Monday, September 20, 2010

Great weekend, long week ahead.

Gourds at the Farmer's Market in Two Harbors, MN.

 Cavan and I went to Duluth this weekend. Even though I was (and still am) feeling under the weather, it was an incredible weekend. The hotel was pretty crumby, but it was really nice to have that space to just relax and regroup. It was so great to have nothing to do except eat and rest and be with Cavan.

It's been a while since we spent that kind of quality time together. The last few weekends have been hectic and our Sundays have to include grocery shopping and chores because we have no time to do them any other day of the week. Very little time for relaxing.

The North Shore was beautiful. Friday night we spent getting dinner and relaxing in the hotel. Cavan and I watched quite a bit of TV during our off-times, but it was totally enjoyable. That cable just sucked me in for a while and we watched a ton of wedding and HGTV shows. Cavan humored me all weekend. He seemed to enjoy it, too, but I think he just really liked being alone with me in a completely relaxing atmosphere. When I asked him yesterday what his favorite part was, he said it was spending 48 uninterrupted hours with me. I have to say that was my favorite part, too.

Saturday we woke up and went to breakfast at The Sunshine Cafe in West Duluth. The cafe is run by a very welcoming Korean woman, who treated me like I was family. It was cash only, so Cavan had to get up before we ordered to go to an atm close by. The owner asked if I liked cats and brought me "The Cat Encyclopedia" to keep me company while Cavan was gone for money. ha. I thought it was really cute and the omelet I had was delicious, too.

After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to shower and rest a bit. I really wanted to take a bath while we were in a place that I could, and even though the bathtub was pretty leaky, I was able to take a bit of a bath. When we were ready to go, we walked down to the nearby Starbucks and got some coffee for our little drive up the coast of Superior. We took the scenic route and stopped a few times with no real time limit and no real destination. I took some pictures and really just enjoyed the drive with Cavan. We made it up to Gooseberry Falls and did a little bit of a walk through the trails. We were hardly the only people there, which made it a little less enjoyable, but it was a beautiful day for a walk and the colors were just beginning to be impressive. The drive back to Duluth only took about a half an hour to 45 minutes, so we relaxed and hung out for a bit once we got there.

Saturday night we went out to Superior, Wisconsin for dinner and some drinks. Ryley recommended The Thirsty Pagan Brewery Company for beer and pizza, and that sounded welcome to us. The pizza was yummy and the beer was great. After The Thirsty Pagan, we hit up the Anchor Bar (which Cavan had been talking about pretty much since we started dating). It was yummy and cheap, but we were ready to get comfortable for the night, so we only had a drink each.

The only unfortunate thing about our trip was the really bad quality of sleep we both got both nights. I only wish we could have been more comfortable in our hotel room. Especially since it was supposedly a 3 1/2 star hotel.

Sunday morning we got up and got coffee. We took our time getting in the shower and packing up-- the only goal was to be out of there by noon which was checkout time. It was nice having a lazy morning with my partner. We don't get to do that too much anymore. Before we got on the road, we hit up the Duluth Grille and it was awesome. Little bit of a wait time and the hostess was slightly unintelligent, but the food was sustainably sourced, a lot of it was organic, and perfectly portioned, so I couldn't complain.

The drive home was a bit long, but it was good to spend that time with Cav. We got home at 3ish and Cavan got to watch some football while I rested a bit. I went alone to grocery shop, as requested by Cavan due to his not feeling so great, and we were able to get into bed by 930. I was out by 10 and up for work by 545.

Time to start a new week! We'll see if it's even close to as nice as my weekend with my Cavan was.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sometimes you just don't feel it the way you should.

My grandmother died today. Just about an hour ago. Just about three miles away from where I sit. It pains me to say that I don't feel anything. I almost started to cry about fifteen minutes ago thinking about my dad and the pain that he's probably going through right now.

I never really had a relationship with my grandma. She was a wonderful woman, and gave her heart and love to a lot of people. I grew up 1500 miles away and felt a little bit like a forgotten grandchild. I always felt that my sister got the bulk of the attention she gave to us Albuquerque kids, and I am probably still a little resentful about it. Her mind started going south more than five years ago. I kinda thought that it didn't make much of a difference to me because she wouldn't have remembered me even if she had still been as sharp as a tack. Obviously, that was a silly tongue in cheek way of looking at it, but I always felt like an outsider.

I don't feel sorry for myself anymore. I kinda stopped doing that when I was 7 or 8. Maybe it was my imagination that I was slighted by her, but it has stuck with me no matter the reason.

When my dad called to let me know that his mother was dying, I don't even think I heard the grief in his voice. I think she had passed away for him the first time she didn't remember who he was. I can't say I blame him-- it take a lot of energy to process loss from 1500 miles away. I suppose it could have just been shock. Even though she hasn't really been around for years, it can be a lot to bear when told that the woman that gave you life is no longer living.

