Stress. It’s a thing.

Alternate title: My therapist gave me an A

It’s not unusual to be hard on oneself, right?

I’m fairly open about the fact that I check in with a therapist every now and then.  I kind of think everyone would benefit from some insight into themselves from an outside source.  Today, I was struggling that I’m wasting time – not a new theme for me.  Claire tells me I’m so impatient.  I do live with a sense of urgency that can lead to anxiety.  Awareness is the first step, right?  I told the good Doctor that here we are, near the end of summer, and what did I do?  I’m haven’t finished Infinite Jest, I haven’t run regularly, the basement could be more organized (I finally bought the shelves!)… I could go on.

Good Doctor tells me I’m being too hard on myself and I needed to list all the things that I did accomplish in the last 60 days.  Work/professional stuff is going so well lately – OD Conference, the case study for the chapter in the OD book with Mr. Head of the Largest Change Mgmt Research Company, I was selected for as a member of the New Chapter formation committee for ACMP (Assoc of Change Mgmt Professionals) and the potential re-org at work that may lead to something bigger and better.  I worked on the house, maintained Sarah’s Farm (home of the Farm Fresh vegetables), bought a new car, settled into some new social scenarios, stopped binge eating (yeah – that was becoming a problem) and have reintroduced some exercise into my life.

The thing she said that had the biggest impact on me was a simple validation that there are a lot of stressful situations I’m in right now.  Still being new to Columbus, lack of social/family structure, lack of the relationship I was counting on here, buying a house, buying a car, repaying student loans, getting a new job in a new field… these things are hard.  They take time to get through.  She mentioned the actual stressful life factors test is the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.  Out of curiosity, and because who doesn’t love an assessment, I searched for the scale and took it.  If you’re curious, the link has an easy graphic where you click what applies and it adds it up for you.  Or, here is the scale:

Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale

Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale

Go ahead – add ‘em up.

Would you like to know my score?  Of course you would!  Why else have you read this far… 508.  Five Hundred and Eight.  And these are just listing the things that have happened in the last year!!  Here’s what the scoring on that is…

Scoring The Life Change Index
The body is a finely timed instrument that does not like surprises. Any sudden change
stimuli which affects the body, or the reordering of important routines that the body
become used to, can cause needless stress, throwing your whole physical being into
turmoil.

The following chart will give you some idea of how to informally score yourself on Social
Readjustment Scale. Since being healthy is the optimum state you want to achieve, being
sick is the state of being you most want to avoid.

Life Change Units Likelihood Of Illness In Near Future
300+ about 80 percent
150-299 about 50 percent
less than 150 about 30 percent

Really?!?! An 80% increase in the likelihood of a stress related illness in the near future?!  This explains the insomnia and general moodiness perhaps.  

So.  Stress.  Validation.

In the spirit of immediately trying to combat the stress, I joined some co-workers at a concert tonight.  One of our bosses has a brother who is the bass player in the band Walk the Moon.  They are a fun, poppy, alternative band and all from Columbus and Cincinnati – so, Ohio grown.  They are most known for their song, Anna Sun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDVW81bXo0s

Tonight they played one of their new songs, Shut Up and Dance With Me.  Loved it!  Technically, it’s not released yet (on their album coming soon!!) but I did find it on You Tube.  (Audio Only)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhFvpS-I_6U

Sadly, knowing the sister of the bass player did not get us backstage or anything.

Sadly, knowing the sister of the bass player did not get us backstage or anything.

A great time with some catchy tunes and two beers – just enough to make me feel like dancing.

What I’m loving lately

Things that I love lately…

Ikea projects that go smoothly.  I finally took on the last of the Ikea products I bought on my field trip a couple weeks ago.  After being burned by the curtain system …

My bathroom *still* looks like this, by the way

My bathroom *still* looks like this.

I was not in a hurry to get to assembling the shelf I bought for the hallway on the 2nd floor.  But I’m home sick today and bored, so I thought I should finish this.  And it was so easy AND looks great.  Some faith in Ikea has returned.

