Monthly Archives: June 2020

1 Glass of Wine Deep. Let’s Talk.

It’s Sunday – blog day – and I’m sitting here at my dining room table unsure what to write about because while it’s easy to just list out the things I’ve done this week…there is more pressing issues circling around in my mind. I’ll get to it.

It’s been a nice weekend; I finished all of my school work yesterday, making today a 100% goof-off day! I was to go to Cambridge to visit my parents but Theresa had a stomach bug and Emma had a head cold. While I do not have symptoms of either, I gave my mom the option and she said we’d get together another time. (She is still undergoing cancer treatment and will for the rest of her life.) It was a bummer but I respect her decision. So, I went to my sister’s instead to deliver some seedlings and to go for a walk.

I haven’t spent time with just my sister in forever and while I could’ve talked all day, I had tasks to come back home to. Namely, putting new tire tubes on my bike. Last weekend my front tire gave up so I ordered two more, as well as a new tire pump because it died the very same day as the tube did! All week long I was bike-less – it was depressing. Getting lost on my bicycle is one of my favorite things to do.

On to the more serious things on my mind, I’ve been thinking a lot about the protests going on and Black Lives Matter movement, in general. I am going to be honest and vulnerable here – I feel useless. I don’t know what to do or how to make a difference. I don’t know how to show my support or how to be a real ally. I want police officers to be held accountable for their excessive force in the treatment of black people; I want everyone to be held to the same standards. As in, a white person shouldn’t get a slap on the wrist for something that would send a black person to jail. I’ve been pretty silent about my feelings on social media because I question the effectiveness of re-posting information. If one is just sharing content related to the same, is that considered lazy activism? Is it considered lip service? Does it really raise awareness? If you are black, please chime in and help educate me. I am listening; I want to learn. How can I support you in a way that makes a real difference?

My brain is now mush. I am pretty much done with my 2nd week of school.

I just finished week 2’s assignments. Yesterday I dedicated to Interpersonal Communications and between the reviewing of notes, discussion board posts and responses, and my actual assignment…it was about 4 hours of me sitting at my picnic table on my patio. Thankfully I was in the shade because it’s hot as shit out here in the capital region of NY. I am also thankful that I did the reading on Wednesday, immediately prior to my seminar. It made me feel like I had less work to do on the weekend.

Today was all about Ethics. I had one more chapter to read (I read the first one just prior to my seminar on Thursday night), discussion board posts and responses, a quiz, and an assignment. This took me 2.5-3 hours today. My brain is absolute mush; I don’t have it in me to answer responses to my discussion board postings today. I will have to save it for tomorrow when I am fresh.

I am enjoying the challenge but I’m glad the bulk of the school work is over for this unit. While I am not required to respond to people’s replies to my posts, I like to because not only do I enjoy reading what my classmates have to say, but their viewpoints may challenge mine. It’s cool because we can play devil’s advocate to one another but it’s not in a way that feels confrontational or rude. Everyone seems very respectful of one another and their viewpoints.

The first time I went to college I didn’t care about it. I don’t remember actually trying ~ some kids need a gap year in between high school and college and I could very well have benefited from that. Either way, now that I’m an adult going back to school, you can be damned sure I’m going to get what I pay for.

I’m looking forward to this week – mainly tomorrow. After work my wife, kids and I are going to go kayaking as soon as I get home. There was no kayaking done this weekend; yesterday didn’t turn out as planned and today’s Father’s Day and we are trying to coordinate seeing both of our families. There’s just not enough time with all of that to get the boats out even today.

I’ve been feeling extra, extra tired lately and I’m not really sure why. I don’t necessarily feel stressed – as I mentioned in a prior entry – the first three days of school I was a hot damned mess but have since gotten over it. It could be the heat, it could be the mental gymnastics of school. It could also be that my exercise routine has yet to be settled into my new school routine. Not to mention, my bicycle is currently out of commission. I had to order two new tubes because my front one had a hole in it. I used the Peloton this morning but there’s no substitute for fresh air and a real bicycle when the weather’s cooperating.

Whelp, so much for a schedule!

I previously indicated I would be writing on Sundays and, although I had it on my to-do, the day went by and I didn’t blog! By the time I remembered I was snuggled up in bed.

Last week was my first week of college! It was super stressful; I spent a lot of time Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday feeling like I had pinching bugs inside of my stomach. I cried a few times. I told my wife I would likely end up quitting because how do people further their education while working full time and having a full life?

Then Friday hit me and I realized I was doing okay. I had gotten through my two weekly seminars, met my instructors and my classmates. Yes, the reading will be tough to manage but I legit do have every weekend to get it done. So even if the weekdays end up being crazy on occasion, I have weekend time to do the work.

Part of my anxiety is the fact that I don’t remember how to be a student, especially one taking all classes online. I have discussion boards, virtual books, and dropboxes for assignments. I had bought two pretty notebooks for my courses and realized – shit, I don’t know how to take effective notes. I take notes at work in my own version of shorthand but that doesn’t translate well into my class work.

So, I made some decisions:

1) I am going to take my notes on my computer via a Google sheet so that I can access it anywhere and reorganize the information based on its relevance after I am done with the reading;

2) I rented my books from Amazon so TONIGHT I will have both of my books in hand. Perfect timing to start my second unit! By having the actual books, I am saving myself from staring at a computer screen because I do that all day long. Sure, I will be taking notes on a computer, but I won’t be reading FROM it the entire time. Also it’s easier for me to mark where I left off in a real book and to see charts and figures in the right order. On my phone and computer things were a bit disjointed and if I clicked a link it was challenging for me to make my way back to the original text. While my virtual books are included in my tuition, for under $100 I am saving myself the stress of being tied to an electronic device. Feels like a win.

Yesterday I finished all of my reading and discussion boards and I felt PUMPED about it. I felt like “Okay, I can see how people can do this…” instead of focusing on the reasons why I felt I couldn’t. I had time to craft, pick up, take a nap, and kayak both days this weekend. I’m blessed.

I took quite a few pictures of our adventures on the water this weekend but this one is my very favorite. It’s peaceful. There was no one else out at this time – just me and my wife. It was chilly but I was bundled up and was pretty comfortable. Being out on the water made me feel like I was taking another step back to me. I used to kayak frequently and life changed and I had other things to keep me busy. It’s amazing to get back to it.

The above picture is from the Mohawk River right by the Rexford Bridge. Niskayuna, New York.

The music that’s taking me back to Cringetown.

Music has a way of carrying me back sometimes. Today’s choice is from Paul Oakenfold’s Bunkka album – “Zoo York”. Back when I first heard this song, I had a boyfriend who was pretty snobby and I was desperate to fit in with him and his friends. His friends were (and probably still are) great people though; it was just him that lacked substance.

This song reminds me of that time. Being an unsophisticated 22/23 year old, feeling like I was seeing adulthood for the first time. It reminds me of drinking too many cosmopolitans (because that’s what one of the girlfriends drank and I wanted to be just like her) shopping, and strained family relationships. Reminds me of sadness and arguments. It reminds me about how I’ve never really fit in anywhere I’ve been and when that relationship ended, how I fell into darkness for years and then pulled myself out. I didn’t treat myself well because I didn’t realize I deserved the best. That took me until my 30’s to figure out.

What can I say, I’m a late bloomer. Better than not blooming at all.

Yet – I am choosing to stream the Paul Oakenfold channel today because I did grow to enjoy the ease of his music over the years. Plus, I like reminders of where I’ve come from because it makes where I am that much sweeter.