Things Going On/Things On My Mind

Most of you know by now that my oldest kindred spirit (as she called us recently), Katie, almost lost her dad about two weeks ago. His story is quite incredible, starting with going into cardiac arrest while driving in a parking lot, having many, many people who helped him in those first few moments, almost not making it before Katie arrived at the hospital, being given a 20% chance of survival, having his entire family there saying their goodbyes, and then slowly starting to defy the odds and begin to recover, to the point of his heart beating on its own, to his lungs starting to work as they should, to his oxygen levels finally starting to be what they are supposed to be and finally coming off the ventilator this past Monday. It was, I’m fairly certain, the scariest, most exhausting (mentally, physically, spiritually) week + that Katie has endured and she was amazing. Katie and I are in pretty regular contact all the time, but we’ve texted daily for almost two weeks and her strength has been simply profound. You can read more about the last few weeks on her own blog here. I saw a quote on pinterest recently that said “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place” That is exactly how I felt for most of the last two weeks. My heart and mind are more at home in Portland than they have ever been anywhere else on any given day, but when someone I know and love in another place is hurting, every part of me wants nothing more than to be exactly where they are. I am so thankful that it didn’t turn out to be necessary for me to go, but I had a suitcase and a ride to the airport on standby for a week.

There are some exciting things happening related to work. There are some frustrating things happening related to work. I’m simply putting this statement out there as a bit of a teaser as I plan to talk more directly about this very soon.

Last Sunday night, Amy, Alisha, a random stranger we added to our team, and I participated in “Friends” trivia. Amy does trivia on a regular basis. I do not participate very often. Trivia has a tendency to stress me out. It’s a bit like speed scrabble or time based food challenges. I know how to spell most words. I know the answers to a lot of trivia questions. I can kick some tail in the kitchen. But when you put that time pressure on me, suddenly I forget how to spell “boat” and I can’t remember the name of the first president of the United States and I use salt when I’m supposed to use sugar. Even watching time based food competitions gives me anxiety. I don’t do well being rushed, I guess. All this to say, two weeks ago Amy asked Alisha and I to come to “Parks and Rec” trivia night because she knows we have seen every episode. So we did, and it was fun even though we didn’t do all that well because, while we’ve seen every episode, we’ve only seen them once. But that night they announced that the following week would be “Friends” trivia and we…kind of freaked. I’m not sure how many times Amy has watched it, but Alisha and I have both seen every episode at least 4 times. We quote the show to someone in our lives probably weekly. I can’t even explain to you how many times something happens-in real life-that makes me think back to an episode. It’s a bit insane. But it’s also insanely fun. Alisha and I then spent the next week re-watching as many episodes as we could just for a refresher. I think my roommate was about to go crazy because every time he came home, I was watching more. But he did seem to laugh a bit, so really, he has nothing to complain about. When trivia night finally arrived, we were ready! There were more teams there for that night than any other trivia night they’ve had. I’m hoping that means more “Friends” nights in the future? We did really well! As did almost every other team! We got 3rd out of 23 teams. The thing that got us was Joey’s sisters-we couldn’t remember their names. But it was a lot of fun and I am probably not finished re-watching some episodes, so my roommate is just going to have to deal with that.

The weather finally started turning cooler. You don’t have to know me long to know that fall is my favorite season. Is there a place where it feels like fall all the time? I don’t really want to leave Portland, but I’d consider moving to that place if it existed. I’m currently sitting at home in a sweatshirt and long slouchy pants (as opposed to short ones, or just shorts) but the windows are still open and it is raining outside and simply quite perfect. Nothing says “stay in and read your book and watch movies and crochet for a while” like this kind of weather. The sunshine was nice for a bit, I will admit. But my spirit is happier without all of that heat. I would also be perfectly content with sunny days that happen to be cool.

Speaking of heat, I have been making my packing list for a vacation coming up in a few weeks that’s going to involve a lot of it. And that is totally ok with me because I’m going to be with people I love, relaxing, having so much fun, and enjoying time away. This year is, I suppose you could say, the year of travel for me. I didn’t start out the year knowing that I would get to travel so much, but it has been nice that it has turned out this way! I probably won’t travel at all for a while after this one!

And speaking of curling up and reading, I stumbled on this article today about all the books I was supposed to have read before I reached 30. Well crap. I’ve only read one (“You Shall Know Our Velocity” by Dave Eggers because I always read, and buy, everything by Dave Eggers) and only one other (“Anna Karenina”) is actually on my list of books to be read. My list of books to be read is ridiculously long and growing weekly and how I am now supposed to add all of these too? And I am almost 5 years past the “before 30” mark.

I am captain of a fitness team at work as part of a global trek competition and it is fun to have extra motivation not only to be more consistent with running but also in choosing to walk more places than I usually would. Our team is doing well, racking up the miles every day, in our journey to cross the virtual globe and hopefully win some money that goes toward purchasing health and wellness goods.

Last Saturday Alisha and I hiked on Mt Hood. More important than the hike and the exercise was the opportunity to sit by the lake and talk about the hurt and pain our loved ones have experienced, what we ourselves have gone through, and how much we want to see more love in the world. We followed it up with more deep conversation over smooth beers and delicious food at one of my two favorite breweries in Hood River, Pfriem. It was one of the most refreshing Saturdays I’ve had in quite some time.

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I think that’s all I’ve got in regards to what’s been on my mind lately. Here’s to getting back into writing a bit more frequently and with a bit more intention, starting very soon.

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