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Burnout

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Discussing burnout really seems to be in vogue at the moment, and maybe that's part of why it's on my mind, but boy oh boy have I been feeling it lately.

In fact, this is the first time in a year and half I haven't had a post for the week ready for Sunday morning's publishing time. I'm writing this from my couch the night before this will go up, and I have no real idea of what is going to come out or where I'm going with this train of thought.

I have spent every single night over the last week working on something for our upcoming wedding, doing some type of life admin thing or working on either my house or John's house. And despite the fact that it's Saturday night and there's a full day of the weekend ahead of me, it feels like tomorrow will be more of a chore than a day off because we'll be out of the house for about twelve hours for Easter related get togethers. The most time I'll have to fill as I wish from now until next Sunday is now, and I'm here working on this.

We drove past a park this afternoon. It was 80 degrees with sunny skies and a light breeze, so it was packed with people tossing a ball around, having picnics, reading in the sun or kayaking on the lake. I could smell the charcoal grills and the grilled food through our open windows. At that moment I wanted nothing more in my life than to have an afternoon with nothing to do. No nagging thoughts of a to-do list longer than classic novels. No scheduled fun time squeezed in between projects. I just wanted to be living a life where things or events weren't my main priority and instead it was my main goal to just sit in a moment and soak it in.

It all sounds incredibly privileged and cliched, and it is, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it.

Obviously when a person is planning a wedding it tends to be a stressful time, and is even going to be a pretty low key one. Soon that will be over, and then hopefully John's house will be finished and will sell quickly and then all will be back to normal.

But I just know I'll immediately start in on some new project, because some part of me is apparently hardwired to think that if I'm not working on something I'm wasting precious time.

Thanks, industrious immigrant farmer ancestors.

Even when I'm not feeling stressed, I'm just always moving. Oftentimes I'll tell John I need to run upstairs to grab some scissors or something and he'll come find me 30 minutes later scrubbing a toilet after having vacuumed the rugs and rearranged a closet. I still wouldn't have managed to grab the scissors. Needless to say, I'm not always very good at sitting around and doing the nothingness I say I crave.

My desire to always be doing something is a bit of how this blog even got started. I just wanted something to do. But when does a hobby turn into a responsibility, a commitment to something rather than fun? I feel guilty for not having something more than this made for this week, and yet it really doesn't matter. I'm not doing this for anyone but me, I'm certainly not making any money, so why do I feel like this too is turning into a chore? Do I need to take a break? Should I give it up entirely or just put it away for a few weeks, or until things calm down a bit more?

All this has me thinking a lot about what I actually prioritize. Right now I would say that's my house, fitness, food, living a lower impact life, my style and beauty routines, traveling and reading. It doesn't seem like a long list, but when I hold it up to the image in my mind of a serene, lazy day at a park, it suddenly seems lengthy and even a bit frivolous. I feel like I have to let some of those things fall back into the background so I can actually have time to fill up my own cup. As an introvert, that time to do one thing I really like is absolutely key to me staying sane so I better figure something out quick.

This has all been a huge ramble, with no real point or structure, but if nothing else I hope it's made you take a second to think about your priorities as well. Anything you want to reevaluate in your world right now? Let's chat about it below. In the meantime, I'm off to go do a face mask and take a few deep breaths. See you next time!

2019 Travel Plans

Sunday, April 14, 2019
Some of you might see the title of this post and feel the urge to remind me that a quarter of this year has already gone by and that maybe I'm a bit late to the game. Fair point, but I've been pretty busy with wedding-related tasks and fixing up John's house so for me the travel year yet has yet to begin! After this slow start to the year travel-wise, I plan to squeezing in some quality exploration in the next coming months. So where am I headed?


 
London & Copenhagen: After much hemming and hawing, we finally decided on honeymoon locations. While we originally thought about going to Greece, we conceded that we were just too close to the dates we wanted to go to book a hotel that had what we wanted, and the remaining places were just too expensive for what they offered. So we shifted gears, and now we're going back to London together a little more than a year after our previous trip! After three visits and living there for a semester, it's safe to say I love the city and John really enjoyed it when we went last year as well, so we're going back for more. This time it has the added bonus of being one of the top cities in the world for vegan restaurants and you can safely bet that our list of things to do there is mostly just a list of restaurants. We also wanted to go somewhere new together, so we book ourselves some cheap Ryanair flights to Copenhagen for a couple nights as well. I'm counting down the days until I can wander the halls of the danish design museum and hit up the free wine hour at our hotel. But first we just have to do that small thing of actually getting married...
 

Seattle: In late July my whole family will be heading to the west coast for a long weekend in Seattle. My brother-in-law grew up in Seattle and his parents still live there so we'll be staying with them in the suburbs of the city. I've never been to Seattle before so I'm super excited to see the city with locals and have a nice homey place to return to each night. My sister has talked up the meals she eats with their family whenever she visits too so that definitely doesn't hurt. I need to start working on a temporary nickname for the weekend however, because my brother-in-law's mom is also named Rebecca! Suggestions welcome. 


