Day 74 of walking

When the stars align, we leave the house dressed, fed, and alert no later than 7:00 a.m. We pull into the school parking lot by 7:15 a.m. I’m in the library preparing for the day by 7:45 a.m. after 30 minutes hanging out in the staff lounge. Spoiler: we never leave the house by 7:00 a.m.

We can’t seem to get out the door before 7:06 a.m. We pull into the parking lot at 7:23 a.m. almost every morning because at 7:08 we get stuck in the line of cars trying to get onto the freeway heading west. Today we made it to school earlier that 7:23 a.m. and it was very, very weird. I didn’t have to wait for a pocket of space to cross the intersection. I didn’t jockey my way onto the freeway. I didn’t wait in a long line of cars to get to Starbucks. I zipped through the parking lot to my parking space. Zipped!

“Where are all the cars? I hope there’s not a zombie virus,” I joked.

The boys looked out their windows. “So weird,” they both said.

I checked my mental calendar and couldn’t come up with a holiday, federal or otherwise. The streets were just as empty when we left school 8 hours later. People were out there doing something, just not the way they did it yesterday and not where I could see it. How did all those kids get to school?!

I finally found someone willing to give me the blog design I want: comments, blog roll, full posts, and static pages (God save me from sliding images and truncated posts, please). To do this, she first asked me to find three blogs like mine with a design similar to what I wanted. I searched but could only find one. Everyone else stopped blogging last year, or the year before that. I followed links to their social media accounts and found they were mostly silent there, too. Again, people were out there doing something, just not the way they did it yesterday and not where I could see it.

I’m so happy to be blogging again. I’m feeling more present and aware. I’m still a slow-poke, choppy writer. I’m eager to build up the conversation here to what it once was, but that will come with grit and time. What is important is that I’m here, doing the same thing I did yesterday, where everyone can see it.

Day 73 of walking

My walks aren’t as long or as far as they were a few years ago. I had more time then, since I was only just starting to volunteer in the library. Back then, I had issues with fitness after years without exercise. Now I’m in the library and on my feet all day long, so my challenge is less about fitness and more about time and distance. I don’t feel bad about this because (1) that’s life and (2) my step counts are actually higher than they were a few years ago because I’m on my feet most of the day. It all works out.

I complained that my social media fast hadn’t given me much in return, but I’m starting to see a difference. I’m finishing more books, and not fluffy romances. Last night I finished An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels. I loved it, but I haven’t read anything else by Fr. Amorth. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it builds upon his earlier books (which I now want to read).

Most people recoiled when they saw my book. I would have done the same a few years ago. It wasn’t as horrifying as you would think, though a few passages were pretty horrible. I thought this Vanity Fair article on Fr. Amorth was far more terrifying, and I absolutely refused to watch the video. I had my eyes partially closed the entire time I was scrolling because I had to work up the courage to look at the pictures!

I can’t explain why I bought the Fr. Amorth book. I found it hidden on a shelf in Barnes & Noble right before Christmas. When the Mister opened his present, he looked at me and said, “Merry Christmas, here’s a book about the devil?” Then 30 minutes later, I kid you not, we both got the stomach flu. Who knows what will happen when I start that Protestant book next week.

This rambling post brought to you by A Mom Trying to Simultaneously Write and Teach her 10-year-old Order of Operations.

 

Day 72 of walking

I will go on record and say 10:45 p.m. is way too late at night to be dealing with fleas. Not that any time of day is a good time to deal with fleas. There is a famous misquote attributed to Albert Einstein that says man would last no longer than 4 years if bees became extinct. No one ever said that about fleas. No one ever said anything about fleas. People cursed, screamed, groaned, cried, whined, and, as of 10 minutes ago, despaired about fleas, but I bet no one ever said, “Man, we’d be up a creek without fleas!” Well, except for, ugh, scientists. Whatever. I like them as much as fleas right now.

Day 69, 70, and 71 of walking

On Sunday I rage quit trying to set the security settings on the boys’ Xbox. It all started like this.

My brother set up Mikey’s Xbox account years ago, using my Microsoft account. I didn’t realize he set Mikey up as a parent until I tried to set up Nico as an additional child on my account this weekend. My brother set Mikey up as an adult because, I don’t know. It was easier? Apparently this is a thing. There are first born children all across the U.S. who are adults in the eyes of Microsoft simply because it’s easier to set them up as adults than to go through the litany of security and privacy settings for children.

I had been at it for two hours (three, if I counted the hour lost to Daylight Savings Time, which I totally did) and for some reason it wasn’t allowing Mikey to friend any of his previous friends under his new child account. Every time I changed something (it’s done online on the Xbox website via the Microsoft website WTH I DON’T EVEN KNOW) I would have him to try his console again. He would run to the TV and try to friend his best friend. Denied. I’d try changing something else. Denied. This happened over and over and over until finally I pushed my chair back from the table, gave a mock salute to everyone and said, “That’s it! I’m done! I’ll see you later because setting up an Xbox account shouldn’t be this hard. Goodbye!”

I went and had my eyebrows threaded. They look good, but I still can’t get the Xbox settings to work. The windows are still open in my browser, mocking me.

Day 68 of walking

These red flowers remind me of the year I tried to wear bright pink sneakers on my walks. The sneakers appeared so vivid in pictures that I had to research how to take pictures of reds outdoors. I read something about the sensors in our eyes and camera exposure, meters, and channels. I exchanged the pink sneakers for boring gray. I didn’t want taking pictures of my walks to become that complicated.

I was too tired to blog about my walk last night. If I was still on Instagram, I would have posted the above picture and put “Day 68” as the caption. Easy-peasy. I can still do that here, but there is something about blogging that makes you think you have to deliver something important, possibly life-changing. I debated waiting until Monday. I thought about what I would write, and decided I couldn’t just post my picture, especially since the reds were too vivid. Then, I realized that I was making it all too complicated. Blogging can feel like taking pictures of red flowers outdoors: way too complicated and not worth the work when there are easier subjects that are just as pretty. Blogging can feel that way, but it isn’t.

I’m still trying to figure out what I am doing here. Writing 200 words takes an eternity and my pictures aren’t that good. I keep going for a couple of reasons. One, it’s good for me creatively. Writing 200 words should not take an eternity. I’m out of practice and have trained my mind over the years to think and write in captions. This horrifies me. Two, I remember the days of early blogging when we all wrote about nothing and the pictures were absolute crap. I miss those days, and I’m determined to bring them back.

See you Monday.

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