The Right Side of the Bed

When I was 25, I had kind of a hard birthday. I had thought I would be married with a kid by then, or at least had a serious boyfriend … but I wasn’t. I felt a bit like a failure even though I had accomplished a lot of other things that were never on my life list like moving to a new state where I didn’t know anyone, developing a successful Confirmation program, and losing 15% of my body weight by focusing on my health.

But there we were, me feeling like a failure as I tried to articulate why to a friend over fro-yo at the Epicenter (a place I haven’t been to since). So I decided to make a list of 25 things to do in the next 25 years, so when I turned 50 I could look at my “life list” and say “Look, you did a lot of things you wanted to do, even if you didn’t get married (although that’s on my list).”

One of the things on my list was “own a big bed.” Silly, right?

Well, I grew up sleeping on a twin and when I moved here, someone gave me a bed that was a twin. I wasn’t in a financial position to refuse free furniture, so I slept on that bed until I moved into my house. It’s still in my house actually, in my guest room. So if you come to visit, you can sleep on that bed too. (Until I execute my master plan in my guest room and buy these two stacking twin beds that act like a couch during the day and like a king bed at night.)

My parents got me a ‘big bed’ of my choosing as a house warming gift. They said it was for me, but also that it was an investment for them so they didn’t need to stay in hotels when they visited me. So really, it was for them. They don’t come often, so I don’t need to take up residence in that twin bed very often either!

So I accomplished one of my goals: “own a big bed.”

When I first got it, I set it up in a way that I always sleep on the right side of the bed, chosen because my closet door interferes with the ability to put a night stand on the other side. For a while I didn’t venture to the other side at all, and since I don’t share a bed very often (read: once when all the other beds in my house were full of guests and someone got the left side of my bed instead of the floor), the left side remains empty.

Then I started traveling for work, sleeping in a lot of different beds, sometimes a different one every night of of the trip. I took a trip back in November that was 10 days long and included 4 beds and a couch. Five different places to sleep over the course of 9 nights. It was exhausting! Lots of beds, but not a lot of rest! But I sure did see a lot of great people and attend an amazing retreat!

Because I desire a life of luxury (HA!) I am usually booked in a king bed room for my hotel travel (honestly it’s because they are typically the same price and K comes before Q in the alphabet so they are listed first in the list … therefore the woman who books my travel chooses them). It’s the BEST thing for traveling. When I have a king bed, I sleep right in the middle.

After my first or second trip like this, I thought, “why are you sleeping all on one side at home, there’s no one else here, why not sleep in the middle and have this feeling every night?” So I tried, but it’s just not the same in a queen sized bed. Even in a hotel, when I have a queen, I’m squarely on one side (even as I type this in a hotel bed).

What’s the difference?

After a night or two in the middle of my bed at home, I thought, “Do I really want to make this my habit? Do I want to break this habit later?”

I decided against it. I still sleep squarely on the right side of the bed, leaving the left side open for a future someone who I’m not even sure exists. I rotate my mattress every six or so months, so at least it’s getting evenly worn.

I wrote this a while ago, but as I was trying to fall asleep last night in my hotel room, I was thinking of this bed thing while lying squarely on the right side of the queen bed.

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Meal Delivery Service Reviews: Blue Apron

As I shared last month, I been trying out meal delivery services to help me eat healthier (maybe I didn’t say that was the reason, but take-out and frozen pizza do not help me recover from a work trip). This month is Blue Apron. They have a 4 week introductory price of just $40. (HF is $60 plus shipping.)

The biggest difference in packing is that the ingredients come all in the box rather than separated by meal. Such a small thing, but small things make a big difference.

The meals were a little more eccentric than Hello Fresh, but still delicious.

Knick Knacks come in bags … but the veggies are all separate along with the meat.

Some of the meals

Overall it’s been okay, not amazing. Some of the meals were quite a delight, but the veggies only lasted about half the week before they started going bad. So overall it was a bit of a success, but I’d go back to Hello Fresh before I try Blue Apron again.

TGIF … May 24th 2019

tgif may 24 2019

Throughout the past week I’ve been keeping track of the things that produce particular feelings in me. For instance, this event happened at work that made me feel ‘this’ way or ‘that’ … actually writing that down and cataloging it. This week I talked through those with my new counselor who has been giving me homework each week. I’m trusting this process and already am realizing where I’m inconsistent in my self-talk and what I think about myself. I can say one thing and then in the next sentence say something else entirely which has triggered a deeper hurt issue for me. So I’m working through those and figuring out where I stand in the midst of it.

I’m grateful for good friends who want to go on an evening walk and have dinner at a new restaurant. A few hours of walking, talking, and sweating is good for the soul! I’m also grateful for thought pieces like this one from Verily today. We need more of this in the conversation around abortion, the pro-life movement, choice, rape culture, feminism, and ensuring everyone’s dignity is respected. We need more actual, real nuance in this conversation.

I’m inspired by the Katie who wrote this book. It feels like she’s writing a bit of my story … I’m about to go read a lot more of it, so we’ll see if it’s accurate or not. At the very minimum (even though the reviews on goodreads are super mixed), I don’t feel like I’m the only one who’s still single.

And just for fun, last night on our walk, my godson brought along his little cat/box/toy thing and held it up to his ear like it was his cell phone for about a mile of our walk. It was the cutest thing ever and I wish I had a video of it because I’m certain you don’t even believe me that it happened! But it did. I couldn’t even make that up!