Finished product!

Finished product!

I have scaled down the amount of Disney products in my life a great deal over the last decade.  I thought with the new Disney medals, I could limit my Disney stuff to this shelf and it could become the running/Disney space.  My next run isn’t until September when I’m running the OSU 4 miler again on Sept 21 and the Oktoberfest 4 miler later that week.  Both of those are medal runs!

The Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes.  I grilled up steaks last week for dinner and made a bunch of these potatoes on the side.  They are simple and delicious!

Photo from The Pioneer Woman website

Photo from The Pioneer Woman website

The leftovers also work great in breakfast the next day…

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Saute spinach, Sarah’s Farm Fresh Tomatoes and leftover potatoes, add scrambled eggs and top with some goat cheese!

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I loved my first trip to Menard’s.  Trust me that I did not see this one coming.  They had a really good deal on some shelving that I wanted to put in my basement.  So, I go there.

"Save more money at Menards!"

“Save more money at Menards!”

It’s like a Home Depot, only nicer.  It’s a better environment – I don’t really even know what that means I just know I felt calm wondering around looking for the shelving.  It’s brighter and better laid out.  Seriously, I don’t know why it’s better, it just was.

I am obsessed with LaCroix water.  As I dial back on the drinking (because it’s amazing how much better I feel not drinking, but I sometimes need something besides regular water) I have gotten hooked on La Croix.  I love the grapefruit flavor the most (pamplemousse – one of the best french words ever), the berry and the lime are good too.  I’ve been out of it for a few days and I want nothing more than to drive to the store to get some.  But I should take a shower first.  And therein lies the barrier.  Again, I don’t feel well, so I just want to lay around, but I reallllly want some sparkling water.  #Firstworldproblems

lacroix

I love finding my stuff.  Cleaning up the basement means I’ve found some stuff that has been packed away for a year or so.  It also means I’ve set up a laundry folding table and drying rack.  Ahh, the little things.  A happy moment came the other day when I found some of my favorite throw pillows!  Again – the little things.

Brightening up the window seat

Brightening up the window seat

Come away with me

WordPress posts a prompt of the day and a couple days ago, this one stayed with me…

Road Tripping

‘Tis the season for road trips — if time and money were out of the equation, what car-based adventure would you go on?”

I generally do not like driving long distances.  With the recent acquisition of Ted Mosby the Mazda (Ted Mazby?  I think that’s stretching it…) and the desire to plan a less expensive birthday trip this year – the idea of a road trip seems appealing.  

My dream road trip, the only one I’ve ever thought about making, is to the Grand Canyon.  That is clearly not the one I’ll be going on for my birthday.  Birthday road trip is going to be a solo trip and Grand Canyon road trip needs a navigator.  So, this is the tale of maybe not the dream road trip, but the in-the-forseeable-future road trip.

I’m thinking of heading back to Toronto this November.  Once again motivated by the theatre.  The English teacher I met for dinner last week told me that the best production of Arcadia he’s ever seen is going to Toronto this fall.  I love this show so, so much.  When I glanced at a map to see how long it takes to drive to Toronto, I realized you go right through Niagara Falls to get there!  Then, while discussing the premature plan with a co-worker I learned there are a fair amount of wineries in Ohio, New York and Canada.  See how the road trip is coming together?  THEN, a simple Google search on “Ohio to Toronto road trip”  (because you just never know what is out there) led me to the website RoadTrippers.com.  AMAZING!   You type in your destination and it brings up all kinds of landmarks, inns, even wineries along the way.  It’s a pretty great site.  So, belated birthday road trip will look something like…

Leaving Columbus, OH

Stop at wineries such as Tarsitano, Merritt Estate or Cave Springs Wines in Toronto.  I’ll have more research to do on if they’ll be open in November, or what kind of tastings they offer.  But in my perfect road trip, of course they are open and awesome.

