Dawdling

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I’m not going to start this post with something cliche like, “Can you believe it’s already September?” I promise.

Summer didn’t fly by for me…maybe because in New York we’re all still waiting with bated breath for the blistering summer we’re used to. Instead, the weather has been deliciously mild, I’ve only sweat through my clothes a handful of times, and now it feels like we’re gently sliding into autumn without much fanfare.

I’m okay with this. I prefer a long fall anyway.

Speaking of the last month of summer, I have a couple party-themed posts coming your way, including the details of my parents’ anniversary party this past weekend. So sit tight. Fun is on the way.

Until then, I thought today would be an appropriate day to think about what I want to accomplish this fall. The bonus round of this game of my goals being, of course, sticking to my broader simplification goals. Here we go!

1. Bring my lunch every day this month.
I can’t count today because I bought lunch (I hadn’t made the goal yet, you guys.) But it’s my goal that by October 1st, I’ll only have one “lunch” charge in my Mint account.

2. Update our desk…without spending any money.
No, this is not a heavy-handed hint for you all to donate a new desk to me. I want to create a desk out of two file cabinets (including the one I already have) and a butcher block top. My plan is to sell my existing Parsons Desk (here on CL, if anyone local is interested!) for enough to find another file cabinet and buy the butcher block at IKEA. Wish me luck.

3. Perform my seasonal closet purge.
I’ve been really good about shopping, so this will be a much lighter lift than it usually is. In general, I just need to take out my cold-weather clothes and put away summer stuff. If I wasn’t completely dubious about our cement walls’ ability to hold anything heavier than a picture frame, I would sell my IKEA wardrobe and reconstruct something like this in my closet corner. Though we did get that rod in the front closet to stay up, so maybe Joey can work some wizardry.

I feel like I’m forgetting something, but those three things seem like a good start.

What are your fall goals? 

{photo credit}

I turned 27 last week.

I don’t celebrate birthdays, so there was predictably little fanfare around this one (plus, I had an ear infection, so I was a bit more preoccupied with taking antibiotics and drinking fluids than anything else that day).

Don’t worry, I’m not going to throw a list of 27 things you have to do by 27 (I could never top this one anyway). I’m also not going to bore you with my list of goals. (BECAUSE I DO THAT ALL THE TIME ALREADY.) The only reason why I even bring it up is because, to be totally honest, I have been super jazzed about 27 for a while now.

Is it just me, or is 27 really the first time people start to treat you like you’re legitimate? For most of my life, the majority of my friends have been older than me. I’ve always been pretty driven in my career, so I often find myself working with people older than I am as well. And the moment that I always dread (because it always comes up) is when someone asks me how old I am.

If you’re 26 or under, answering that question is usually met with the equivalent of this:

SUPER FUN. Not.

But whether it’s 27′s proximity to 30 or just that it takes four full syllables to say, I can’t help but notice that the response is much more similar to this:

Ok, maybe not QUITE like that…but there is definitely more respect there.

And when you’re like me and started acting (mostly) like a grown-up right around the age of 13, 27 is finally (FINALLY) the year when you start acting your age, amiright?

The point is, I feel like this is going to be my best year yet. Yes, I say that every year, but I feel especially good about 2014/2015.

What was the year you really started to feel like a grown-up?

- As I’ve mentioned before, we recently hired a dog walker to give Bogey a break around lunch time. And, you guys? I can’t say enough good things about the company. They are prompt, responsive, and incredibly nice. Whenever our usual walker (Emily) has to miss a day, she always arranges for someone else to come take care of our boy. Plus, getting a text every afternoon about how he’s doing is the best. I especially like when she includes a photo.

This week’s Bogey adventure? We’re attempting to let him hang out in the living room during the day instead of the bathroom. There’s more space for him to move about, and it’s cooler now that the weather is getting warm. The downside is that there’s also more for him to get into, but we’ve been leaving him out for an hour or so at a time with success, so hopefully he continues to just chew his toys and not our stuff.

- My hair is FAMOUS.

- I don’t have any good updates for my Spring Simplification List, but I do have updates on the meal planning!

