Lately I've been admiring Buddy Boy's baseball skills from our front window. I love how much more he can do every year. Hanko had tryouts a few weeks ago for baseball (so I think we'll hear soon about his team? I am so clueless about sports...) so he and E have been practicing a lot in the park and the street.
Lately I've been walking, too. And running, but not with any kind of regularity. I wish I had been better about it, but I just haven't found the way to be successful at that and everything else I have to do, yet. The picture above is from a particularly nice Sunday night I had last week with my iPad on the treadmill, though. I got a subscription to The New Yorker for Christmas, and it was such a good distraction during exercise. I had fun playing with it on the iPad version, which I finally just got to work. Sweatin' to the Smarties. Frequency of workout issues aside, I'm enjoying the solo time when it happens.
Lately I haven't seen much of my nephews, but the other night my mom and dad took all five kiddos for a Cousins Sleepover Extraordinaire. They immediately settled into some kind of Wii Tournament and then (I heard) baked cake pops and fortune cookies. E was out for the night with a friend, so I went home and ate pickles and hummus for dinner off my favorite 1970s Tupperware plate. And then I took a bath, watched two movies, and went to bed. Winning.
Lately I've been making an event out of Sunday night's Downton Abbey episodes--last week at a get-together with friends, and this week with just me and my cats--each time with a big mug of tea. I am completely captivated by this show in a way that I know isn't quite healthy. I am not going to do well when it's over for the season... we can forget about when it is over for good. Last night was pretty upsetting, too, but it was a nice reminder for me of how cool it is that stories make us feel things really deeply. I love that. I love that I care so much about all of these fake people. Cookie and Twinkle (above) love it too. At least that's what they told me when I was sobbing into their fur.
Lately I've been sticking to my schedule and getting things done. I have a school field trip coming up, and if I want to "earn" my way there (that's how I'm talking to myself about it) and enjoy myself when I'm gone rather than worry the whole time about the work I should be doing, I need to be working like a madwoman from now until February 7. I got a big start on that this weekend and I dove headfirst into a pile of approximately 200 essays. 100 timed writes and 100 multi-draft revisions, not that it really matters once you start to get into the hundreds, I think. It took me some of Friday and most of Saturday, but I did it. And it was nice to hand papers back to kids today and see the surprised looks on their faces because they just turned these in last week. No rest for the weary, though. This was one job I crossed off so I could move on to another.
Lately I've been kind of annoyed by Hurley. He never gets enough exercise in the cold weather and he follows me around like... well, a puppy dog. But he's a sweet boy and lately I have enjoyed the company of all three of our inside furballs. (Stanley--our outside cat--swings by every few days to hiss at me and let me feed him and sometimes pick him up if I don't make eye contact.)
Lately I've felt really loved and cared about.
It's no secret I'm a fan of (okay, obsessed with) Psalm 91, but when I was scared, scared, scared waiting for results about my brain thing I was reading it again for comfort, and I fixated on this part of verse 15, to which I've never really paid much attention: I will be with him in trouble. That particular bit spoke to me last week and I kept repeating it to myself, just meditating on it. Being glad not to be alone. Trusting God to make good on that promise.
I was so comforted by the idea that there was a with as I waited. And so blessed by the people in my life who love me and who let me know so. It's a good thing to have a good family, but it's an overwhelming thing to feel the collective power of people praying for you and loving you.
What happened last week was that nothing happened. But I had to wait some time to know, and it was hard. Such is life. In the mean time, I got to trust God a little more, and I got to feel people loving me. I'm grateful for that experience.
Lately (she wrote, as though lately was a thing and not just something that started happening this afternoon) I've been back to writing, too. I almost counted yesterday, but all I really did yesterday was take a new notebook out and number the pages, then figure out just how many pages I need to write every day between now and the end of the week if I am to get this done on time and still remain sane. So I can't quite count that, but today I made myself stay after school a while and I wrote--longhand--until I reached my assigned deadline, and then I closed the book and was done for the evening. It felt good, to come home and know I didn't have to do anything because I had already met my obligation to myself for the day. I'm hoping I can keep that up. I have a lot to do in the next week and a half.