Category Archives: vacation all i ever wanted

.i’m okay, you’re okay.

Well, hello.  Long time no see.

About a year ago, I was talking to my mom about what I had been like as a child.  What did she remember about me?  Did she think I was generally a good kid?  Was I tough to parent?  She thought for a few seconds, and then said, “What I remember about you is that you were always much harder on yourself than we ever were on you.  That’s the kind of kid you were – you’d get a B on a test, and when we’d congratulate you, you’d burst into tears because you weren’t satisfied with a B.  With you, it always had to be an A.”

Here’s the thing about having a blog – when I ignore it for a while, I feel guilty.  I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do.  And then blogging becomes this thing that I should be doing, a chore, instead of something that I do simply because I want to.  This, of course, leads me to… ignore it even more.  All of which is ridiculous, I know, because it’s not like I have all that many readers in the first place, and the ones I have are mostly friends who couldn’t care less whether or not I’m regularly updating my blog.  But it doesn’t matter.  I started this blog to keep a record of what was going on in my life, because I have a terrible memory and I’d like to be able to look back and see what was going on at various times.  So I’m not satisfied unless I’m doing it often, because I set a goal for myself, dammit, and I’d like to see it through.

This tendency to have high expectations for myself isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  For instance, it pushes me to work hard and distinguish myself at work.  It motivates me to write and re-write and revise and write some more, even on days when I don’t feel like writing.  This characteristic is why I get shit done, and I can recognize that that’s a good thing.

The problem is, I’ve been wielding this aspect of my character like a mallet, when it’s really best handled with laser precision.  I’ve been demanding perfection from myself in everything, even things that don’t matter very much (such as, yes, whether or not I post regularly on my blog).  But it’s not just that.  I’ve been beating myself up recently over the fact that I don’t have more hobbies, don’t have more friends, don’t have a cleaner house, don’t have my debt paid down.  That I’m not more successful, more motivated.  That I haven’t published a book or learned Spanish.  That I don’t network.  That I haven’t done, well, anything of note in my life.  That I’m not the best at anything.  That I haven’t distinguished myself at anything that matters.

I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test a few months ago and came up an INFJ, which could not be more right-on.  (For those of you whose Myers-Briggs-speak is a bit rusty, INFJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging).  Here’s a pretty relevant part of the description of your average INFJ: “INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves – there’s always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don’t often take time to revel in their accomplishments.”

Huh.  Y’don’t say.

So.  In light of the guilt, and my recognition that it’s so often unnecessary… I’m going to try something new.  I’m going to try and use my own high expectations for myself like a laser instead of a mallet.  I’m going to give myself the freedom to be imperfect.

I’m going to give myself permission to be tired and overwhelmed sometimes.  I’m going to let myself sleep in on a Saturday without tempering my enjoyment with guilt.  I’m going to cut myself some slack on the hobbies, the friends, the debt – or at least from feeling like I need to address them all at once.  I can try and work on a few things at a time.  Everything does not have to be running at 100% for me to be okay, be accomplished, be a worthwhile human being.

I’m going to try and use my perfectionism to my benefit, instead of letting it guilt me into inaction.  Turn it on a few things that really matter and motivate myself to work hard and well at some things, rather than shining a giant, judgmental spotlight onto my whole life and berating myself for coming up short.

So yeah, I haven’t blogged in a while.  It hasn’t been a priority.  And that’s okay.  I’ll try and write more often, because I really would like to have a record of what I’m doing.  But if I don’t, I don’t.  AND THAT’S OKAY.

So, with the navel-gazing portion of this post over – on to the actual what-when-where that I intended in the first place.

Not that I need an excuse after everything I just said, but part of the reason I haven’t blogged in a while is that things have been so effing busy!  Mostly in a good way.  I’ve been working late basically every night for the last couple of months, banking credit hours which I can then use to take days off when we have guests.  And oh, have we had guests.

