Books Make Bad Days Better

 Maybe reading was just a way to make her feel less alone, to keep her company. When you read something you are stopped, the moment is stayed, you can sometimes be there more fully than you can in your real life.” Helen Humphreys

If you read my last post, you’d know that life isn’t going so well at the moment.  Balancing the stresses of a new job is challenging–the learning curve is steeper than anticipated.  But, when the busy days and mornings finally give way to my one day off, I open a book and everything is suddenly right again.

Ella Enchanted is one of my all-time favorite reads.  It was the first book I ever devoured in one sitting.  I was eight.  When I open it now, it’s less like reading and more like remembering.  When I’m in the pages, the world outside stops and all that matters is the universe in my hands.

What books get you through the bad days?

Weekend Coffee Share: Tired, Overwhelmed, and The Oh Hellos

If we were having coffee, you’d know right away that I am a mess.  My week was awful.

You see, I’m not a crier.  I’ll go for months and months without shedding a tear.  This doesn’t mean I’m not emotional–I definitely am.  My emotions just don’t manifest in tears very often.

That being said, I’ve had FOUR meltdowns this week.

Three happened in my car.  The first of these took place after the first training session for my new job.  The second was this morning on the way to church.  The third was an hour or so ago on my way home from church.  The other sob-fest happened over my bowl of Rice Krispies cereal on Tuesday morning.

As I said, I am a mess.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my new job is proving more stressful than anticipated.  I’ve finally got most of the day-to-day things under control, so my time in the office goes fairly smoothly.  But there is so much I don’t know or understand.  I have zero experience with finances, bills, invoices, payments, etc.  And, suddenly, I need to know how to do all of these things.  The people who are supposedly there to help me have proved only marginally useful.

I spent the entire week doing my best to stay positive and keep afloat.  Two of my nights were sleepless ones.  The while time, I thought that, if I could just get to the weekend, everything would be okay.  HA.  JOKE’S ON ME.

On Friday, I had to go in for my second training session while the rest of my family went to the movies.  Which TOTALLY sucked.  My little brother was home from college and I wanted to spend time with him.  I got to the office a bit before seven, as planned.  At 7:08, I got a text from the lady training me (who used to be in my position) saying she would be there by 7:30.  She didn’t end up getting there until almost eight o’clock.  Which meant I spent an HOUR of my Friday night sitting alone in a cold office playing games on my iPhone because I forgot to bring a book.  Because of her tardiness, we weren’t able to cover all the information and now have to meet again on Tuesday evening.

So that all sucks.

If we were having coffee, you’d know that my fourth and final meltdown of the week happened because I almost got into a car accident on my way home from church this morning.  But thinking about that just makes me more depressed, so we won’t go into details.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I saw the band The Oh Hellos live on Thursday.  It was, by far, the highlight of my whole week.  The show was INCREDIBLE.

The first opener was a band called Family & Friends and it was obvious that it was their first tour.  You could feel their enthusiasm oozing from the stage.  Their expressions were wild and excited and you couldn’t help feel it too.  It energized the whole crowd and set the tone for the entire night. When the headliner finally took the stage, we were all screaming before they played a single note.

If I could transport myself into the past, I’d go back to being in that crowd on Thursday.  It wasn’t very relaxing, but boy it was fun.  My friend and I let loose and went crazy.  We sang along to all the words we knew.  We cheered.  We raised our hands and clapped.  I completely let loose and danced, jumping and flailing awkwardly, losing myself in the music.  Gosh, it was a blast.

You see, The Oh Hellos are a phenomenal band.  They make music not for profit, but because they’re passionate.  Their passion is evident in every note.  Their music is clearly rooted in Christian faith, but they’re not a Christian band.  Their instrumentals are rich and flavorful and all the songs have deep, sophisticated lyrics.  I’d gush about how awesome they are more, but it might be better to write about them in other posts.  (So stay tuned for that.)

So, yeah.  Aside from going to the show, it’s been a pretty crappy week.  On the bright side, things can’t get much worse.  If you don’t mind, I’m going to go curl up under a blanket with a comfort book and go into hermit-mode during the remainder of my day off.  Later, though, I’ll come back on WordPress and would really love to hear how your week has been.  What would you share over coffee?

The Oh Hellos during the finale of their set.  SO GOOD.
The Oh Hellos during the finale of their set. SO GOOD.

This post is part of a link-up at Part Time Monster

Sometimes, You Have a Bad Day (Writing 101, Day 14)

It was an all-around off day.  Let me explain.

———- ———- ———-

Around 2 AM, I crawled out of bed to grab a drink of water.  I’m usually able to navigate back through the dark rooms to my bed with no problems whatsoever.  Apparently, I was more asleep than awake though because as I made a dive for my bed, I discovered that my aim was off by two feet.  Instead of rolling up in a cozy blanket burrito, I found myself launching towards the foot of the bed, ricocheting off, and banging my side painfully on the corner of my desk.  Glad that my brothers weren’t around to laugh, I crawled back under the covers clutching my hip.