I tried for a second to put myself in his shoes and think about what I would feel if given the same news. I couldn't even go there-- just too painful.

My grandmother was one of the strongest women I've heard about. Her husband, my grandfather, killed himself when my father was just an infant, and she raised seven children all by herself. She buried one of them after he was killed in an accident. She stayed a loyal Christian throughout her life, and I suspect that her faith was what really gave her strength through the hardest times of her life.

I am proud to say that I come from such sturdy stock, even if the news of her death didn't make me cry.

Rest in Peace, Grandma Ifron. You deserve nothing but everything you wanted.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One day at a time

My whole life I've been a stresser. I stress about everything. I stress if there might not be enough toothpaste to finish off the week. I stress if I haven't talked to my mom in too long and she might think I'm avoiding her. I can't help it, and I try to work on it every day.

Since people started noticing my stress issues, they have been telling me to take it one day at a time. It really never made sense to me. I had to look big picture, small picture, and in-between picture, which resulted in, you-guessed-it, STRESS! As I get older, I'm starting to notice the heath effects. I have clenched and grinded my teeth each night since high school which has resulted in the moving of my teeth and jaw, tightening of my jaw muscles, and difficulty eating. My blood-pressure is far higher than it should be for a VERY healthy 22 year old woman. So that's my stress story in a nutshell. I try to manage it by working out, by relaxing, blah blah. Nothin works.

Now for the reason I'm writing this entry. I'm really trying my best to not let this job stress me out. I'm trying to finally take it one day at a time and trust that Cavan really means it when he says that he will help me no matter what I need (aka money). I'm beginning to trust my support system and realize that it's not the end of the world if everything doesn't go my way. As I grow up a little, I realize that sometimes the best things happen when everything is seemingly going wrong.

A year ago today, I resolutely left Portland to come to Minnesota and live with Cavan and "get a job." I did something heroic (for me)-- I quit my job (that I hated) without having another lined up, and I left. I went where I felt my heart leading me, and I didn't double and triple check that all of my safety nets were in place before I jumped. Granted, things were hard. Really hard. They're still far, far, far from easy. I'm struggling every day for money. After student loans, rent, groceries, and gas, I have almost zero spending or saving cash. Cavan really picks up the slack and treats us to dinner or a bottle of wine at least once a week, but only since he's gotten full time at the MLC can I really allow him to treat me without worrying about it. We're going to Duluth next weekend for a little mini-vacation and I almost feel like it's a new chapter starting, or the celebration of our hugely successful last chapter.

I have a lot of time here to think about things. To be honest, a lot of times I'm not the most productive worker. I've had so many great ideas, but I'm having a little bit of an issue really getting all of the emails out and researching all of the places that I need to contact and keeping track of what has been done, what I'm doing, and what still needs to be done. I do a lot of reflecting, so I'm never really bored. I have realized, though, since I've been here that I do oh-so-much better when I have specific tasks to focus on and complete. It's just the person I am and the person I've always been. It just so happens that here at this job, I'm really only responsible for completing ambiguous and tenuous things throughout the year and I don't have a ton of tasks that I can think about completing. I need to figure out the best way of setting small goals for myself and tackling them to feel a sense of accomplishment and therefore motivation throughout the day. 

I am going to try to get this part of my life in check. It's one of my goals for this year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Constant Struggle

This morning I feel the need to write to get into the right mode for the day. Katie is twenty minutes late, so I have a little time to collect myself before having to socialize and plan for the day.

Friday with my students was awesome. I was excited to meet them and even more excited that there were students that I didn't interview that were there to be in my class. Yesterday was a little bit of a different story. It wasn't bad, per se, but just more of a reality check, I think. They acted like 7, 8, and 9th graders. They giggled and talked and were dramatically not interested in me or anything I had to say. There is also a lingering failure that I don't have even close to 25 students. I think there will be 16 on a good day. 25 is a lot. I don't know, I just feel a little bit like it's a failure on my part, even though I did everything I could to make sure that I had a great list. It was also really hard to round up the students on the first day to interview them. A few of the girls that seemed really excited to be in cohort I either lost to cheerleading or to reading or math intervention classes.

I don't really have all that much responsibility in this job. To be honest, if nothing gets done, it won't be my head. I'll still get paid and I'll still get to put it on my resume. But I don't really want it to happen that way. I actually would really like to get a ton out of this job, and get the most experience doing the most amount of things that I thought I would.

I just really want to love this job. I want to adore it, I want it to be the most fun I've ever had. I want the tiny paychecks to not bother me, because I want to just kick this job's ass and really love my life because of it.

At least I don't have a lot of work to do in my personal life to be happy. Cavan and I are the happiest we've ever been, and I have to say that the fact that we don't spend much time together during the week makes the time that we have off together that much more special. I am so happy to have him as a partner, that I hope I can make it through anything as long as he's on my side.