Weekend Coffee Share: Overstimulation Hits

If we were having coffee, we’d be taking it to-go because the weather has been far too beautiful to spend the day cooped up in a coffee shop.  We’d be strolling on a path through the woods, going out of our way as we talked to step on particularly crunchy leaves.  The fall colors are turning and we’d be lost in a sea of red and orange and gold.  Isn’t it crazy how fast this fall is going by?  It’s already October!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve been seriously overstimulated the past few days.  I think part of the problem is that I’ve been spending too much time in fantasy worlds.  On work days, I spend two hours in the car listening to audiobooks.  At home, I either read or watch TV.  Because I work in a library, I’m constantly figuring out what world to enter next.  (It’s gotten to the point where I have at least one book coming via interlibrary delivery every week for the next three months.) Continue reading

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Last Hurrah of Summer

If we were having coffee, we would be sitting on a patch of flattened grass munching on deep fried cheese curds watching hoards of people pass by.  That’s right, I spent my day at the Minnesota State Fair.  It’s been four years since I last attended what we affectionately call the Great Minnesota Get-Together.  Nothing has changed much.  The cow barns still smell.  The DNR still has the fish pond.  My dad still spends way too much time ogling antique tractors.  And, despite the fact that you spend the entire day in crowds of thousands of people, you still manage to run into at least five people you know!  It’s still a delight, though.  There’s so much to look at and take in!

One of the biggest draws of the fair is the food.  These days, everything is deep fried and/or on a stick.  Throughout the day, I had a raspberry wine smoothie, an ice cream cone from the Dairy Barn, french fries, and deep fried cheese curds.  I’ve been home for several hours and the thought of eating anything makes me feel sick.  It’s a good thing the State Fair only happens once a year, ’cause I don’t think my stomach would be able to keep up.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am absolutely exhausted.  I can’t remember the last time I was this tired.  I’ve made the hour long trek to the cities and back three days in a row.  On Friday, I had a bachelorette party from 9-11 and didn’t get to bed till 1 AM.  On Saturday, I had a wedding to attend.  Today, as you already know, I went to the fair.  Overall, I had to pass through stop-and-go traffic and massive road construction on the interstate SIX TIMES.  UGH.  Excuse me while I lock myself in my room and don’t emerge for days.

IMG_5660If we were having coffee, I’d show off the fall outfit I spent WAY too much money on yesterday.  I’m kind of obsessed with it.  (See photo on left.)

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that one of my dear friends got married!  Katie and I have been friends for years–starting in early high school.  We’ve had a running joke for years in which we share a brain.  You see, I didn’t have a brain back then, so she split hers in half and gave a portion to me.  When I got the call announcing her engagement several months ago, one of my first questions was,Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset “Katie, what will happen to our brain now?”  That aside, it was a beautiful wedding.  The thing about Katie is that she is extremely quirky, goofy, touchy, and jumpy in the most adorable way.  As she stood at the altar, I couldn’t help but smile at her subtle excited twitching.  During the dance after the reception, I caught her out of the corner of my eye standing alone spinning in circles just to make her dress swish around her.  She’s a beautiful soul and it was so much fun to be there for her special day.

Enough about me.  What would you share if we were having coffee?

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster

The benefits of dating yourself

Weird title, I know.

By two o’clock today, I had gone to church, worked out, and finished all my weekend homework.  All my friends were busy, and I was left with an entire afternoon with nothing to do.  I’m an introvert, but too much time alone in my room makes me lonely.  It’s like my heart feels heavy and empty and no amount of Netflix can make it better.  Knowing I had hours ahead of me in my own company, I didn’t want to waste the day moping around.

So I took action by taking myself on a date.

It was a wonderful afternoon.  I sang to the radio during the hour drive to and from Alexandria.  I talked to my mom on the phone.  I went to see Cinderella a second time and loved it just as much as the first.  (Be sure to check out my post about it!)  I went out to eat and spent dinner with my favorite John Green novel.  (Which, in case you were wondering, is Paper Towns.)   I meandered through Target, sighing over pretty clothes and household decorations.  I purchased a new purse and the final Hobbit movie.  (Be sure to check out my post about that one too!).