First, Finn’s parents came into town for a week at the end of April.  (I had just purchased a new camera, so brace yourselves for an illustrated post.)

We hitched Ophelia onto her leash and let her out onto the porch to play.  Finn’s parents were a bit dubious of her at first, but she really grew on them.

Ophelia, checking out birds in the rafters of our porch

The weather was gorgeous while they were here, so we went on lots of walks.  Before they left we threw them a big party so they could meet some of our friends, including Finn’s midwifery partner, her husband, and their FOUR BOYS under the age of NINE.  (Great, great, wonderful, adorable kids, and absolutely insane.)

View from the porch, where most of the party happened – photo by one of the 4boysunder9, all of whom wanted a turn with the camera


This is the table at the party, loaded down with food.  Please note that when I say we threw a party, I mean that Finn’s dad, who is an AMAZING cook, cooked us a ton of food, which we promptly snarfed.

A few days after her parents left, Finn’s friend Gina and her 2 year old Chester came for the weekend.  I won’t put pics of them up, because that seems weird, but we had a good time.  I re-discovered that toddlers love me.

The weekend after Gina left, Olive came into town for a few days.  She was doing her final pre-ordination meetings and vote before she becomes ordained as a minister in the UCC church.  It all went well, and so she’s getting ordained in 2 weeks! I’m so thrilled for her.

The day after Olive left, Finn’s brother and sister-in-law and our niece came to visit from Hawaii.  They were here for about 7 days, and I was able to use up 3 days worth of the credit hours I’d been saving up at work to hang out and play with them in the middle of the week.  We went on lots of walks, visited the Children’s Museum, went window-shopping on the main street in our lil neighborhood, hung out at the pond near our house, and spent quite a bit of time at the playground down the street.

Learning about tools at the Children’s Museum


Finn’s brother and the kiddo at the pond

This weekend, we have no guests and no responsibilities.  We’re probably going to the beach tomorrow, and then out to dinner with some friends.  Oh, and later this week we’re going to a baseball game, which is pretty rad.

Next weekend I’m off to a funeral for my aunt, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last week.  I’m still not really ready to talk about that.  The weekend after that, Olive is getting ordained, and she and her sig other, KC, are staying with us for the week.  Then the weekend after THAT, my brother and his girlfriend are coming into town for a week.  Annnnnd that gets us til the end of June!  Phew.

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.and from the beginning the fight we were winning.

There are so many things to be thankful for this year.

I spent today at my great aunt’s house, as usual, surrounded by laughing family and friends.  I took 1000 pictures and drank a lot of champagne and ate more food than any one person should eat.  And I just kept looking around at everyone, happy and healthy and so thrilled to be together, and thinking:

I am so lucky.  I am just so, so fucking lucky.

I don’t think that often enough, but it’s true.  Thanksgiving always makes me reflect on my first-world privilege and the thousand ways that I’ve been handed gifts that I never had to earn.  (Which is a long post in and of itself, but it’s late and I’m exhausted, so I’ll spare you the entirety of my reflections.  Suffice to say, I am humbled and grateful.)

(And this time next week, I will be snuggling up to Finn for the second night in a row – something I haven’t gotten to say for 10 weeks.  So not only am I lucky, but well-loved.  Again: humbled.  Grateful.)

Also on the List of Things for Which I am Thankful: memories of a relaxing and in all ways wonderful weekend with Rev in DC, where I got to take over her guest room and play with her puppy and hang with her lady and her sister (both of whom I adore) and spend some sorely missed QT with Rala.  I also got to spend most of a day with Grant, living it up at the Spy Museum and the Holocaust Museum – where yes, I cried – and just having fun hanging out with him somewhere other than our usual city.  And, best of all, I got to be there for Rev’s actual BIRTHDAY, a feat which I don’t think I managed to accomplish in the entire 8 years we’ve known one another.  For the record, it was all it was cracked up to be.

So, like I said.  A lot to be thankful for.

Happy thanksgiving, friends.

