of the only things that made me laugh.” She thanked me return and I could tell she was touched, as I’m sure she was touched by the many, many other people there who surely had similar words to say. She seemed genuinely honored and awed at the love poured out in that room, for the acceptance of our differences and flaws, and the support we provide for each other in those dark moments. She signed my book with the words I had on that sticky note.

At some time during the night, as I was listening to her speak and answer questions from people far braver than I, I realized something incredibly important. Jenny Lawson is just a person. She’s just a person who put words down on paper that described her own quirky thought process, her inner workings, the reality of who she is. She’s just a person, who by being HERSELF, has touched the lives of tens of thousands (if not more) of people. She’s just a person whose blog turned into a memoir, into a series of essays, into a coloring book that are BEST SELLERS. She’s just a person who by sharing herself, has given comfort and help to those of us who struggle with some of these same things. She’s just a person who had touched so many people, done so much good by just being REAL. And that, my friends, is an amazing thing. Because we don’t have to be Mother Teresa or Gandhi. We only need to be ourselves, and we can change the world for the better. And that is something worth aspiring to.

Wool: My Current Obsession

I admit it, dear readers, I have been distracted. Summer is in full swing and I’ve been spending time outdoors and spending quiet time enjoying my favorite pass time: reading. Yes, my lovelies, not writing for you, as I should be, but getting lost in a world not my own. The world of Wool.

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Img Source hughhowey.com

Wool is a 5-part series written by Hugh Howey, and is a post-apocalyptic science fiction book. If you’re not into the post-apocalyptic thing like I am, it might not appeal to you. But Howey can write rich, nuanced characters in a well-developed world that keeps me “page turning” (I read on a Kindle, okay?).

 

From Amazon.com:

For suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic thrillers, Wool is more than a self-published ebook phenomenon―it’s the new standard in classic science fiction.

In a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

His fateful decision unleashes a drastic series of events. An unlikely candidate is appointed to replace him: Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, whose special knack is fixing machines. Now Juliette is about to be entrusted with fixing her silo, and she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.

I haven’t even finished READING this yet, and I’m itching to recommend it. I can also recommend Sand, which I read a few years back.

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Img Source hughhowey.com

I hope you check out Hugh Howey!  I’m gonna go finish reading Wool. 😉

 

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