On the drive home, I spent a great deal of time meditating on the nostalgia that comes with the end of a season in life.  With only a handful of weeks left of college, there are so many aspects of life here that I’ve taken for granted.  As I approached Morris, instead of heading to campus, I drove to the overlook just outside of town.  Perched on a rock, I watched the sun set over the tiny town I’ve called home these past few years.  It was such a beautiful, peaceful moment– one that I know I’ll hold in my heart for a long time.

Afternoons like this one remind me that incredible joy can be found in little things.  It felt so good to forget the stresses of college, to drive away, and do things just for the sake of doing them.  I think that it’s important to learn to date yourself.  You can have a lot of fun and learn a great deal in your own company.

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Driving home to Morris in the sunset.

 

Super singles and trips to the cities

Super singles are beautiful creations that introverts long for, but never imagine actually having.  Why?  They’re expensive and hard to come by.

The other day, after explaining the stresses of my sudden mid-week relocation to a classmate, she eyed me enviously.  “You’ve got a super single?  In Spooner?  Oh, you’re so lucky!  That’s everyone’s dream!”

My classmate’s comment is on-point.  To say I haven’t been dreaming of this scenario since freshman year would be a total lie.  Over the past four years, I have analyzed all the different possibilities of what my room would look like if I had no roommate.  Where would I put the furniture?  What cozy corners would I create?

Now, it’s important to note that I’m not railing against roommates.  Roommates are great.  I’m introverted, but I go absolutely crazy if left in my head for too long.  I love having people close by to pull me out of my mind when I get stuck there.  Even though I’ve moved, I’m still friends with my old roommates and enjoy spending time with them.

Still, it’s wonderful to have my own space to come home to.  You would think that after the insane week I’ve had, I would lie low and regain my energy.  Hahahaha…. nope.

Yesterday afternoon, my car was packed and I was on the road the second my library shift ended.  Although I was tired and definitely had second-thoughts about making a trip to the cities, I’m glad I made the trip.

You may be wondering where was I headed in such a rush.  Let me explain.  Over the past few years, nearly all my best friends here in Morris have graduated.  Now, they all seem to be branching out and moving far away.  In a couple of months, my dear friend Jenny is leaving for a two-year teaching job in Japan.  I want to seize every opportunity to bask in her presence.  So making the trek from the prairie to the cities was well worth it for a night of well-needed conversation and silliness.

Since I was in the area, after departing Jenny’s house this morning, I met up with my older brother for coffee.  We hung out in Caribou for hours, sipping mochas and gushing about superheroes movies and the cultural impact of the internet, then hit up some local shops.  (My spoils include mechanical pencils, a lamp, and a digital clock.)

I also took advantage of the fact that Chipotle exists in the cities and grabbed a burrito on my way back to Morris.  That was over five hours ago and I’m still full.  (God bless Chipotle).

I’m back in Morris now, even more tired than I was at the beginning of my adventure.  I’ve managed to put a tiny dent in my homework, but will still be spending a bunch of time in the library tomorrow.

Now, though, I’m going to curl up in one of the cozy corners I’ve finally gotten to create and catch up on my superhero t.v. shows.  It’s been a long week and I think I deserve a night off.

A blissful pause

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m incredibly thankful for the past few days of peace, rest, and family.  I’m also thankful to finally be able to listen to Christmas music.  (Yes, I’m one of those snobs.)

It really has been a perfect break.

The extended family was here on Thursday and I handled the “So Amelia, what’s next?”question as well as I could.  I ate lots of turkey and mashed potatoes.

On Friday, I finally got the Mother/Daughter shopping day that was supposed to come in October.  We shopped from ten in the morning till four in the afternoon, taking advantage of Black Friday deals.  I also got lunch at Chipotle, which in and of itself is always an answer to prayer.

