Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 28 - Grateful for Normal

I cannot articulate how good it feels to feel normal again. Except for a twinge in my gut occasionally, I really feel great and am finding pleasure in the most mundane things. I had a completely normal week, by which I mean jam packed. It was all good.

On Monday I actually got to work early, which was shocking to my office mate. I dug right in and got lots done, making a big dent in my backlog. I worked a bit late trying to finish something (didn’t quite get it done) then went to a Husker Cats meeting, which typically lasted longer than necessary. I left at 6:20 to head home and grab a quick dinner and the Friends’ checkbook and got to the library late for knitting. I must have been getting tired by then though because Andrea asked if I was OK the next day. It was a long first day back though so I was happy to survive, never mind with enough energy to water my neighbor’s plants for the last time and put out her trash when I got home. I slept like a rock.

I woke up early on Tuesday and did some cooking to use up milk – cooked chocolate pudding and banana bread to take to work. By the time I dropped the book club books at the Library Commission (they were long overdue but they had been the last thing on my mind) and fed the cats, I was my usual 10 minutes late to work. It was blazing hot when I walked to the dorms to meet Darla for lunch but it’s summer so I shouldn’t complain. I swam after work, which also felt great. Who knew how much I would be grateful for normal!

I ran to Trader Joe’s over lunch on Wednesday and stocked up on all things high fiber. After work Darla and I hit our fave thrift shop for the first time in a long time. It was lots of fun and I scored something for everyone – shirts for Kate, Cheryl and Nora, a pair of jeans for myself (they fit great!) and some house stuff that I actually needed. All this for $8! Fun, fun, fun. Then it was home to watch Master Chef and eat dinner. Another good day.

Thursday was a bit of a train wreck. Nora was home because Elise was sick but it was the annual sale at the Birkenstock store so we made complicated plans that involved her picking Drew up from camp, dropping the kids and car with her husband and then the two of us going to the sale over lunch. That fell apart when Ted had a meeting he needed to go to and so we postponed but then Ted didn’t check his messages so at 3:00 I was still at my desk. So I picked Ted up and drove him home but by then Nora needed to take Drew to the doctor so I ended up shoe shopping with Ted. Huh? I didn’t buy anything but since it was so late, I just headed home. I made a big pot of red sauce and left is simmering while I headed to the hair dresser for a long overdue cut. That felt great too. Are you seeing a trend here?

I had food shopping on my after work list for Friday but Layton and I went to the Chinese buffet for lunch and so popped into HyVee. I had a long list but only bought the things that I needed for the weekend or that were only on sale for the Thursday/Friday 2 day sale. And the 20 pounds of bacon for Anne Marie, which were heavy to schlep into the office. But all that meant I didn’t need to stop on the way home when the market is a mob scene. Nice. I dropped the bacon on the way home and enjoyed a nice chat with Carolyn since she’d be at her parents’ Saturday morning helping with a garage sale. What a jam packed and normal week. Yay!

I was happy to have Saturday morning to head outside before the heat set in. I didn’t get outside as early as I’d hoped because I was close to finishing a sock and just had to get that done first. I was in the garage ~10:00 a.m. and worked until lunch time. I was drenched with sweat but the garage was in much better shape and the trash can was full. I took a shower and made a hot dog for lunch, feeling pretty pleased with myself. Casting on the second sock was my reward. Eventually I got up and did some stuff in the house – mostly kitchen stuff with the idea that Sunday would be a cooking and project day. I watched my last True Blood DVD and called it a good day.

After a pleasant morning of reading the newspaper and watching CBS Sunday Morning, I wasn’t up for anything strenuous so I went through all the paper on my desk, loading up the recycling bins and opening tons of old mail. I even cut coupons, which I haven’t done in an age. I might have continued the low energy stuff but the kid showed up to mow and so I couldn’t sit (feel too guilty) so got busy. I made chocolate bread pudding to take to Nancy’s cookout later, did the laundry and then brought up the last of the stuff from the basement and sorted all my yarn into the empty under the bed boxes from the pre-floor purge. I still didn’t find the misplaced (clearly) skein of yellow/gray yarn I was looking for but at least my yarn was back upstairs. By the time I was done, it was time to head to Nancy’s.

This was a thank you cookout for everyone who helped Nancy while she was recuperating alone from her broken leg surgery. I had fun chatting with her friends, enjoyed a bunch of yummy food then headed home, stopping to offload the recycling on the way, for the last few things before heading to bed. I borrowed my neighbor’s bike pump and got the green beater bike, which I’m taking to campus for travel between my parking lot and the office, ready to go, put out the trash and called it a night.

See? Normal life is back. And who knew “normal” could feel so good? I guess that’s the upside of feeling so crappy for two weeks. And I would have been happy with all I got done this weekend anytime but it was doubly satisfying this time. The lesson here is gratitude. Duh.

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