Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, green sunglasses, and blue shorts.
This post might not be a very good one; I’m writing it late at night, unable to sleep, after a day of flying across the country to visit my parents in Illinois. It’s such a long day of travel that always leaves me simultaneously buzzing and completely exhausted. I am not a good flier.
I was coming from Seattle, where Gabe and I were for a few days visiting friends. It was crazy to be in the city again after becoming such country bumpkins over the last year. Okay, Gabe was never really a city person to begin with, but it has been a big change for me, though a surprisingly easy one. It turns out I am a country person; I just never lived in the country before.
But as we drove into Seattle, I felt a sense of anxiety start to build, just looking at all the cars and buildings. I usually feel a little thrill when I get to the city, but not this time.
(Though I was still pretty jazzed to have not one, not two, but three grocery stores within walking distance of the apartment where we were staying [as opposed to having one tiny one that is a 15 minute drive down the highway away]. And I got to visit a fancy coffee shop and get served a great latte by a hipster instead of the hippies that I am used to.)
But my day of travel left my tired as always, even though I was actually able to work on the plane and not just spend the whole time trying to remind myself that thousands of flights happen every day and the pilot is very good at his or her job, etc etc.
It was pretty therapeutic to spend the time writing and planning instead of worrying.
These last few weeks have been really busy and crazy, and I am looking forward to some downtime while I’m with my parents. Here are a couple of things that have gotten me through these busy weeks:
Romeo is my constant. On a particularly stressful day last week, he found our front door and let himself inside. Then he hopped into my bed and made like a rolly-polly.
Can you believe this place is real? Gabe and I stopped on our way to Seattle to visit friends who live on a farm outside Salem, OR. This is in their back yard. It is a lake with a dock with a picnic table on it. It was…perfect.
Oh yes, it’s on. The star of my blog and I are getting full-on married next year. So that is a pretty great thing that has happened in the last few weeks too. 🙂
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
Last fall, when we were running the Spark Notebook Kickstarter, I spent days upon days on Twitter. We would tweet at people who were tweeting about other planners, and say, “Hey! I saw your tweet about ___ and thought you might like this project too!” and then link them to our Kickstarter.
When we first started, I was terrified I’d get a barrage of replies being like, “Hey stop spamming me.”
But do you want to know something crazy?
No one ever said that. There were maybe three people who replied saying, “Aren’t you worried people will think this is spam?”. And then I’d write back and say, honestly, “Most people just seem to either ignore it or be excited to have been alerted to a project they really do like.” And then those people would write back and say, basically, “Oh okay, carry on.”
So the consequence I thought would occur from spending all day on Twitter didn’t occur.
But a different consequence did occur. And that consequence was that I lost my mind.
There is something crazy-making about copy-pasting the same phrase over and over into a Twitter box for several hours a day. It’s boring, but demands your attention. You can do it while listening to an audiobook or watching TV, but you can’t totally engage with the other thing.
And it is completely, overwhelmingly, unstoppably addictive.
Even after 4 hours of tweeting while watching Law and Order, with my eyes drooping and my legs screaming for me to move them and take my body outside, I would think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
So I would clear the page, scroll down to reveal a new list of names, and think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
Is this what it feels like to be a robot? If so, then I don’t blame them for always taking over in those movies and books where robots take over. I wouldn’t want to be a robot either.
Anyways, we are selling the Spark Notebook again. The print run is happening next month and they’ll be delivered in June. But final orders are due in next week, which means I’m back on Twitter. Always. And forever. Every second of every day, until next Tuesday.
If you want to buy one, the email alerts I get telling me that there’s been another sale are basically the only punctuation during days of tweeting and law-and-order-solving and listening to the new Jon Ronson book that I actually listened to in less than 24 hours because it was so good and, like, what else was I going to do? But that’s not important.
What’s important is that I am losing my mind, but there is an end in sight. Oh, and then there’s this picture of Romeo from Easter which is great:
Today Gabe is wearing a tan fleece, a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots.
This week I got my rhythm back (a little bit more than last week) but I’ve still been figuring out how to spend my time.