Our family tradition is to attend the Taylor’s Falls Lighting festival the day after Thanksgiving.  There’s a small parade down the six blocks that make up main street of the small historic town.  At the end of the parade, there is a countdown and all the Christmas lights in town are lit at once.  We also popped in the old one room schoolhouse (the oldest in Minnesota!) to see all the arts and crafts that the local third graders have been working on for the past couple weeks.  My aunt and uncle came to the event with us and, so night ended with soup and cider at our house.

Yesterday, Mom and I took advantage of Support Local Saturday and made the rounds in all the cute little shops in the area.  We found some good Christmas presents for family and friends, as well as delicious homemade fudge.  The afternoon passed curled up on the couch pretending to watch the Gopher/Badger football game.  I say pretending because, while the rest of my family attentively cheered for the Gophers, I sat and read Dracula.

Today marks the end of break.  I’m not looking forward to going back.

Over the past year, I have not been home for more than a week at a time.  It’s always a transition spot, somewhere I go to jump from here to there.  As a result, my room has become a dreadful dumping grounds.  I long to settle for a while, to clean the mess, to organize the stacks of books that don’t fit on the shelves, and lie low for a while.

Two and a half weeks, friends.  Only an Early Modern English recitation, final portfolio, two ten page essays, and two finals standing between me and a month of Christmas bliss at home.  It’s the final stretch.

I’ll survive by overdosing on holiday cheer and covers of Taylor Swift songs…

It’s too early for Christmas

As the song says, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  There’s something magical about looking out at the world covered in snow and drinking warm cups of cocoa before the fire as Nat King Cole croons from the stereo.  When family comes from near and far to share feasts and exchange gifts, my heart just soars.  It’s the best time of the year.

For me, Christmastime is sacred.  Like a little kid waiting and longing so much to open the presents under the Christmas tree, I wait and long for it to come.  It’s the waiting, for me, that makes the season so special.  Delaying my gratification only makes it that much better when it’s finally here.

When I went to the store mere days after Halloween to buy milk to see a full-fledged Christmas section in all its red and green splendor, I was appalled.  When I see Facebook statuses from eager friends listening to Christmas music, I cringe.  When, in the first week of November, I turn on the t.v., flip through the channels, and see Christmas movies playing on Hallmark, I want to scream.

The commercialization of Christmas absolutely disgusts me.  It takes all the splendor and joy out of the season and crushes it with greed.  The money-grubbing stores that are opening Thanksgiving afternoon make me sick.  Apparently waiting ’till Black Friday just isn’t enough.  Let’s gloss over the holiday themed around being grateful for the things we have and go straight for buying all the things we don’t.

Dear society, where is your self-control?

If we celebrate Christmas all the time, it decreases in value.  It’s a time that you need to wait for.  Waiting, hoping, and longing make it that much sweeter.

I know there’s nothing I can do to make people stop destroying the magic of Christmas by starting celebrations too early.  My words can’t stop stores from selling as much as they can, nor will they be able to stop the hoards of raging Christmas fans from over-indulging before Thanksgiving is even around the corner.  But whoever you are reading this, do you really want the most wonderful time of the year tarnished and spoiled because of capitalism and lack of self-control?

I certainly don’t.

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Ufda.

Whew. To say my weekend was uneventful would be a severe understatement. I spent half of it in the car driving to the cities and back to Morris. I met up with various friends for coffee. I attended another concert (post to come!) and crashed on an oversized bean bag chair in a friend’s dorm. I went home for part of a day to hang out with my brothers (who I won’t see again till Thanksgiving). I also went thrifting as I travelled from place to place.
Whew. I’m feeling kind of sort of really exhausted, but the time has come to gear up for midterms. My next two weeks consist of two huge tests, a quiz, a project, a persuasive speech, an article response, a 6-8 page paper, and a ten minute presentation. As we say in Minnesota… Ufda!

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(In which my cat, Paco, takes full advantage of my fatigue.)