**[By the by, I took the name of this post from one of my favorite childhood Thanksgiving hymns, We Gather Together.  This line always rocked my little-kid-face off, and I used to sing it at the top of my lungs.  I guess I really liked the idea of being on the right side of a fight.  Still do, actually.  Lyrics here, if you’re interested.]

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.my arm hurts.

4 days ago I went to the doctor and had blood drawn.  It didn’t hurt when the guy actually put the needle in and drew the blood, but about a minute after he was done my arm seized up and started REALLY hurting.  I’m kind of a wimp, so this made me lightheaded and stressed that I wouldn’t be able to drive home, but after sitting outside my car with my head between my knees for about 20 minutes, I was okay – just couldn’t use my right arm.  My muscles were weak and it hurt to even move it.  I’m not sure why I didn’t go back in and talk to the doctor about it, but it seemed like something that would pass.

Four days later and it’s still aching, like, wake me up in the middle of the night aching.  Grr.  Finn says, based on my bruise and the pain, that the guy must have both blown my vein and hit a nerve or a tendon in the process.  This, I have discovered, does not make for a very happy pom.  In fact, it makes for kind of a grumpy, wince-y pom.

So that’s this weekend’s news.  Also, I saw A Serious Man last night with Cali and some folks.  No one I was there with liked it much, but I thought it was pretty good.  Dark, kinda depressing, but in a funny way.  (I mean, it is the Coen brothers.)  The very last image of the movie was really striking, hit on a very kind of primal fear, so I think that at least is going to stick with me for a while.

Before the movie we had dinner, where I managed not only to learn what curling is (i.e. one of the funniest sports I’ve ever seen…  the brooms, are you kidding me?) but to impress people with my extensive knowledge of both Twilight and Miley Cyrus.  It’s amazing the things that seep into your consciousness while you aren’t looking.  (Though, to be fair, I did make the choice to read all of the Twilight books, but I stand by that decision as it has afforded me the ability to critique the shit out of it using ACTUAL examples instead of the more common I-hate-what-teenyboppers-love critique heard elsewhere.  Also, they’re incredibly easy to read.)

Today was gorgeous.  I had brunch with QS and I’m kind of regretting that we didn’t sit outside on one of the very last nice days before our long New England winter hits.  I had this vague idea that we might go for a walk, but instead we went to my place and watched several episodes of Buffy.  We finished season 5, in fact.  Crazy.  (It was pointed out to me, yesterday, by Cali, that I am kind of dating Buffy in Finn’s absence.  I figure if a fictional vampire slayer is all she has to worry about, we’re doing okay.)  :)

Anyway.  Wish I’d been outside more, but we did have the windows open, so…

Oh!  The weekend’s other news is that after purchasing many (many) plane and train tickets, I am officially going to DC for Rev’s birthday, then to Philly for Thanksgiving, and down south for Christmas.  Grant – who’s in DC doing an internship at the moment, coincidentally enough – and I already have plans to take a ton of ridiculous pictures.  This has renewed my lust for a particular  camera I have my eye on but probably wouldn’t use enough to warrant buying it, sigh.  (Something you may or may not know about me: I have a tendency to lust after strange things sometimes – these are another current fascination – and if the lustiness lasts long enough, I end up caving and buying.  Hence, these, which are, I must say, awesome.)

Okay, I’m babbling.  I should go figure out dinner.  Which, by the by, I have been successfully cooking!  I’m no chef, but I’ve got some staples down and my kitchen confidence is up.  So far so good.

Off I go!

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.home again home again.