I’ll stop for at least one night in Niagara Falls.  I was originally thinking a couple nights in a little cabin nearby, but perhaps just one night in a place like the Tower Hotel!  What a kooky little place!

 

This is a little wild, right?

This is a little wild, right?

For sure an interesting hotel experience.

For sure an interesting hotel experience.

I may stop for a night in some other cute little upper New York town.  This place looks cool, The Roycroft Inn.

Then I’ll get into Toronto.  Last November I was there and really enjoyed staying pretty close to the water as we explored the Distillery District, CN Tower and such.  Toronto at the holidays was magical.

At the CN Tower

At the CN Tower

With a Mountie Moose

With a Mountie Moose

This time I’d like to get up to the University District and some of the neighborhoods.  I’d stay closer to the theatre district this time and find more awesome restaurants to eat at.  (Although it will be hard to not go back to Ruby Watchco again.  Soooo delicious!)

I’ll see Arcadia on Friday night and head back Saturday.

So, while it will be post birthday in order to hit Arcadia, it sounds like a nice time.  Road trips might not be all bad.  And I can’t wait to use my new favorite website to plan the Grand Canyon trip someday!

 

Four is too many

Many years ago there was cake at work to celebrate something or other.  Every time I walked past the break room and saw the cake still there, I had a piece.  I had four pieces that day and went home feeling disgusting, as you might imagine.  I then made the hard and fast rule that four pieces of cake in one day is too many.   It’s one of the few things I know for sure.  

Four is too many now also applies to how many nights in a row I can go out to dinner and drinks. 

Monday night was restaurant week at Lindey’s. 
Tuesday night my favorite teacher from high school was passing through Columbus and we met for dinner.   Not only was he an awesome teacher, he was part of the community theatre group I worked at for years in the summers.   We had a wonderful evening catching up. I introduced him to Kentucky Bourbon Ale, the greatest beer in all the land. 

Wednesday night my work team had an offsite strategy /team building day at the Columbus Zoo and we finished early enough for me to make it to my 530 work out.  Rex and Terri were the only ones headed to a post bonding happy hour.  During the strategy day I learned that there is potential that Terri may NE forming an executive change office.   If she goes there, I want to go with her.   I thought my time may be better spent recapping the day and spending some quality time with her.  I think I made the right choice. 

Thursday comes around and my half an hour training meeting becomes a 2 hour meeting and then I stick around to follow up on stuff from that meeting and then it’s 7:30pm, one of the external consultant guys was still there after a long day of his own, so we head to dinner to vent about our days.   I introduced him to Kentucky Bourbon Ale, too. 

All of these nights out were good fun.  For a minute I thought I might try for a perfect week.  But sheesh, I’m getting too old for this stuff. 

I was perfectly happy to spend this evening at home.   I intended to do some laundry.  I didn’t.  I grilled steaks, sat on my patio and read all evening.   Laundry will be there tomorrow.  (Clean underwear on the other hand will not be around tomorrow.)   Also this weekend is to buy the new kitchen faucet since installation finally happens this Thursday.   I’m going to buy a tile saw as well, and maybe do some practice cutting.   I need to do something with the half bath since it still looks like it did last weekend with ikea curtain parts strewn about.  I’m going to the Michael Buble concert! And I need to do some yard work.   Blech. Hello weekend.

Columbus Restaurant Week

I love a restaurant week.  My sisters and I always made “sistah” dates during the St. Louis ones.  It is such a good way to try a new place.

Columbus restaurant week is this week and last night I arranged a night at Lindey’s – one of the restaurants on my must visit lists pretty much since I moved here.  The restaurant is fine dining in the German Village neighborhood.

Lindey's.  Photo courtesy of their website.

Lindey’s. Photo courtesy of their website.

Friends Rex, Andre & Peter and I decided to take a table out on the patio.  It was warm, but not miserable, and the Lindey’s patio is really lovely.