For the last week and a half, Joey has been a dinner machine, and the results have been pretty great so far. He feels more organized because he doesn’t have to think of things to make every night and already has shopping lists pre-written, and I feel better because I’m helping and lists are involved. Win-win!

So far, the best dinners he has made have been the Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza (which he made on tortillas) and the Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta. You guys. That pasta. If I ever had any doubts about marrying Joey, that dinner wiped them all away. So. Good.

Up this week is a stovetop avocado mac and cheese we’re both pretty excited about. I’ll let you know how it goes. (And if you have any good simple/healthy-ish dinner recipes to share, we’re all ears! Leave a comment below.)

That’s all she wrote, folks. What’s going on with you?

I’ve never been a big fan of confrontation.

 

Honestly, my first instinct is to passive aggression. I’ll make a “joke” or simply avoid the issue. Not exactly the best way to resolve anything, ya know?

 

I’ve gotten a bit better as I’ve gotten older. I recently had the revelation that I would be much better at high school now. I know how to handle mean girls. I’ve learned how tenuous the line between a bully and a coward truly is, and how easy it is to send a bully running for the hills.

 

The main thing I’ve learned is to nip things in the bud. The moment you let tension sit, it starts to fester, and what could have been a simply cleared up misunderstanding turns into a full-on feud.

 

I’m pretty sure all of Romeo & Juliet could have been solved in one long chat over some wine had there been someone around to start a dialogue.

 

Other than that, stay calm, hear everyone out, and know when it’s time to move on. The fact is, you’re only in control of your own response — sometimes people prefer living in conflict. That doesn’t mean you have to join them.

 

So does my new understanding mean when something stressful or problematic arises, I dive head-first into the fray to solve the problem?

 

Well…not quite. But it is getting a bit easier to talk myself into taking a stand, especially when it comes to sticking up for myself or those I love. (Even if my hands are quietly shaking in my lap while I do.)

 

So spill: What’s your best conflict resolution tactic?

A while ago, I made a promise to stop apologizing for lags in posting. But I’m actually kind of embarrassed at how little dedication I’ve showed in the last month.

 

I mean, where are you guys supposed to turn for your half-hearted tutorials and weird anecdotes?

 

I think the only solution is to create a sort of calendar and hold myself to it. Due to the busyness of life lately, I feel like I can reasonably commit to two posts a week. The next few weekends are all fairly packed with activity, so hopefully that will elicit some material.

 

One project I want to work on? Decorating our bedroom.

 

I don’t know why the bedroom has continually proven to be so dang impossible to decorate for me. Part of it probably has to do with the fact that it’s usually doubling as a storage room. (Thank you very much, tiny NYC apartments.) But you think I could at least decide on a bedspread or something.

 

I’ve posted mood boards and inspiration photos of bedrooms in the past, but nothing has ever really come to fruition in a “I want to share photos of this room with the world” kind of way. It seems doable to get this done before the end of the year, though, right?

 

So between that, a half marathon in Philly in two weeks, TWO visits to see my family this month, and a (super secret) upcoming blogger collaboration I’m taking part in, I should be able to crank out 16 posts before the end of 2013.

 

Right?

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a little bit of a holding pattern.

I mean, everything is good. There’s just not that much going on.

Work is fine. Everything with Joey and me is good. Life is pretty much business as usual.

So why aren’t I completely at peace with that?

I’ve mentioned before how I have problems being content. I’m an achiever, so if I’m not striving toward some goal, I think I feel a little lost. Like I don’t have a direction. I’ve never been very good at coasting.

Which is why (I assume) whenever I get too comfortable with anything, or feel like it’s not that much of a challenge anymore, I get a little restless.

And goodness knows I don’t have much to blog about when I’m overly content. Meaning you guys are the real victims here. (Right, guys?)

Fortunately, I think we’re just in a bit of a slow patch. In the next couple of months, I have a half marathon (my first in over a year!), I might be doing a tough mudder (more on that later), and I’m heading home to Iowa for the Thanksgiving break (could NOT be more excited). Hopefully those adventures will bring about a few interesting stories.

Maybe this is just a seasonal transition. Anyone else feeling a bit stuck-in-a-rut?