OR,

Some Random Thoughts:

  • We’re back from Hawaii!  We had a fantastic time staying with Finn’s brother and sister-in-law and our baby niece (who, at a year old, perhaps can’t really be called a baby anymore, but…)  There was lots of beach and pool time, as well as a lot of cooking and eating and listening to music and hanging out and babysitting and family time.  We also learned pretty much every word to Ziggy Marley’s children’s album, to which the beebs is mildly addicted, and discovered that playing the Ting Tings on repeat and dancing with her is the only foolproof way to get her to nap when her Aunties are babysitting.  :)

Ziggy, playing my favorite song at the White House Easter Egg Roll

IMG_0504

Me squinting into the sun, as Finn attemps to make the picture Facebook-Inappropriate

(And yes, I’m still that pale, even after all the beach time)

  • Current addiction of the moment: Buffy.  Why didn’t I listen to everyone who told me that this series was amazing and I HAD to watch it like NOW???  It’s so cheesy and ridiculous, but also deals well with some pretty heavy stuff – I laugh, I cry, I oogle Sarah Michelle Gellar lookin’ good killin’ demons.  Aaaaand I may have just purchased the entire series off ebay despite the fact that I have no money.  I’m only halfway through Season 3 – and I will dropkick anyone who tries to give anything more away than what I’ve already picked up simply from having similarly-obsessed friends – but I can already tell this is one of those shows that’s going to go into heavy rotation on the DVD-as-TV lineup.  See also: Scrubs, Sex and the City, Arrested Development.  (Side note: my context for SMG all these years hasn’t been as Buffy, but as Kendall Hart on All My Children – yes, the ABC soap – to which I was addicted in middle school.  Apparently she manages to worm her way into several of my addictions.  Could that be because she’s AWESOME?  Is it apparent yet that I am nursing a major Buffy-crush?  Yes?  Good.)  Anyway, my advice: watch it.  Like NOW.
  • Calling all foodies: I want to learn to cook.  For those of you who don’t know me personally, this is kind of an epic statement.  As in, perhaps I should state it again in bold: I, pomegranate, want to learn to cook.  Please understand, I hate hate HATE cooking – I never do it, and, thanks to the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to have a series of girlfriends/roommates who enjoy cooking, I’ve never really had to.  But Finn is going out of town for 2 months beginning on Monday, so my options at this point seem to be cook, starve, or microwave everything.  For 2 months.  Bleh.  The former seems the only realistic option, and I suppose unemployment will ensure that I have plenty of time to look up recipes and try and make it work.  So.  If you have any recipes that are easy-for-beginners and delicious, consider this a polite solicitation of said recipes!  Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments or email me at pomegranateinkpen [at] gmail [dot] com.  No particular dietary restrictions, other than the fact that my stomach doesn’t particularly appreciate very spicy foods.  Whee!
  • Yes, you read that correctly, Finn is going out of town for two (2) MONTHS on Monday.  She’s off to do a baby-catching internship – a really amazing opportunity for her – that happens to be thousands of miles from here.  2,398 to be exact, not that I’m counting.  I am really thrilled for her that she has the opportunity, and she’s going to come back having learned so much and having had some really amazing experiences, but I’m still super bummed about the 2 months apart.  We’re going to Skype a lot, and we’ve got some plans in place to try and stay connected, and I know 2 months isn’t really that long in the grand scheme of things, but… particularly while unemployed, I think it’s going to feel like a long time.
  • I’ve decided to spend this time of unemployment getting back to some things I used to do often and lost somewhere along the way.  Like spending quiet time alone.  Like going on long walks.  And, most especially, like writing.  My soon-to-be-sister-in-law – that is, Finn’s sister-in-law – and I both love writing and don’t do it enough, so we cooked up a little plan to work together on goal-setting and holding one another accountable.  Of course, I’m unemployed and she has a 14 month old and a job, so obviously we’re going to be setting different goals, but I’m really excited about getting back to my Writing Self and dedicating some real time to her.  (This blog, I should note, is not really a place for my Writing Self.  I write here more like I would write in an email – I’m not exactly sure why, but this has never really felt like the kind of space where I can be creative as opposed to just journaling thoughts and events.  Well, I suppose I’ve thrown in the occasional poem or two, but overall that’s not really what this blog has turned out to be for me.  So it’ll be good to create a place for that part of me to live.)
  • It’s 2:30pm and I’m jet lagged and still in my jammies and definitely have errands to run.  So, off I go.