Lindey's Patio

Lindey’s Patio

There were delicious cocktails, amazing food and really fun conversation.  This particular group of gentlemen are so smart and diverse that I never know exactly where the conversation may go.  Last night included topics such as a lively discussion about how many big cities a state had to have to be considered an urban state (i.e. Ohio has 3 larger cities and 2 medium sized cities and is a smaller state – we are urban.  Missouri has two larger cities and 1, maybe 2, medium sized cities – they are not an urban state.)  and what terrible movie you tolerated watching just to make out with the person you were watching the movie with.  (Idiocracy.  That’s the movie I suffered through just because I wanted to make out with the the guy.)

Additionally, we came up with the topic that may very well be the research topic I pursue.  We were doing some word association with corporate buzzwords at one point and hit a combination that is probably a really good idea.  I’m sure the idea currently exists in pieces so I need to explore it more – but it might just be genius.

The food was just really fantastic as well.  I had a chilled asparagus and crab soup, shrimp and grits, and root beer creme brulee.  I got a taste of everyone’s dishes and I have to say I made great ordering choices.

After dinner we walked a couple blocks to a little bar to play darts, where this happened…

I managed to do this three times.  I'm good at darts after some drinks.

I managed to do this three times. I’m good at darts after some drinks.

And then home.

Not a remarkable night.  Probably even an ordinary night from the outside.  Even as I write this, I know it’s not that exciting.  Except to me.  It was nice to get out, be out and to have a nice time.  Time heals all wounds.  Time…and laughing.

Sarah v. the weekend, vol 6

It’s Sarah vs. the weekend, volume 6, y’all!

  • I cooked dinner Friday night!  This is generally not remarkable except that I have completely lost my appetite the last couple of weeks.  I’m not cooking much, have no desire to get take out, just not hungry.  But, Friday night, inspired by Sarah’s Farm Fresh Zucchini, I made a zucchini “pasta” with pesto and salmon.  It was easy and really good.  It felt nice to eat real food.  Sarah vs. no appetite….winner: Vegetables!  Just a couple of months ago I was in a crazy unhealthy eating pattern, dealing with stress with a fair amount of binge eating.  I know not eating isn’t healthy either, so making a real meal with real food that was delicious wins.  

Use the mandolin to make the "zoodles"

Use the mandolin to make the “zoodles”

Saute zoodles with some Sarah's Farm Fresh cherry tomatoes

Saute zoodles with some Sarah’s Farm Fresh cherry tomatoes

Stir in some pesto at the end of the saute and add a piece of baked salmon on top.

Stir in some pesto at the end of the saute and add a piece of baked salmon on top.  Yum.

  • Saturday morning was the Color Run.  If you’ve read this blog for a minute you’ll know this is one of my favorite events.  This is the third year I’ve run the race.  My friend Kristy ran with me this year.  Something was just off from the very beginning though…I’m sure it’s me and my blah mood lately, but even the color run couldn’t work it’s magic on me this year.  Kristy is more of a walker than a runner, the color stations were really crowded, the music at the color party at the end wasn’t awesome.  I don’t know.  Sarah vs. The Color Run…winner: Doing what you say you’re going to do.  I’m glad I went.  I’m glad I kept the Color Run streak going.  I have hope that next year will be better and I’ll look back on this one and smile that I did it, even in my funky mood.  

 

Post Co;or Run 2014.  Even the post photo isn't as fun.

Post Color Run 2014. Even the post photo isn’t as fun and bright.  I’m just off this year. 

Color Run 2013 - super happy!

Color Run 2013 – super happy!

Post Color Run 2012... One of my favorite pics of me ever.

Post Color Run 2012… One of my favorite pics of me ever.

