Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share some of the fun events that I participated in this month!
It’s been a really wild month, so I’m excited for this one! Here we go!
My March Life
Dreaming of Home Ownership
So I, like many people, adore looking at homes for sale online. I have my search pretty much permanently set to San Antonio nowadays, and I came across a house I thought was absolutely perfect! All one floor, fenced yard, garage, three bedrooms, small kitchen, big living area, and a fireplace were all cool things about it. The area was mostly houses but a five minute drive from the closest large park that also has a dog park in it. I did really love how the house and area looked! So I sent it to my friend who, without fail, will point out all the faults in the house and make me feel better that I’m not yet ready to buy. By now, I’ve mostly forgotten that particular house, but it was lovely to plan out where everything would go if I did move in.
Mask Mandates Lifted & Two Years Since Lockdown
This month, mask mandates were lifted in Illinois! The last time this happened was summer of last year, so it’s been awhile! It’s been great not having to wear masks anymore, although I have to admit that it does feel very normal by now. Anyway, I still mask when in crowded places like stores or in the hallway before dance class or the lobby area of the library. But once I’m in the rooms I’m meant to be in, I do tend to take off the mask. Some people still mask all the time and some don’t at all anymore, so it kinda just depends! I noticed in Tai Chi class that everyone except the instructor was masked and at book club two weeks later in the same group only one person masked. So it just depends!
As for my thoughts on that initial lockdown, two years later, it’s been a journey! At the time, the lockdown was such a big thing, and it really was, but now, it’s crazy how much has changed. Originally the lockdown was supposed to be two weeks, and the trauma of uncertainty and fear was masked by the sense of excitement over the newness of the situation. I remember the TikToks of people dressing up for family dinner, taking up new hobbies they’d put off for forever, and such. My own life is so different now. I have a dog for one! I’ve been through a few jobs since that time. And made a ton new friends. That lockdown that was supposed to be two weeks was so life changing in many ways for so many and it’s hard to put into words all that the lockdown has meant for me too.
I almost forgot my dog’s update! March marked the six month mark since Foxy joined the family and he finally seems to have settled in. He hasn’t had an accident in the house in awhile, thank goodness! He also is very used to his routine and loves his grandparents so much. Fox also seems more attached to me in general. I spent my first night away from him since adopting him this month. His grandparents said that while he was fine with it, he was pretty confused where I was too since I normally do the entire nighttime routine with him and instead his grandma stepped in for me. When I got back, he was thrilled! He also greets me much more enthusiastically in general too, which is so heart warming.
He still is in his training class and I actually signed him up again as he does seem to be getting along a tad better with other dogs, but still isn’t super comfortable. Our home trainings are also nice. And since the weather is nicer we go on more walks when we can. I need to start incorporating trainings outside though, because he seems to magically forget how to sit when he’s not at home. But he’s being such a good boy and I’m glad we’re finally adjusting!
Ten Years Since Barcelona
At some point this month (or maybe last month?) my mom brought some little snacks that I’d used to have in Barcelona when I studied abroad there in the spring of 2012. (Actually I think I did blog about this at some point so maybe it was last month.) Long story short, it brought back a ton of memories and I found myself watching walking tours and vlogs of Barcelona. I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I lived in Spain for four and a half amazing months. Barcelona was such a lovely home and I really, really enjoyed that time. I found myself on Google Maps, retracing some of my steps, and recalling the music I’d listened to or conversations I’d had at that time. I like to think that someday I’ll go back and wander around again.
Hadestown and Chicago
As I recently shared, I spent some time in Chicago again recently to go see the musical Hadestown. I linked my posts about each of those things there, but it was a ton of fun! I think the fact that I do intend to move away in a few years does make me more likely to want to go see more of Chicago beyond downtown. And it was amazing to see a musical in person after two years away from the theatre. It was so lovely! I won’t go on too much longer because I already did posts about my day, but it was really great exploring new places, and it felt so familiar despite not having seen Chicago in awhile.
Home Update – Decluttering my Books
Growing up, I dreamed of a home with an entire room dedicated to being a home library. In order to prepare for that future, I started collecting books. But I have since realized that I don’t want to have so many books, so I’ve started decluttering them. In a recent conversation with a librarian friend, I learned a new store had arrived nearby that was similar to Half-Price Books. It’s called 2nd & Charles, and it also buys used books/entertainment things. So I took a ton of things in! I filled two bins, and the max was I think three per visit.
I will say, it wasn’t the best experience. Now, I did go in on a Saturday, but it wasn’t terribly busy. I was told there was one person’s items in front of mine, but they were almost done so they’d move onto mine next and text me when they were done. I thought it’d be maybe 30 minutes, 45 max. I wandered the store and there was an entire witchy section that called to me (although it was quite small). They had a whole section dedicated to those Funko pops, a wall of guitars, plenty of Harry Potter merch, and more. I had a great time wandering around so it was a shock when I looked at my phone and realized it’d been over an hour!
I panicked, thinking I’d missed an announcement or something and maybe I’d given my number wrong or something. Their website seemed strict that if you didn’t go back for your items almost right away when they were done they’d just throw it out and not call you again. So I went to check, fully expecting them to say I’d missed the text or something. Nope! Instead the guy who was there said the gal who was checking my items had stepped away and would be right back. I was honestly so shocked, because I really hadn’t expected it to take so long. At that point I left the store and wandered the mall, walking around the whole thing twice before they finally texted me. I forgot the exact time it took, but it was almost two hours!
Comparing Half Price Books and 2nd & Charles, I would prefer Half Price Books honestly. Half Price Books never took anywhere near that time, normally I couldn’t even look through half the store before they called me to get my items. Then they would either let me keep the receipt with the amount they were paying me, cash it out, or use it towards a new item. But 2nd & Charles was a much bigger store so they had a ton more things, and they honestly paid more, but their pay out structure is strange. They offered me $17 and some change cash, or $35+ in store credit. I opted for the store credit, as I’m planning to get some gifts there for my sister’s upcoming birthday. The 2nd & Charles store is also only about 15mins from my house, where Half Price Books is over 45mins away, so even though I prefer Half Price Books, I’m going to go back to 2nd & Charles in the future. I just know not to wait around next time and to run other errands instead!
I have a few work updates! I’m going to start with talking about a virtual happy hour I attended that was a reunion of my former team from before the pandemic. We all lost our jobs with the pandemic, and so it was cool to catch up with old friends. We all learned about our new jobs, lives since working together, and got to just hang out. Not everyone was able to attend, one was actually welcoming his second baby that same day and another was attending a meeting with her publisher for her upcoming book release for example! Others straight up declined the invite up front or no showed. But those that did attend had a great time and we really enjoyed chatting and catching up. One of the organizers actually works back at our old employer again, so it was also cool to hear how things were going there. Hopefully we can all get together again in the future!
At my new job, we had a virtual pet meet up! They’ve started a social committee and one of the events was for Pets Day! I brought in Foxy and showed him off, meeting Louis the cat, Charlie the Golden Doodle, and Craig the Crocker Spaniel. Pets Day happened to fall during a week where everyone was crazy busy though, so we didn’t have all the pets represented but we still had a ton of fun chatting pets for a bit!
So that’s what my March life was like! Overall very fun and exciting for sure. I am so excited to see what April brings!
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