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Filed under budding foodie, Finn, girlcrush, lightning and a lightning bug, new leaf, sunshine, the beauty of the in-between, The Fam, vacation all i ever wanted, vidjas

.ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

Apologies if this post ends up being erratic and/or making no sense – I’m doped up on percocet but figured I’d give the blog thing a go anyway.

So.  Where were we before I fell off the face of the planet?  It felt for a while there that everything was floating around and no decisions were ever going to be made about all the things I was waiting on, but I’ve finally got some concrete plans!  First, I was finally given my official layoff notice, which was actually rather anti-climatic considering I’d known it was coming for so long.  That said, I found out that my employer is going to cover the cost of my health insurance premiums for 2 full months after I leave, which I had no idea would happen, so at least that’s a little of the weight off.

Second, I had a job interview a few days ago.  I can’t say too much about it, but I walked out feeling like it went well and I at least knew I did my best.  From there, we’ll see if I happen to be what they’re looking for.

…I just fell asleep at my keyboard.  Good drugs.

Right, so, I am feeling good on the job search front thus far, but of course there are always so many factors that go into why an employer hires one person instead of another (or in this case, one person instead of any one of the other 400 applicants) so I’m trying to get myself into headspace where I won’t beat myself up over not getting it if I don’t.

Third, Finn and I are officially moving at the end of this month.  We are super excited, our new apartment is very close to the city, public transportation, and our friends.  Living in the ‘burbs for a year was nice, and I think it was good for Finn to see that she wouldn’t end up killing herself out here.  There are definitely some things I’m going to miss, like the awesome library 5 minutes away and having a yard (even though we didn’t really use it, since the weather has been so rainy/muggy all summer) and a driveway (no fighting over on-street parking!) and a garage (no shoveling snow off the car!) but like I said, the new place is gorgeous and convenient and overall I’m really excited to be back in the city.  It’s also cheaper (not the rent itself, which is the same, but heating and cooling will be cheaper, we won’t have to pay for yardwork, we won’t have to take our own trash to the dump, we won’t have to shovel our own driveway, etc. – saving us money and time).  Plus, Cali is moving back so she’ll be right around the corner!

I had my wisdom teeth out this morning.  I had been ridiculously nervous about the process – I am not one for letting go of control, so the idea of getting drugs that were going to make me so loopy that I wouldn’t mind that I was having 4 teeth ripped out of my head scared me more than the actual procedure itself.  (Though it didn’t help that people kept telling me horror stories either – what’s up with that, people?  So uncool.)  But it went fine, I actually LOVED the drugs, and I just dozed and listened to my ipod (“teethout mix”) while he was doing his thing.  The groggy, bloody aftermath wasn’t so fun, but once I got home and Finn tucked me in, drugged me, and made sure I was covered in ice, things improved.  I proceeded to sleep through 3 movies, and now I’m actually feeling close to human (though still resembling a hamster, no worries).

Oh dear, I think I’m rambling.

When I add up everything that has/had to be done this month, it’s a little overwhelming: I have to get all of my cases at work ready to transfer to other attorneys and do all the million other closing-out things that need to be done when one leaves a job; I have to go on interviews and really get into the job search process; I have to pack up the whole house (and may I add that Finn is out of town at school for 2 weeks this month, so who do you think is going to be doing most of the packing??) and move into the new place; and I had to have a scary chimpunk-face-transplant surgery.  Maybe it’s more than the drugs making me so tired right now.

I wish I were still at the beach.  That trip deserves a proper post of its own, really.  I had so much fun, it was so awesome to see Rev’s place, meet her pup, and traipse around DC with her, and then road trip down to the beach.  There I turned slightly more flesh-colored (didn’t even burn much – score!) and got to hang with the family (and especially with my brother’s girlfriend’s son, who’s 3 and LOVES me) and spend quality time with everyone.  I slept and lounged, read, played on the beach, ate about 3 times more than I normally do of heavy, greasy, delicious southern foods, and really just quite enjoyed myself.  Told my siblings about the engagement and they were thrilled, which was sweet.