  • Once the Color Run was over I had to get cleaned up and book it to the local Mazda dealership.  I brought Molly Mazda (my 2005 Mazda 3) in Thursday morning and the service center called Friday evening to tell me the car needed a fair amount of work.  Lots of little things, and mostly standard maintenance, that all added up.  Struts and brake pads and rotors and alignment and brake fluid flush and a heat shield and something about air in the fuel line…I was thinking about buying a car next year, so putting the nearly 3K into the car now seemed silly.  I spent some time Friday night looking at their pre-owned selection knowing that I needed to go in with a plan.  I can be easily persuaded, so I needed to be firm in what I wanted.  I found a Mazda 3 (I just really like this car) 2011 hatchback model with about 34K miles.  Done.  That’s what I wanted.  When I got to the dealership Saturday around noon it was pretty busy.  The service guy (who may be the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life) introduced me to a sales guy and we started talking about what I wanted.  I told him I saw three pre-owned cars on their website last night that I’d like to look at – told him what my budget was – and where I wanted to be for a monthly payment.  The little blue hatchback I saw online sold the night before.  There was a pre-owned CX-7 I wanted to check out, just for fun.  I test drive it.  It’s way too big.  After that he tries to talk me into a lease on a new CX-5, my most favorite model.  He’s persuasive.  He has me test drive a new 2014 Mazda 3.  I tell him I’ll think about the lease while I’m out in that one.  This is when I call Ex Hubs who is on standby during my car buying experience.  Ex Hubs talks me down from the sales pitch and I remember the plan I came in with.  When I get back to the dealership (all these test drives are me alone – this is different from the last time I bought a car where the sales guy came with) I ask him to review the pre-owned stock for 2011 or newer Mazda 3, preferably hatchback, and with a moon roof.  We’re back on track.  He brings around two cars – a 2011 really pretty blue one with black cloth interior and a 2012 silver one with black leather interior.  The 2012 was the Grand Touring model.  Meaning, it was pretty tricked out, I mean, for me.  Leather seats with seat warmers, the locks that lock automatically when you put it in drive, Bluetooth, auto headlights, and Bose sound system.  I loved it.  I actually like the interior of the 2012 more than the 2014 – I think in trying to make it minimal they made it ugly.  So, while I like the blue color better, overall the silver car is clearly the winner.  Heated seats!  That’s the dream!   It drives so nicely.  I decide on this one and then probably wait another 2 hours to do paperwork with my sales guy and then the finance guy.  Overall I’m at the dealer for about 5.5 hours.  While I’m waiting I get the keys to Molly Mazda back and transfer the stuff I had in it to the new car.  That’s when it hits me I have to leave her there.  Oh Molly.  The first car I ever bought.  Nearly a decade of memories.  I had a moment to say goodbye.  Then I just left her there.  Sigh.  The universe is conspiring to make sure I don’t end 2014 with anything I started the year with.  Sarah vs. the unexpected new car…Winner: Molly Mazda for being a great companion for the last 9.5 years.  
Introducing... Ted Mosby.  Yes, I named my car Ted Mosby.  I wanted him in my life and I feel this is how the universe answered me.

Introducing… Ted Mosby. Yes, I named my car Ted Mosby. I wanted him in my life and I feel this is how the universe answered me.

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What can I say – I just really like the Mazda 3. Zoom Zoom.

 

Oooh - pretty interior.

Oooh – pretty interior.

  • Sunday morning was the first time I took Ted out for a spin.  We drove across town to an 8:15am Jazzercise class.  It was a nice way to start the day – gave me energy for all the stuff on my list of things to do today, since I wasn’t expecting to spend so long at the dealership yesterday.  I stopped at the grocery store after working out and then Lowe’s for a few things I needed for chores around the house.  It was nice to tool around town in a car that had that new car smell.  Sarah vs. Sunday morning…Winner: Sarah!  Get up, get going, and get stuff done!
  • The biggest undertaking of the day was wallpapering the accent wall.  The wallpaper arrived Friday and that meant I didn’t need to let another weekend go by without some progress on the kitchen.  Here’s what’s happening with the kitchen… I got the phone call from the counter top people last Friday who tell me they can’t install then until July 31.  Meaning I can’t tile the backsplash until the weekend of August 9th because the first weekend of August is my soon to be god daughter’s baptism.  I started this kitchen adventure July 3rd.  Until August 10th.  Sheesh.  Anyway – two very important things got done today – the accent wall and the drawer and cabinet pulls!  Wallpapering was an adventure.  I haven’t done that in a really long time – since my grandparents bathroom when I was in college, maybe?  I for sure had a mis-step or two, but after the second strip I had it down.  Sarah vs. DIY kitchen projects… Winner: Accent walls.  It’s so fun and it makes me smile and looks like me.  I can’t wait to get this whole thing done and share the final after pictures.  
There it is!  Orange with clip art-y utensils.  I pretty much love it

There it is! Orange with clip art-y utensils. I pretty much love it!