Portugal: One of the benefits of having a retired mom that loves to travel is that she's subscribed to every cheap flight email notification a person can be and she reads them all almost as soon as they hit her inbox. My family has been talking about taking a trip ever since we realized that our last non-camping family trip was in 2012 😳so when she saw cheap flights to Portugal, a country none of us have been to before, with availability right around Thanksgiving, we leapt on it. We'll be there for a week, starting in Lisbon. We haven't planned anything yet, but I imagine we'll be staying in an Airbnb together, spending some time in Lisbon and maybe renting a car so we can see a little more of the country. I'm looking forward to traveling with my family, especially since we don't speak the language. Having a group takes a bit of the stress of traveling away. At least if you get lost you're lost together!


A Weekend Getaway?: I am thrilled to be going to as many places as I've listed so far, but I'm also eager to squeeze as much travel in as possible so I'm still contemplating a weekend getaway to somewhere close to home if possible. I need to make an IKEA run, so perhaps Kansas City (if they ever reopen I-29) or Minneapolis, where several aunts and one of my best friends live? Denver is always nice for some hiking, but then again John hasn't been to the Snowy Range, a family camping favorite, so perhaps a Wyoming trip is in order. Even just a quick little camping trip to a nearby state recreational center or lake would do. Where ever it is, I want to get out of Lincoln and Omaha and explore some new places!

What are your travel plans for the rest of the year? Or do you have any recommendations for me? Let me know! Otherwise, see you next time!

March Highlights

Sunday, April 7, 2019
Every so often I have one of those days that makes me feel like I need to pinch myself. This March I think I had one of those days every single week and I'm feeling ridiculously lucky for it.


Booking our honeymoon: We started out the month strong by finalizing all our honeymoon plans and getting all our flights, hotels and Airbnbs booked. We're heading out this summer for two weeks and we'll be going to London yet again (we can't help ourselves) and taking a little jaunt over to Copenhagen as well. I can't wait to eat at as many vegan places in London as I possibly can fit in and to see the chair room at the design museum in Copenhagen! We're still finalizing what else we want to do with all our time over there but I'm sure I'll share it here at some point so watch this space.

A surprise bachelorette party: A few months back a friend asked if a couple of us wanted to come up to Omaha for a sleepover because her husband was going to be out of town. I thought nothing of it. It turns out it was all a ruse to get me in Omaha so my friends could surprise me with a pseudo bachelorette party. Most of my friends live out of town at this point so I was very surprised when my friend that currently lives in California opened the door of our hotel room. We had a great time going to dinner at Modern Love, drinks at Nosh and then back to Hotel Deco for some more rosé and snacks, including a cake emblazoned with the phrase "Same Penis Forever." My friends are great.



My bridal shower: There's a definite wedding theme to last month, but we're getting close so everything is really gearing up. In the last week of March a very organized, crafty and plan-loving family friend threw me a bridal shower. I knew nothing about the plan or theme -- I was simply told to show up at 11am. It turned out to be a travel themed shower which was perfect. She made a vegan brunch, we drank mimosas and got really competitive trying to see how many words can be made from the word "travel." (The answer is 72, by the way)

Visits from friends: With all these wedding related events happening, I ended up getting to see a lot of friends from out of town. Like I mentioned earlier, my friend Melissa from California was here, my friend Jade from Wisconsin came and my friend Nicole and her boyfriend from North Carolina that I've mentioned in my guest room makeover posts (here and here) stayed with me for a weekend. It was absolutely fantastic getting to see all of these people, especially when I wrangled them all up in one room for my bridal shower and dinner and drinks that same evening. I am so grateful I'll get to see them all again in a few months for the wedding!



Odds and ends: There were a lot of big events and milestones this month, but there were also some smaller things of note scattered throughout. We were lucky enough to use my parents' tickets to Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at the Lied Center, which was a fantastic performance. My parents brought me up on jazz music and it's always really fun to see performances that can at once delight you, make you want to dance and cause an entire hall to get so intensely quiet in awe of a ballad that you can ear a pin drop. I highly recommend seeing them if they come near you. Another entertainment highlight was the return of Queer Eye. If you haven't watched season three yet, grab some tissues and go log into Netflix immediately. We can continue when you've finished.

Finally, if you've been following the news I'm sure you've seen the headlines about the flooding in the Midwest. In Lincoln we were lucky enough not to see any flooding, but other parts of Nebraska were and still are particularly badly hit. My friends flying in said they saw lakes where water should not have been and some of my coworkers have family whose homes were completely submerged and destroyed. A lot of this month was colored by mandatory and then voluntary water restrictions. We skipped workouts to avoid showering, switched to bottled water and used disposable plates and silverware. For someone who does her best to avoid using anything disposable or plastic, these swaps were the opposite of what I usually make, but sometimes it's important to remember that the plastic-free, waste-free option isn't always the right option. Despite all this, it's been an absolutely fantastic month and I feel so privileged, happy and loved. See you in the next one!