Seriously rambling.  I can’t think of a way to end this and I’m feeling too woozy to bother reading it over.  Oh, wait, here’s a good way to end – this applies both to my whining about my teeth hurting and also about the million things I have to do this month.  As my Grandma would say:

deal, dammit

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.26 is the new something.

I turned 26 on the 4th.

Here’s hoping 26 is the new 25, because I LOVED being 25.  At 25 I passed the bar, got my first real job, and got engaged.  I also moved, went on trips, learned a lot, continued to settle in with Finn, and started this blog.  Any way I measure it, it was a fantastic year.

My birthday was pretty wonderful.  Finn was at a birth the whole time – this is the 2nd year in a row she’s missed my birthday – which was of course disappointing.  (She has promised me that she will NOT be on call on my birthday next year.  Sweet.)  But Gem threw me a fabulous party at her house, and there were lots of people there and lots of drinking and singing and playing Rock Band and grilling out and running around and funtimes.  I had wayyyyy too much of a delicious Southeast Asian sangria followed by a not-small amount of champagne with blueberries.  Luckily there was also so much food that despite the fact that I drank what felt like a few bathtubs full of alcohol, I managed to stay upright (and no hangover the next day – always a plus.)

pomegranate birthday

moment of reflection upon turning 26

:photo by QS:

Because of the drinking (&etc.), the whole night is this slightly incoherent joy-filled blur: the soft fizzle of fireworks that we could hear but not see; a Michael Jackson singalong; Gem and I standing, arms wrapped around one another, swaying; talking to my family, none of whom were even remotely convinced by my fairly pathetic attempt to play sober; the smell of charcoal; chocolate cake; a circle of laughing, singing people illuminated by candlelight.  It was a good birthday.

Sunday Finn and K & J and I went to the beach.  It was so beautiful, and Finn and I decided then and there that we were going to Hawaii again this year, layoffs and expenses and crazy schedules be damned.  Her mom offered to buy her plane ticket, and we can stay with her brother, so the expense isn’t nearly as much as it might run us otherwise.  We bought our tickets last night, and I am over the moon.

Sunday also got me pumped for my week-long trip to the NC beach at the end of this month.  It’ll be the first time I’ll have been to my grandma’s place at the beach in several years.  I spent every summer of my childhood there, and it holds so many memories for me.  I can’t wait to sit out on her dock, watch my dad and brother fish, listen to the waves, fall asleep to the sound of crickets.  Nothing is more peaceful.  (I say that glossing over the fact, of course, that my family – all 6 of us – plus my brother’s girlfriend and her 3 year old son, plus any friends my sister might bring, plus, obviously, my grandma, are all going to be crammed into her teensy beach cottage for a week.  Ah well, what’s one bathroom between 10 friends?  I’m so excited.)

On another note: I am way too fair for all this beachiness.  IIIIIIIIII might need to invest in another SPF surf shirt.  Worth it!

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Filed under anticipation, Finn, Gem, love, memories, new leaf, QS, Rev, sunshine, the beauty of the in-between, vacation all i ever wanted

.oh, however.

I should note that I am not as bummed as I come across in that last post.

Sister is fully recovered, rockin’ her bikini despite the laproscopic incisions she received.  All is well with the world on that front.  And again, so so many thanks to everyone who sent good thoughts/prayers.  Seriously, that shit really works.

I am madly in love with Finn.

My supervisor at work is going to call one place where I’m applying to work – a job I think I’d be perfect for – to talk me up.  AND that job pays better than the one I have now.  (Though, honestly, most jobs do.  Ha.)

I leave for the beach in 3 weeks, and I’m working it out so that I’m flying to Rev and we’re going to road trip there together, as her family happens to be staying at the same beach the same week my family and I will be there.  Sweeeeeet.

So, there are good things too.  :)

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