———- ———- ———-

This morning at 7:00 AM, my alarm went off with the clanging of church bells.  I silenced it immediately, wanting to soak in the hazy bleariness of drifting between being asleep and being awake.  I could still feel an ache in my side from the night’s mishap, but ignored the dull pain.  After several minutes of rolling around and cuddling stuffed animals, I pushed myself to a sitting position… only to bang my elbow painfully on the way.  Dang it.  Not again.

———- ———- ———-

At work, everyone was crabby.  Mom was being nitpicky about sorting apples, which royally pissed my older brother off.  She told the lady who works in the store to stay home, leaving me to run things all morning.  It rained for hours, which meant business was slow.  It also meant that we couldn’t pick apples, leaving us another day behind schedule.  Dad putzed from one task to the next, cursing under his breath because any task, no matter how small, seems to eat up more time than it should.  I tried to sing the “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” song from Monty Python to cheer him up, but it kind of backfired.

———- ———- ———-

It’s the little things, sometimes, that break down a day.  Our kittens recently started living on our front steps and made the place a giant litter box.  Stepping out the door is now a smelly experience.  One of the leaders of an organization Mom is involved with handed in her two-weeks notice, leaving lots of big decisions to make in a short amount of time.  The floor needs to be swept for the third time today.  An employee has a cold, but insists on working.  My little brother is coming home from college tomorrow and someone has to pick him up.  The packing line is clogged and must be dismantled and scrubbed before we can clean any more apples.  The dishes haven’t been washed.

———- ———- ———-

It’s amazing how irritability builds and spreads to everyone.  I haven’t been infected too badly yet.  I plan to lie low, stay out of the way, and flashback to the middle school days with the following song:

Sometimes, you have a bad day.  But things could always be worse.

This post is inspired by an assignment for the Blogging University class Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration.

Keeping my chin up

Stress levels continue to run high in College Land.  No, not to the extent where the raging College Monster attacks, but I’m definitely burning out and doing so fast.  However, I have compiled a list of things to help keep my chin up.

1. It is Thursday.

Tomorrow is Friday.  Which means it’s the weekend.  Lots of homework, but no class!

2. Rewatching The Office

I’ve seen the first few seasons more times than I can count, but they never cease to be absolutely wonderful.

3. Mother is Coming

On Sunday, my mom is making the 3.5 hour drive to visit me in Morris.  We have a fun day out planned, including shopping, exploring Alexandria, and a nice dinner.  It’ll be good to spend time with her and get out of this tiny town.

4. My Birthday

It’s on Monday, which is exciting!

5. The new Into the Woods trailer

Not going to lie, I’m a bit skeptical about this one. As fabulous as Meryl Streep is, she’s no Bernadette Peters.  But it looks absolutely beautiful!

6. Pudding.

Am I going to eat pudding in the near future?  Probably not.  But the thought of it always makes me feel better.

http://silk.com/sites/default/files/recipes/medium/ChocoPudding_shutter_59162173_1146x860b.jpg

Fighting off the evil College Monster

Every once in a while, College likes to pick you up, toss you in the air a bit, and then to grind you into dust.  It doesn’t matter how diligent a student you are–no amount of non-procrastination shields you from its bloodthirsty gaze.  When College decides to devour you, you really don’t stand much of a chance.

But still, valiant scholastic warrior that you are,  you grab your textbooks, put your laptop in your bag (just in case) and step into the fray.  Wielding your mighty number 2 pencil, you are determined that no amount of homework, tests, and studying will defeat you.  You will not go down without a fight.

That pretty much sums up my week.  Unexpected projects and assignments have come up, leaving me to study every second of the day and still come up short.  I hit a point where I was sitting in my Visual Journalism class listening to the computer services guy teach us Adobe Premiere Pro and I was near tears from stress.  I felt like screaming, vomiting, and sobbing helplessly all at once.

But I didn’t.  I didn’t scream.  I didn’t cry.  And no, I didn’t vomit.  (Thank goodness.)

(If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve NEVER gotten this overwhelmed in my sixteen years of education.  Except for maybe that one time in fourth grade when my teacher made me cry.  Which is another story entirely.)

When the lecture was over, I plugged in my headphones and went to battle.  My tactics included a rude comment to my hover-happy professor about how I had a lot on my plate and just wanted to work.  I felt a bit bad, but that was soon lost as I began logging raw video footage for my big project due on Monday.  After a bit of that, I went off with my group to shoot another interview (producing another 45 minutes of footage to review before I can even think about entering the editing phase).

I miraculously had enough time to grab a bowl of cereal from my apartment, which I ate as I walked across campus and sat through the weekly IVCF large group meeting.  I sent the bowl home with my roommate, headed to the library to write the three page paper due tomorrow that I hadn’t started till today because I was too busy doing other assignments.

This is slowly turning into a rant.  I apologize about that.

The evil monster of College was out to kill today.  It certainly kicked my butt, and I know I’m not the only one.  Everyone I come across seems to be having one big terrible day.

Thank goodness it’s over.  Yes, I still have a mountain of work to do, but my textbook shield and pencil sword seems to have worked for now.

Time to hide out in the blanket fort under my bed, watch Downton Abbey, and forget about the world.  After a good night’s rest, I’ll be ready to resume battle in the morning.