Focus on What Matters

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Back in January I started a “Chapter a Day Challenge” with some friends online to read a chapter of the Scriptures every day. When she was a kid, her dad use to say “A chapter a day keeps the devil away.” I thought, “well, I want the devil to stay away, so I’ll give this a go.” We started with Proverbs, then read through the 4 Gospels, and beginning May 1st we ventured into Acts. (Romans is next.)

So throughout the season of Easter I’ve been reading a chapter of Acts each day and it has begun to coincide with the daily readings from Acts, more or less. Each day as I dive into the formation of the early Church I can’t help but think that the problems they had are similar to the ones we’re having today.

Today’s reading is about circumcision, no one’s favorite topic. But the point is more that some “followers of The Way” believe it to be “absolutely essential for salvation” while others just don’t. Who’s right?

Although in the Catholic Church today we don’t equate circumcision with a requirement for salvation, we have similar conversations about other, just as innocuous, topics.

What makes “good enough” to be called a Catholic? Are you kneeling the whole time during the consecration or resting your bottom on the edge of your pew? Do you receive communion on the tongue, in the hand, kneeling, standing, after a bow, or following a genuflection? Are you praying enough Rosaries? Reading enough Scripture? Interceeding with enough Saints? Have you fasted enough days this week? Was your Lenten fast ‘hard enough’? Do you show up for Mass 2 minutes early or 15 minutes early? Do you wear a veil? Are you dressed ‘nice enough’ for Mass?

As you read through that list it feels pretty petty, I’m sure. As I was writing it I thought “those are such silly things.” But the truth of it is, I heard these conversations all the time. And those are just the questions about particular devotions.

What strikes me most about this reading from Acts is that these fights have been happening since the beginning of the Church. And also that they take away from the actual important work of “sharing the Good News and making disciples” that we are called to do.

We’re caught up in what this person looks like, not if they’ve had an encounter with Christ and are working on their relationship with Him through the Sacraments and prayer. Let’s get back to what really matters in our faith. Focus on Christ. Go where He’s leading you. Find a way to share that Good News with others.

Today’s reflection first appeared on Carpe Verbum.

TGIF … May 17th 2019

Today I had a bit of an issue with Legos and had to call both my neighborhood Lego Store and Lego Customer service. Neither could get me what I needed (after ordering something online that wasn’t what I thought it was. Then I remembered my friend who has tons and tons of Legos at her house for her boys. So I’m entrusting my project to her boys and their amazing Lego collection to get me the things that I need for my breakout session next month.

I’m grateful for friends and their kids this week. Celebrated my birthday (yes that was more than 2 months ago) last night with my friend and her one-year old. Then tonight I hung out at another friend’s kid’s school musical. Elementary School Musicals … fun to see how much fun they had! So glad I’m part of their lives.

I’m inspired this week by the book Refuse to Do Nothing about human trafficking and modern day slavery. What a thing to say! I’m inspired to do more, to do something different in the way I live, and be more aware of what’s going on in the world.

Now for something fun. My mom emailed my brother and I earlier today saying she got a new wireless printer and gave us the email address. So I sent her a note to print out, which is super fun. I’m not sure if it actually printed … but still fun that it happened!

My New 5 Minute Habit

About 8 weeks ago I got a haircut and asked for “lots of face layering, almost like side bangs” and then got bangs. Well, sort of … if they’re styled right. But the point is I’ve got this super short area of my hair right in the front of my face that’s too long to be straight bangs but too short to tuck behind my ear like face framing. When my hair is styled, it looks pretty good … but when it just gets put up in a ponytail (my weekday uniform) or after a work out (super sweaty), then I look, well, unkempt might be a good word.

So I’ve started blow drying my hair every day … who knew this could change my life? Well, probably the tens of million of women who blow dry their hair every day and the founder of this company featured on How I Built This.

But I don’t ever want to be considered high maintenance so I avoided it all together. It’s also the reason why I wear very little make-up (maybe some powder to even out redness and some eye shadow to make me feel like I made an effort). It’s just not my personal style.

So I timed it. (of course I did) I wanted to see how long it took me to make this one extra effort and if I could fit it in my morning routine without having it take an hour for me to get ready in the morning … I’d just rather be reading and drinking tea for that time.

The result: 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes to feel and look put together.

I mean, I have room for 5 minutes! Oh and I timed it in a hotel room with a crappy hair dryer, not anything fancy.

So 5 minutes of this

That’s me, up side down

With these 3 simple tools

Smooth Infusion from Aveda, a comb from Walmart, and a $20 hairdryer from Target

And now I’m ready to go! Who Knew?! (probably you, I know … probably you knew that just blow drying ones hair could make a big difference and wouldn’t make me high maintenance, but I didn’t … and that’s the point!)

Letter to My Younger Self

Someone shared this article with me a few weeks back, and I loved it!

It got me thinking about what I would tell my younger self, or even my current self if I had a chance to go back. What would I tell this little girl?

That’s me and my grandparents when I was just a wee babe!

or this one:

me, my brother, and my baby doll at my aunt’s log cabin

or this one:

I mean, I was a cute kid! Look at that hair: amazing bangs & super cute pig tails!

So what would I tell my younger self? (or even remind my today self):

Just be who you are, that person is enough, is lovable, and is needed in the world. Without you the world wouldn’t be the same, so love big, laugh a lot, pray deeply, and find joy in the little things. Being able to see the small joys of a new frame to hang up or seeing a random hallmark of American life on the road or the funny twist in the midst of a hardship isn’t some ‘substitute for living a super interesting life’ … it’s a perspective that many people don’t have and it makes you unique. All of those things are the things to make you who you are … an unrepeatable, daughter of the King of the Universe … don’t hide it, share it with the world!