I have cabinet pulls!

I have cabinet pulls!

I have drawer pulls!

I have drawer pulls!

Since I had the drill out and was feeling so good about knocking stuff off the list, I thought I’d hang the new curtain in my half bathroom.  When I went to IKEA a couple weeks ago I bought the curtain panel and hanging system… so I thought.  Turns out I didn’t buy all the pieces required so I had to order a mounting system and sliding rail for this panel and wait for them to get shipped.  I spent more than an hour attempting to put this bastard up.  F$@* you, IKEA.  F@#& you and your ridiculous curtain panel system and stupid directions.  I got the wall brackets mounted – in a way that is not structurally sound at all – but then could not figure out how to attach the rail to the brackets.  I watched videos, I googled IKEA sites, I found pdfs for mounting.  Nothing answered my question.

The current state of this project.

The current state of this project.

Sarah vs. IKEA… Winner: Sweeden.  I don’t even know what my next step is here.  

Ending on a positive note… Months ago I saw a picture on Pinterest something like this…

Gross old end table into super cute cat bed/end table!

Gross old end table into super cute cat bed/end table!

D and I completed this project months ago – finding an old end table at some thrift store, D took off the doors and spray painted the hardware for me and we painted it.  I put a blanket in it and had it as my nightstand and the cats never got in it.  Bummer.  When I moved into the house I put that table in my tv room and put in a real cat bed instead of just a blanket.  And today, I’m thrilled to say Quinn is making herself at home in it pretty regularly.

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She loves it.

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Sarah vs. kooky DIY projects… Winner: Quinn.  It’s adorable and functional.  She and I are both very happy with this turn of events.  

 

A conversation that happened today – played out in skit style on the blog

First – meet the players:

There's me

There’s me

There's my boss

There’s my boss

There is the head of the top Change Management research and methodology company

There is the head of the top Change Management research and methodology company

And there is this book: Practicing Organization Development, 3rd Edition

And there is this book: Practicing Organization Development, 3rd Edition

Now that you’re familiar, let me set the scene.  It’s 10am.  I am just finishing a meeting to discuss actual numbers of end users for project implementation (fyi – it’s twice what I thought) when the phone rings…

my boss: Hey Sarah.  It’s me, your boss.

me: Hey boss.

my boss: I just got a phone call from Mr. Head of the top Change Mgmt research and methodology company.  He asked if I knew anyone who might want to collaborate on a book chapter he’s writing for an OD textbook on change management.  Is it okay if I give him your name?

me: Umm, heck freaking yeah.  Please pass my name on to him.

my boss: Great.  He’d like us to help write the case study and I think you’re the best partner.  You should be getting an invite from him.

me: I got this.

End Scene.

I may have paraphrased some, but you get the idea, right?

My boss recommended me to this super important guy in the change management world (we all have our industry rock stars) to help test the model/framework he’s introducing in the chapter of an OD textbook that my OD Master’s program used!  If this all works out, I cannot wait to send that email to some professors.  “Oh, by the way, I’m listed as a collaborator in this text book now.”  In addition, he wants to collaborate on the case study and use my current Nationwide program as the example.  Now – this is all preliminary and maybe it goes nowhere.  But in my inbox right this second is the abstract and outline for the method he’s writing.  I’m supposed to review it.  No problem, Mr. Head of the top Change Mgmt research and methodology company.  No problem.

