Category Archives: Journaling

Weekend Update

I’m baaack! Relaxed, refreshed and recharged. Oh, and actually appreciating my family. Or rather, I’m not so freaking exhausted that appreciation is out of my vocabulary. Here’s the scoop…

Friday. Finished work. Headed into town for my retreat, and hit… Traffic. Bad traffic. I guess everyone in H-town had Big Friday Night Plans, because they were ALL on the highway. Determined not to let it ruin my mood, I decided to play CD surprise. Never heard of it? Not surprised, considering I made it up Friday night while stuck in traffic on the highway. How do you play? Easy. Reach over (in the dark, while keeping your eyes on the road), grab a CD out of your CD wallet, and insert. Anticipate what it’s going to be. Listen. Hey, I figured it would pass the time, and since I really DO have interesting CD’s in the car I figured it was a win.

Fail. First CD – Kidz Bop. Veto. Second CD – some guy playing hammer dulcimer EZ listening hits. A holdover from my elementary teaching days. Veto. Third – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Music Memory from days gone by. Veto. Fourth – Diana Krall live in Paris. Ok, that one was doable.

Finally navigated the traffic and checked into my sweet digs. I found a great in-town deal at an extended stay place, which meant that I had a full kitchen, sectional couch, desk and separate sleeping nook. Oh, and a walk-in closet. That’s crucial for a two night stay, right? Got situated, surfed the web and started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. How is it I never had to read this for school? It’s amazing. But if I’d had to read it for school I probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway. Most of the time when I’m told I have to read a certain book I don’t like it. It’s the passive/agressive rebellious side of me. Fine. I’ll read it. But I won’t LIKE it. Anyway, I finally made myself put the book down and sleep.

Saturday morning? It’s a good thing I’ve got priorities. I mean, if I hadn’t checked Facebook before eating breakfast and showering, I’d have missed the message about my folk dance session. “A slight mistake has been made. The original start time of 9:30 posted here was incorrect. Today’s workshop will begin at 8:30.” Good thing it was only 7:30 when I decided to Facebook.

Day of folk dancing. Skipped the fitness room workout due to the time change, but hey – six solid hours of folk dancing HAS to count as exercise, right? I mean, I did actually break a sweat once or twice and it was cold in the room. And I realized how much I miss that part of my musician life. The sense of community and collaborative music making with a group of talented people. And I’ve always loved dancing. If I’d actually been born with the right body type I probably would have kept up with it past sixth grade. But hey – at this point it’s a fun hobby. Did you get that? A hobby! Me!

Lunch on my own at a group of swanky little shops across the street. Leftover time and an Anthropologie gift card. Darn. What was I to do? Yep – found ONE – sweater that I loved. There was ONE left. In my size. And my favorite color. On sale. Score!!

More folk dancing, then a trip to the HUGE Half Price Books I’d spotted near the hotel. Huge. And, for some reason, much cheaper than the HPB near my house. Hmmm. Cheaper in town than the ‘burbs? Shocker. I love wandering in used book stores. The musty smell of old bindings and slightly mildewed dusty paper is like a drug. So addictive. They should bottle that and sell it for Plug Ins. Seriously. I’d be all over that. And I managed to score a biography of Alan Lomax – one of the songcatching family that traveled Appalachia and recorded TONS of American folk songs back in the day. You can access the recordings for free here. It was a message. This is a hobby that needs pursuit. Message received.

Back to the hotel. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Couldn’t. Put. It. Down. Hours of uninterrupted reading? Check. Intersperse journal writing? Check. Inspiration? Check and check. Right before a massive migraine sidetracked my entire plan.

Skip ahead a few hours – too much Excedrin and caffeine left me wide awake, so I pulled up the Netflix queue and started Sweet Land. An indie flick that the Spouse wouldn’t have lasted ten minutes into, it’s full of lovely shots of Minnesota wheat fields, prairie and 1920’s postwar issues. It’s easy to forget that those of us with German ancestry faced discrimination during and after WWI. Anyhoo, yes, this could be looked at as a chick flick since there was a love story. But the messages of humanity sticking together and hardworking people with their innate connection to the land can’t be ignored either.

More journaling and reading this morning, then back home. Fam was happy. Apparently I was missed. Rested, recharged and appreciated? Priceless.

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Filed under Folk Music, inspiration, Journaling, Moms, Reading, working moms, writing

It’s Time for Me

So I’ve gotta be honest here – I’ve been a basket case lately. Between the oldest minion’s Big Sleepover (and the kid that got sick all over my carpet), the Big Test at work and life in general, I’m fried.

What could I possibly do about it? I’ll tell you. This weekend I’m going on a Me Retreat. That’s right. A Me Retreat. I need to celebrate my test and recharge. After work today I’m heading into town and checking my happy little self into a hotel for the weekend. Actually, there’s some professional development involved just in case I decide to ever go back to Music Teacher Land again, but that’s tomorrow and it’s a folk dancing workshop. So I really can’t call a day of folk dancing work. And I’ve got a pile of books to read, my workout clothes, some pocket change for shopping and a brand new journal.

Time for reflection and relaxation. Just me, myself and I. If that sounds incredibly boring to you – you must not be a mom. Catching up with friends – nope. I’m enough of an introvert that I actually NEED time alone to recharge my batteries in order to be nice around people. If you don’t get that, then you definitely need to read Quiet. And given my brain’s recent trend towards positive negativity, I know I’m in the red. So recharging time for me actually benefits mankind as a whole. Haha. I’m joking, but only halfway. Seriously – the world is a better place if I’m not snarking on everything and everyone I see. So some reflection is in order – I need to figure out where all of this hostility is coming from. Not sure it’s just because I’m tired.

Of course, the minions were extra-clingy this morning before school. They actually got up – of their own free will – just after five AM. Why? ‘We already miss you and want some extra snuggle time, Mommy!’ Ok. Fine. Twist my arm. I’ll stay in bed an extra half hour snuggled up with my little guys. If that’s what they really need. Ah, the things we sacrifice for our kids…

So that’s my plan. A Weekend Alone. Away from the fam. Books, folk dancing, blank journal pages just begging to be filled.

Is it six o’clock yet?? I’m SO ready for this!!

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Filed under Folk Dancing, Introverts, Journaling, Moms, working moms