Hello everyone! Today, I thought we’d catch up via our usual monthly coffee chat.
You know, I normally have a list of things to chat about with these posts, but this time the start of the month snuck up on me! We’ll see what happens but I can’t promise a well thought out chat this time.
I’m having my usual coffee from home. I use ground coffee in a reusable K cup, which is honestly great. I always add a bit of oat milk which might sound strange but it is so good.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that I’m really hoping for better weather here in northern Illinois! I’ve had to skip so many ballet classes and other things this month, which is always annoying, due to the snow and ice lately. While I try to just roll with it and not get frustrated that my plans change constantly, it is not fun to have to skip out on things I enjoy! Luckily, I have stocked up on essentials, such as dog food and treats, so at least Fox is all taken care of.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, I’ve recently had to track down tons of documents for my taxes and I’d like to complain about that for a minute! It is so time consuming to have to login everywhere, find where the tax documents are stored, and then download them. Then I still have to go and turn on the printer in order to print them for the accountant. What a pain! Some of the more user friendly sites had a link at the top of the page after logging in, specifically for the 2021 tax forms. That was very nice! Others required a bit of a search and then there were a few where I didn’t have any forms listed so I had to chat in and double check that was correct. I have to say, the most annoying one was the unemployment form. In order to make the site more “secure” they just made it impossible to login and impossible to ask for help! I tried everything! I tried logging in, I tried setting up a new account, I tried just clicking the link to bypass the secondary login page when logged into the primary page, but nothing! I called in for help, left my number as they only offered a call back option, expected a call back, and two hours later when I’m writing this I still have not gotten a call. By the time this is posted, I hope that I’ve finally gotten in. I honestly regret not opting for the paper form to be mailed to me!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that my heart breaks for the events in Ukraine right now. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the politics of it all, so I won’t get into that. But just the people aspect of it is heartbreaking! Seeing all the first hand accounts of the people fleeing eastern Ukraine in a panic with their pets and belongings, watching journalists cover the horror of it all, and seeing the fear of those who have remained behind is horrible.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, I’ve recently tried audiobooks! During the pandemic I finally came to accept and appreciate ebooks, but I still never tried audiobooks. I have to be honest, I didn’t care for audiobooks because I thought I wouldn’t pay attention to them. I do enjoy podcasts, but I find myself getting distracted and tuning out the podcast a lot, so I really didn’t think I’d have a lot of luck for audiobooks. Sure enough, I found myself distracted while listening to one, but I’m going to keep trying it and hopefully I can get more used to them! Honestly I think I need to listen to audiobooks when I’m doing a simple task, such as laundry, and that should work!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that lately I’ve been finding myself thinking back to my study abroad trip to Barcelona way back in the day. I studied abroad for the spring 2012 semester, so this year is 10 years since I was in Spain! Recently, my mom brought home a bag of bread that had a bit of chocolate in it. The bag claimed to be like the popular French version. As we ate it, I commented on how the host at the homestay I did used to give us those for breakfast. My parents loved that tidbit and my dad actually said that I hadn’t talked much about the experience after I came home, which I was kind of surprised by since it was such a big event in my life. So I talked about our breakfast habits! The host would put out cereal, one or two little breads like the one we were eating, and then we’d get milk or juice from the fridge if we wanted. But, if we didn’t get up by a certain time, she would clear up breakfast. I wasn’t really an early bird back then, but I always made sure to get up for breakfast! My roommates, two party girls, would sleep in a lot though because they would go to the clubs so often. Sometimes, if I noticed it was getting late and they weren’t getting up, I’d grab their breakfast and either leave it outside their door (one had her own room) or on the desk in our shared room for the other. On more than one occasion they’d thank me profusely for looking out for them! Honestly, my time abroad provided me with a ton of fond memories, and I’m so grateful for that experience.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, that work has been incredibly busy! It’s such a welcome change since January was busy but with the looming concern over cancelled events and the latest pandemic wave. February was a lot more stable, thank goodness. I’m sure there will be more ups and downs as we continue on but, for now, I am grateful that my industry is continuing to progress towards normal. Sometimes there are still some uncertainty. Well, a lot actually, as events are expensive to put on but also incredibly expensive to cancel. A lot of clients have had to make that difficult decision to either continue on or call it quits, to either renew the contracts with my employer or not, their own pandemic protocols, or even deal with decisions and protocols put in place by their host location that they didn’t choose. As I always say, if we didn’t have these challenges and changes, the events industry would be a boring place, so all we can do is find a way to move forward and learn from the situation!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, Foxy’s update! Fox is my five year old Chihuahua with anger issues and anxiety. He’s been really good lately though. He will willingly hang out with me in the office during work, he asks to go outside to do his business more consistently, and has behaved better overall! I’d say the therapy is working! My main concern is the lack of exercise now. He hates walks, so it’s a struggle to get him outside. My puppy niece is so different in that regard! She insists on a walk, even if the cold ice hurts her tiny paws. But with Fox, I struggle between wanting him to get exercise and trying to make sure he’s having a good experience. I’ve even tried to walk laps in the basement with him, but he gets easily spooked by the strange noises down there and the sounds of the kitchen and living room from above, so he hates that too! So instead we do more training throughout the day, which he does enjoy. He’s a real fast learner when food is involved!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, about my monthly challenge update! I’ll do a full post on it next, but my challenge for February had been to write a short story every day. Well, it did not at all go to plan! It was a bit of a let down, after perfectly and easily completing the January challenge, but that’s the way it goes sometimes! I did vastly underestimate how much time it would take to write a short story, so the half hour I’d allotted was not enough for me. I completed exactly zero short stories, and I’ll share the full story in my next post.
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, all about my Year 30 goal, create peace. I think I actually did this really well last month. February is always such a downer month for me, as I’m sure you can tell from the general downer of this post! I struggle this time of year as it’s such a cold and stressful time of year. So, I decided to focus on the good! For me, it became important to shift my mindset from annoyance, frustration, and general negativity to a more peaceful and positive one. I did this by remembering what I’ve learned about resting and recovering from the book Wintering by Katherine May, my interest in slow and intentional living, and general hygge tips I’ve seen on social media. It really helped! I’ve worked hard to be more forgiving of myself when I get very little, or even nothing, done. It’s not easy shifting my mindset like that, and there was plenty of room for improvement, but it did help! In March, I hope to be able to further foster peaceful moments in my life as the weather hopefully gets a bit better and the sunshine should help too!
If we were having coffee I’d tell you, about my 2022 goal of again, but better. I don’t think I focused too much on this goal as my main concern was staying positive as winter drags on. But March should be a great time for this! It’ll bring the start of spring, my favorite of the seasons. I also think in general it’ll be easier to focus on this as I’m already settling into a new spring routine, so it’ll be nice to continue to build on it as we continue on.
So that’s what I would share with you if we were having coffee. I’ll have to make sure to plan the next one out a bit better for sure. What would you update me on during our coffee chat?
Thanks for reading!
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