I realized I think I’m having such a hard time, partially, because right before I left for vacation, we were in a mad sprint at work with our Kickstarter, so I actually haven’t been living my normal schedule since the beginning of November. I went from working wake-up-to-bedtime for 30 days, to barely working at all.
And now things are back to normal, only I don’t remember what normal feels like.
I keep sleeping through my most productive hours; I normally do amazing things in between 8-10am, after waking up around 6-7. But now I sleep until 8:30 or almost 9, and from there I just seem to lose the day.
(Is it embarrassing that I just had the thought, “I guess I could start setting an alarm for 6:30 or 7 to reset my schedule”? I honestly just thought of it. I haven’t woken up to an alarm regularly for like 2 years…so I guess I forgot it was an option? Oof.)
It’s been hard getting back into yoga too. When I was on vacation, I got a little — let’s call it “soft”.
I was feeling so strong before I left and over the summer I had lost 8 pounds and to be honest, this fall I was feeling pretty good about things.
Then Christmas vacation happened. And the softness rolled in.
Christmas wasn’t all bad for my yoga lifestyle. I got some beautiful new yoga clothes as Christmas gifts (shout out AG!) that I desperately needed, and which gave me a *huge* boost of confidence in my first class back.
But then in my second class back, after the thrill of amazing new clothes had worn off a little, I realized how much of my yoga powers I had lost. I started having trouble clicking in mentally, and I definitely had trouble aligning all my poses and having super strong arms.
(Ha ha just kidding I have never had, and probably never will have, strong arms.)
It’s slowly coming back. Just like my work routine is slowly coming together, so is my yoga. Slowly.
One thing I’ve been enjoying a lot since being back is the weather. It’s sunny here! It’s warm! Not shorts-weather-warm, but great weather for taking a hike by the beach.
Gabe and I headed to an unexplored trail by the beach this weekend, where we found ourselves out of the sun and under the canopy of many a redwood tree. We had a weird conversation about nothing, where I told him really interesting stories like how I had recently purchased some pre-shelled pistachios and wasn’t sure how I felt about them, and he told me about dubious plans to create an all-rope tree fort one day.
It’s fun to have conversations about nothing with people sometimes.
I used to be a terrible conversationalist, and after many years of working really hard at it, I think I’m actually pretty good at it now. It takes a lot of effort (as an introvert, every bone in my body usually wants to run away from the idea of most conversations) but it’s a skill I’m really proud of.
But sometimes it’s nice to just say boring, weird stuff to someone you love. Under a canopy of redwoods. Knowing that when you come out it will be a bright sunny day, and one of you has a coupon for ice cream that you’re about to go use.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
“I know what I’m getting you for Christmas. And I don’t think you’re going to like it.’
And so begins another Christmas season with Gabe.
“Well,” I said. “If you don’t think I’ll like it, then why is it my present?”
“It’s not that you won’t like it. You just won’t like it at first…”. He paused. “But I think in time you’ll come to appreciate how much you needed it.”
“Is it something for my kitchen?”
“Is it a tool? Something for my car?”
“…It’s not, like, a free session with a therapist, is it?”
Luckily, he said no.
Gabe is a really amazing gift-giver, but unfortunately his streak of incredible gifts over the last 8 years has led him down a path of thinking every gift he gets me is going to be the one that finally misses the mark and will reveal him as the terrible gift-giver that he thinks he is. So every year, he undersells his gift.
And then every time, he does better than I ever could have expected.
For one birthday, he got me a copy of my favorite book at the time (after I loaned my original copy to a friend in college who then dropped out and moved to New York without giving it back), which had in the intervening years gone out of print. He hunted it down from a rare books guy on eBay and got me a copy!
Another year he got me a pillow for Christmas. A pillow! Which sounds weird, right? Only it was right after I moved to Humboldt and made the mistake of low-balling my pillow purchases. And he knows how much I like to have chill time in bed in the evenings, and how much my bad pillows were bumming me out. So he splurged on a big, soft, perfect faux-down pillow. It is heavenly.
The list goes on. A perfect pair of corduroy pants, a hookup for my iPod to listen to podcasts in the car, an old school film camera.
The guy gives great gifts. What can I say?
