Setting: kitchen, last night
Scenario: Josh has been working for about 6 weeks on a brief that is due tomorrow, June 12. He worked for about two-three weeks on the draft and has spent four weeks editing it. He has been coming home close to midnight for the last 10 or so working days, but made it home by about 9 last night! We were prepared for this and have been setting our expectations low until noon tomorrow when the brief needs to be at the printer. Then, we will get back to the business of being a functioning adult couple in civilized society.

Josh: I see we are out of dinner plates. Would you like me to run the dishwasher?
Me: *turns to clock and sees it is 10:30pm. I don’t like hearing the dishwasher run while trying to fall asleep.* Nah. We’ll just eat out of our hands until Sunday. I also don’t have any clean underwear! We are making effing due this week, Johnson!
Josh: How’s that Duane Reade bag working out for you?
Me: Chaffing. So.much.chaffing.

And when I stopped watching them:

Mad Men, Season 5 Ep 2
Downton Abbey, Season 5 Ep 3
Orange Is The New Black, Season 2 Ep 1
House of Cards, Season 1 Ep 1

But I’ve watched all of The Newsroom, twice. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Setting: bedroom, bedtime
Scenario: We are both in bed, and I have just turned off the bedside lamp.

Me: Ugh, this is the second night this week that I forgot to take my wedding rings off before going to bed! *I reach over to turn the light back on* I need to take them off because if my fingers swell in the middle of the night, you do not have time in the morning . . .
Josh: *interupts* for a little light amputation?
Me: *hysterical laughter*

Setting: our bathroom
Scenario: getting ready for bed, playing music

Josh: What is this?
Me: Two guesses, first guess doesn’t count. Just listen and you’ll get it.
Josh: *doesn’t get it*
Me: It’s the new Matt and Kim.
Josh: Ah!
Me: His voice is so distinctive. After this, we are going to listen to the new Alabama Shakes. *Matt and Kim continue to do their peppy dance thing* I don’t love them, like I would never buy a whole album. But they are the band that comes up on your Pandora that you don’t mind listening to.
Josh: I agree. They are just good enough to not waste a skip on them.
Me: It is like they are sponge worthy.
Josh: That’s kinda like the opposite of sponge worthy.
*Matt and Kim ends, Shakes begin*
Josh: Is this the Alabama Shakes?
Me: Listen to the programming notes, Josh! I don’t curate this Tiny Desk Concert in the bathroom for anyone else but you!
Josh: NPR loves the Alabama Shakes.
Me: I think they are the worst band that white people like.
Josh: Worse than O.A.R.?
Me: *sincere pause to weigh what he has just said* Yes. Worse than O.A.R. because you know you are getting a bro-gimmick with O.A.R. Alabama Shakes think they are earnest. *shuts off song after 20 seconds*

Kim’s dancing in that video is pretty great, tho.

In 2014, I employed 4 women to help me become a better woman myself. I call them “The Professionals” when speaking of them collectively. Individually, they each have a purpose. I’m going to devote a post to each. This is to 1.) promote them as professionals (duh) so others might seek them for their services, and 2.) remember what this period of growth felt like.

The Professionals are:

The Enabler: My talkie therapist
The Muscle: My personal trainer
The Practitioner: My acupuncturist
The Dealer: My psychiatrist

My goal is to write one post per week about each, and the hardest to articulate is definitely my relationship with my talkie therapist.

A little background on why I am in need of so much therapy:

I am very hard on myself. I think everyone knows this, but the standard I set for myself in utero (it seems) is at a bar my 5’2″ self can never reach. I hold a lot of anger towards certain elements of my childhood: Dad’s Quaker State job loss years, the car accidents, pretty much despising every educator I had at Flower Mound High School, not getting into a better college, getting majorly depressed at UT and always sorta kinda judging all those around me because I thought they were judging me.

Take all that, which exists in my brain, and add the weight gain from Josh’s Supreme Court year. Then, sprinkle on top my biological clock wanting to have a baby.

I needed to take charge of all my emotions and find ways to just be. Still working on it, but here are the people who helped.

Self-improvement: it does a body good.

Pour some out for things that left me in 2015:

Emily, my work spouse, to live in Ethiopia
Emily, my personal stylist at the M Street Brooks Brothers, to live with her boyfriend in Portland, OR
Sanam, Josh’s hairstylist of almost 4 years, to live with her boyfriend in Wisconsin (these boyfriends are ruining my life . . .)
The Majestic, my favorite restaurant in Old Town, Alexandria
C. Wonder, the best gift store
Centro-matic, the best ever death metal band out of Denton

1. Get LASIK

Or at least go in for the consultation to see if I am a candidate for the procedure. After scratching my cornea in 2014, I would like to wake up every morning without having to poke myself in the eye with contacts to be able to see. But yes, the trade-offs (unable to drive at night, constant dryness) might not be worth it.

2. Lose 10lbs, develop abs

I lost 20 pounds in 2014, but I am still so soft in the middle. Why am I so soft in the middle now?

3. Survive January 2015 at work, then not collapse in February

22 IRS filings due by February 2. And my therapist is taking all of February off for training and travel. *insert panic smiling face emoji*

4. Never mindlessly watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory again

Read a book, you lazy trashbag. (No, we still don’t have cable.)

5. Go to London with Josh in October

And maybe Scotland afterwards, if we have time.

6. Teach Alicia how to make an American quilt

I see a stash-busting Amy Karol easy lap quilt in our future. Just for starters!

7. Sell that pile of eBay/consignment store merchandise holding space in the bedroom

Then give the rest to the DAR rummage sale.

8. Finish the classes for my George Washington University certificate program, complete half of my practicum hours, and pick my portfolio project

I have until August 2016 to finish the program. Currently, I have 4 out of 7 classes finished and a smattering of practicum hours. I want to receive my certificate, and 2015 is when the bulk of the work should happen since they suggest you give yourself 6 months to complete your portfolio.

9. No Coke, no cookies during work and evaluate that ice tea with ice cubes habit

I am such a broken record on this. I spent a LOT of 2014 off of the Coca-cola. It’s time to stop the (not really an addiction because I don’t drink one every day and haven’t bought cans to keep at home in the fridge in years) addiction. As for the cookies, did you know that Pret A Manger sells warm chocolate chip cookies? My late-2014 lunch became a Pret half sandwich, chips, ice tea and cookie. That little meal deal rings up at north of $10. THAT IS INSANE, MCMAHON. This has to stop in 2015.

Also, maybe this is why I am so soft in the middle.

10. Buy a Jeep Wagoneer

Beep, beep. Who got keys to the Jeep?

Dream life

Artwork by the lovely and talented Jeffrey M. Nelson

I’m working on a series of posts about my new favorite mental health professionals. In the meantime, I wanted to put up a poem that I have loved since a child. My word for 2014 is definitely gentleness.

Into Their True Gentleness
by Pearse Hutchinson
for Katherine Kavanagh

If love is the greatest reality,
and I believe it is,
the gentle are more real
than the violent or than
those like me who
hate violence,
long for gentleness,
but never in our own act
achieve true gentleness.
We fall in love with people
we consider gentle,
we love them violently
for their gentleness,
so violently we drive
them to violence,
for our gentleness
is less real
than their breaking patience,
so falsely we accuse
them of being false.
But with any luck,
time half-opens our eyes
to at least a hundredth
part of our absurdity,
and lets them travel back,
released from us,
into their true gentleness,
even with us.

Pretty Little Mess © 2013. All Rights Reserved.