Did I not just write on this very blog last night how I want to start writing, want to pursue being published.  Holy cow, Universe!  You rule all!  I made space and the space was filled.  And in no small way.

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

It’s been a while since I thought about the book that was so important to me for several years: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Today one of the passages from the book came back to me:

“But I love him.”

“So love him.”

“But I miss him.”

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”

It’s not so much the not letting go of the man part that struck me today, although certainly relevant right now, it was the if you clear out the space you’re using to obsess, you open a spot and the universe rushes in to fill it.  I’m overwhelmed by this opportunity this morning.  I’m reminded that I have the power to survive.  On a change management webinar last week, someone introduced the topic of resiliency and how they were using this resiliency assessment when they hired new change practitioners.  Because above all else, a change professional should be able to handle change.  I’ve been thinking about it since I heard of the assessment and haven’t gotten my hands on it yet – but how resilient am I?  I’ve spent two months being mostly numb and living in a hermitage that is my house.  So plans changed, so some one didn’t love me as much as I loved them… look at all the other stuff that’s out there waiting for me.

And Universe – if you’re still listening as intently as you were last night – I’d like you to send a Ted Mosby my way…I’ll be here…contributing to a chapter in an OD textbook.

 

All better.

I nearly named this post “…and calm returns.”  When it dawned on me I already had a post titled that exact same thing.  And you know what it was about?  The exact same thing I’m going to write about here.  Some may choose to see this as me in a destructive pattern.  I choose to see it proof I got through this scenario a couple years ago and I can get through it again.  It’s almost laughable how similar this week has been to a week back in November 2011.

First – some advice for future Sarah…STOP TRYING TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR EXES!

I mean, at least give it some time.  I have a warped sense of friends with exes.  I had a long time friendship with my on again/off again boyfriend Brad.  And I count my ex husband as one of my best friends. (Hey buddy!)  Both of those relationships didn’t come about over night and both of those took work from both parties to get to a friendship state of mind.  I miss D.  I valued him as a friend and classmate before we dated.  But I’m going to have to accept that relationship doesn’t just come back.  (I do wish I realized that before the great texting mistake of this past Sunday night – but whatevs.  I’ve always wanted a restraining order against me.)  (KIDDING!)

To settle myself down after the break up breakdown this past weekend I made a “pick me up playlist”, went for a run, and talked to my friendly neighborhood shrink (who actually thinks my super grief over the break up may be more related to latent super grief about my dad dying, but that’s this whole other Oedipal spiral I’m not particularly buying into.  I digress….).  I started to feel better.  Tonight I spent the day at a conference where people discussed ideas and asked for my input.  Awesome.  I then got a glass of wine on the best patio in town (mine, naturally) and pulled out a book: Organization Development: A data-driven approach to organizational change.  That’s right.  Part of my problem is that I needed something to fill the space in my life where the relationship was.  Well, I want to present at ACMP or OD conferences in the next couple of years.  The department head of my OD master’s program told me BGSU was working towards a PhD program in OD in the next couple of years and told me not to consider going somewhere else until I saw what they were doing.  In order to pursue those endeavors, having some work published would be helpful.  So, I guess it’s time to think about what kind of work I want to research, where I think I can influence.  This is really exciting to me.  I get all lit up talking about small group effectiveness and organizational behavior.  I’ve really missed school and these topics, so time to get back to it in some way.

The thing about returning to this place, the post break up crazy space, is that looking back to late 2011 and wondering how I was ever going to get through it is awesome from the other side.  Um, not only did I get through it, I left that space in my dust!  2012 and 2013 have been my best years yet.  2014 is starting off a little rough, but I’m more hopeful this evening.  I’ve got 6 months left and no idea what happens tomorrow.  (Well, I mean, I know I get up, bring the pork roast that is in my crock pot overnight to work for our Halfway Mark Potluck for the big program I work on, drive back downtown for an Ops Review and then go to Jazzercise – but you get my drift.)  I can now see all the space and time as an opportunity to do anything else.  And if (hopefully, when) D and I can be friends, that will be great because he makes a good paper editor and I’ll need someone to read my drafts to check for punctuation mistakes.  (Because obviously I overuse parentheses…and ellipsis.)