He has that magic ability to lock down tidbits of information throughout the year. Whereas I shop for gifts by standing in a store, trying to think of *who* this person is that I’m shopping for, and imagining what kinds of gifts would be most meaningful to them, Gabe operates off of pure data that he has surreptitiously collected over the last 12 months.
Although he can’t remember where he put his wallet down 15 minutes ago, he will hold onto the one time you wistfully said, “I really miss taking photos with a film camera” in passing during a conversation 2 years ago, and he will present you with the very same model of camera you as used during Photography 115 in college.
He will hear you bemoan the dearth of good jeans that fit you, and 6 months later he will walk into a Nordstrom (a place he’s never been before and will never be again), have an in-depth session with a sales lady (using phrases like, “Oh, she’s about your size but maybe shorter”), and he will hand you a box with pants that fit you so perfectly that you will wear them for years until they are so thin and worn that you have to, tearfully, admit that the one great love of your pants life is now behind you.
It’s inspired me to step up my gift-giving game, though I know at this point in our relationship, that I am doomed to forever come in second place.
So even though I know my gifts to him are PERFECT, and despite his ominous warning that my gifts are something I need but don’t want, something tells me it is going to be a pretty great Christmas and that I am going to come out ahead in the gift-receiving department again.
Even more exciting — we aren’t actually spending Christmas together (okay, so that’s not that exciting) but as a consolation, we are opening presents early. Hooray!
Christmas is coming, and I am really looking forward to it.
Today Gabe is wearing a blue sweatshirt, khaki pants, brown boots, and green sunglasses.
“I don’t want to be here anymore.” I shook my head to try to shake this thought out of my mind, since, at the time I was thinking it, I was in an airplane 30,000 feet above Iowa.
I wasn’t always a nervous flyer, but once I started having to do the 3-flight trek between a small town in Washington to a small town in Illinois every holiday season when I was in college, I got the fear. Oooh yes I got the fear.
I started seeing signs in the days before my flight that I was convinced were warning that my plane was going to go down. Once on board, I’d jump at every little noise and bounce, even while the plane was still on the ground. I was really not a good flyer.
Then, a couple of years ago, I got it together. I learned about the trick where you just stare at the flight attendants, and watch how completely bored they are by every aspect of the flight. I started showing up at the airport imagining (seriously) that I was a serious business traveler who just couldn’t be bothered to care about “just another flight”.
Did my palms still sweat during turbulence? Sometimes. But I just forced the fear down, and it went away.
Well, it went away until earlier this week when I had the feeling that people who have *serious* fear of flying describe: the feeling like you absolutely have to get off the plane right now, this second. It was really the worst. I tried to tamp it down, but of course with this kind of thought, once you think it you can’t un-think it.
I was on my second flight of the day, and still had one more to go before I was at my final destination of my Illinois hometown. I was starting to feel like I wouldn’t make it.
So we circled above Chicago and I felt my palms start to sweat. I tried to remember my yoga. “Unclench your shoulders. Breathe a deep sigh. Close your eyes.”
My eyes popped open and my shoulders met my ears as we bumped down through the clouds.
I worried that I wouldn’t be able to do my third and final flight. After 8 hours of travel, I worried I might just cry for the whole 30 minutes of the third flight I had left. I worried I might never be able to leave once I actually made it there, since I have another 3 flights to do in order to get back home to Humboldt.
But on the third flight, I told myself to get it together. I closed my eyes, and turned on a podcast. I held a book in my lap, gripping it lightly with both hands. I focused on every single word the host of the podcast was saying. And if I ever got distracted and felt tempted to peek out the window or think about how amplified turbulence is in a tiny plane (which it happened to be that night) I took a huge, sighing breath and listened harder to the podcast.
And by the time we landed, 30 minutes later, I was over it. I was on the other side.
My mom fed me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and vegan cookies, and my dad let me rattle on about this new podcast Serial I had been listening to all day. It was good to be home.
A few photos of things enjoyed pre-flight:
Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, khaki pants, and brown boots.
You guys, I think I came up with a genius strategy for time management this week. Maybe I should write a book.
Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me run this brilliant idea past you first.
Okay, so you are gearing up for a big end-of-year push at your company. You are like, sooo busy. So busy that you just put your head down and get ready to plow through it. No time to think about how busy you are. You just have to DO.
You work hard during the day. You sleep hard during the night.
But then you do this fun thing where, during the time you used to waste on sleeping, you don’t sleep. Sure, sure, you are busy during the day and your body really wants to shut down and restore itself at night, but instead of doing this, you just don’t.
Then, you start worrying about things like renewing your lease. You start worrying about the future of your business. You start worrying about never having enough money to buy a house, ever.
You start worrying about how you’ll ever have time to keep up your personal blog, which is one of the highlights of your week, because you are so busy you can’t possibly actually think about money or the future or your blog — you only have the time and space to worry about everything.
See how easy it is? Just don’t go to sleep! Ever! There is so much to worry about!
This is the brilliant time management solution I came up with Wednesday night and you guys, wow is it effective. I mean, I can work all day un-distracted because I know I’ve got a solid 8 hours of restorative, relaxing worrying to do between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
And the best part is, your nighttime worrying can go on without end. When you worry about business phone calls you have to make about things like leases, you will never actually be able to make those calls at 3am! So you are free to imagine disastrous scenarios to your heart’s content without ever having to worry (ha ha) about finding an actual solution.
I don’t have insomnia very often anymore, but you guys, when I do — oh wow, do I make the most of it. If you think insomnia just has to be about sitting on the couch flipping through channels and staring bleary-eyed at bizarre early morning programming you never knew was on TV, then boy are you behind the times.
Oh, sir. Next time you can’t sleep, try worrying instead. You won’t believe how productive and stressed it makes you feel, which means you must be really, really important.
(This blog post brought to you by one sleepless night.)
But really. Things are fine. Don’t believe me, readers and/or Sleepless Kate? As proof, please accept the following pictures of Romeo The Cat.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.
Well unfortunately, this week we’ve taken a few steps back.
Over the summer, I got really into the idea of dressing up nice every day because it makes you look good and feel good, and because, I mean, I am a grown adult woman who works from home and boundaries must be set somewhere.
But then, a few weeks ago, I needed to buy some new pants to sleep in because it was getting colder out and shorts weren’t going to cut it anymore. My only other available sleep pants option were these ratty old blue sweatpants I’ve had since high school, whose elastic is all but gone and that look, just, terrible.
Gabe once said, “You’re dressed like me when you wear those sweatpants.”
We both knew what he meant.
So I did some online shopping and, you guys, I found something wonderful.
I think they’re technically classified as “loungewear” but if we are being honest, I think it’s more accurate to refer to what I discovered on the internet as glamour sweatpants. And I love them.
Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. Well, not exactly love at first sight, but I have — at many times in my life — met someone and known instantly that this was going to be an important or special person in my life. I felt that way the first time I met Gabe. Same with my boss/mentor/cofounder at Popforms.
And same with these pants.
I saw them on the model and I just knew. I was about to hit “order”, but decided, even though my heart was sure, that I owed it to myself to be logical. (Though we all know love isn’t logical.) Still, I took the time to scroll down and read the reviews, and you guys — there was not one single person who had a bad word to say about these pants.
So what are these magic pants?
They are a pair of thin, slim-fitting, olive green, made-of-modal-the-best-fabric-in-the-world lounge pants and they are perfection. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them.
And as soon as they arrived in the mail, I knew I had to try them on.
And as soon as I tried them on, I knew I was ruined.
First of all, they look great. They’re flattering, they’re understated, they go with everything…they are just perfect.
Second of all, they are so comfortable. The fabric is so soft, and the shape is comfortable without being baggy and weird.
I look forward to going to bed every night because I know I’ll get to wear them and feel so comfortable but beautiful and also so cozy and happy.
And with all kinds of intense, all-consuming love, it went a little bit too far.
This week, finally, despite all my best intentions, came the day where — on one grey, misty, “don’t want to get out of your PJs morning” — I went for a run, took a shower, got dressed…and made the decision to put on my glamour sweatpants instead of real pants.
We’ve wandered into dangerous territory. Mistakes have been made.
But how can love that feels this good be so wrong? Maybe just for one day, it’s okay to wear your glamour sweatpants while you take business calls and write marketing strategies. Right? Right??