I like to think I get so wound up and crazy because I’m so passionate about the people in my life.  If I felt lukewarm, this wouldn’t be an issue.  It’s best I just embrace the crazy because I’m not giving up the passionate side of me.  It’s my best side.

crazy Sarah

 

The vainest question in all the land

“How did he get over me before I’m over him?”

Or something like that.

When it’s more of a circumstantial break up than a character based one – isn’t that the goal?  You hope for love and happiness for the other person, knowing you did everything you could to maintain the relationship for as long as you could.  But when they actually go for it?  Wanting it for them and accepting it are two very different things.

And the even more narcissistic question is – why am I so easy to get over?  Let’s face it – that’s where the real pain point is.  Why am I stuck –  missing and loving and mourning and considering taking it all back about 10 times a day – when the other party is, well, partying?  It’s a humbling element for sure.  How does this make me feel?  Small.  Inconsequential.  How is this space that I filled up gone already?  Was I a terrible girlfriend?  Did I leave nothing to mourn?  Or am I just looking at this all wrong?  He’s being an adult – doing what he needed to do.  Moving on.  Perhaps he’s looking back on the time we had, appreciating it for what it was and taking on the next chapter.

I’ve never been one to handle break ups well.  I’ve never left a relationship without giving it so many chances.  That’s my pattern, no one else signed up for that. Perhaps this is a good lesson in breaking up like an adult.  I suppose I can choose to look at it like that.  Yeah, that sounds better.  A lesson in how to move on like a grown up.

I’m going to be single forever.

Yup.

Yup.

 

The jig is up. Zucchini bread is just cake.

Zucchini has taken over the garden.  Now, this is probably my fault for ignoring all spacing guidelines.  Okay, it’s definitely my fault for ignoring all the spacing guidelines.  The poor green bean plants couldn’t compete for space or sunlight and they are a thing of the past.  The tomatoes are doing well and the zucchini is flourishing.

So. Much. Zucchini.

So. Much. Zucchini.

I gave a few away.  And what else does one do with So. Much. Zucchini except make some zucchini bread?

I found three different recipes and got to work.

Yogurt Zucchini Bread

A classic recipe

A classic recipe

Easy Zucchini Bread with chocolate chips

I never got a picture of this one.  It came out a little dark on the edges and I overfilled the pans a bit so it’s not as pretty.  The flavor is okay with some mini chocolate chips in the bread and a few sprinkled on top.

Caramel Frosted Zucchini Bread

Just cake.  Seriously.  Two cups of shredded zucchini in this bread and you wouldn’t even know it. Zucchini just melts away when it’s baked. I like that this one had raisins and walnuts in it.  Adding a caramel frosting certainly doesn’t up any nutrition factor.  This one came out too sweet for me, but it did photograph the best.

IMG_9629

IMG_9631

IMG_9633

 

I now have a crap ton of zucchini bread.  And while they taste good, I don’t think I love zucchini bread.  So… I’ll freeze some and bring some to work and give some to the neighbors.  And figure out something else to do with the rest of the zucchini from the garden that won’t quit.

 

In other kitchen news, my friend Kristy did indeed come over and the kitchen lights did indeed get up!  Now… Kristy’s husband ended up joining her on her trip here so my dreams of girl power electric work didn’t happen.  We pretty much just let Jon take care of them.

Okay, so Jon and Kristy did most of the work while I ran up and down the steps to flip the circuit breaker occasionally.

Okay, so Jon and Kristy did most of the work while I ran up and down the steps to flip the circuit breaker occasionally.

Love them!

Love them!

The lights needed to be a flush mount since I don’t have very tall ceilings.  And since I’m trying to embrace some of the vintage charm of the house, I like the milk glass look of these.  I went to a vintage/flea market thing this morning and managed to only walk away with a milk glass bud vase to put on the counter.