I WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS or What I Think About When I Can't Sleep

I have a friend who stays up all night thinking about every terrible thing she’s ever said or done in her life.

I tend to think about what I have left to do that I haven’t done. I worry myself into a frenzy about the fact that I’ll never accomplish it all. This is quite possibly because I want to do so many things. I want to write. I want to blog. I want to own a bookshop. I want to knit. I want to play more video games. I want to play more board games. I want to read more books. I want to hike more. I want to start a podcast. I want to volunteer at an animal shelter. I want to work with teens. I want to do yoga. I want to meditate. I want to bake. I want to throw grand parties. I want to travel.

I want to do all of these things, and the terrible thing is that there isn’t enough time or energy to go around. I know I simply cannot accomplish these things, but I try and tell myself that I can. I try and say “Wake up at 5 and read for one hour, then write for one hour, then do yoga, and then…” until all of a sudden I’m forgetting that I need sleep, and so waking up at 5 becomes difficult, and my daily routine that I’ve built is fucked from the start.

So how do I choose? How do I figure out what things I want to do more than ever?

The thing is, everyone always says that it’s hard to figure out what you want to do with your life. I always assume people are talking about careers when they say that and I always feel really lucky because I always knew that I wanted to own a bookshop, and maybe one day I still will. For now, being employed in one feels good enough. It’s now, though, that I’m realizing that I’m having a hard time narrowing down what it is that I want to do with the rest of my life. The parts when I’m not at work. The parts when I’m away from the bookshop. What do I do with that time? How do I parse it out? The options are endless. I have the books to read and the yarn to knit and the pantry is stocked with ingredients to turn into delicious treats. I have the laptop and the quick typing skills and the imagination to spin stories.

I just don’t have the time to chase all of these dreams.

But I think I’m starting to figure it out. I think I’m starting to realize that I just need to be structured and organized. I need to have priorities.

So here are the things I try and do every day:

I meditate. I read. I write. I work in a bookshop. I knit. I do yoga.

And then I have the things that I try and do on a weekly basis:

I bake. I blog. I read blogs. I submit at least one piece of writing to some publication somewhere. I play video games.

The rest? The rest I let myself do when I can. I work with a really great group of teens two Sundays out of every month and Fiance and I hike as often as possible. The traveling is something we’re trying to make sure we do semi-regularly, and the grand parties will happen when we have a house that can provide the space we want for things like that.

I’m trying to be easier on myself about these things. I am also planning my wedding on top of all this, after all, and it looks like that can be a time-consuming task (who knew?), but while I try and be easier on myself, I’m also trying to not let myself lose sight of these dreams and these passions. Maybe I fear waking up one day and realizing I never did so many things that I wanted to? I’m not sure, but all I know is that I never want to stop doing. I never want to stop creating. And I never want to be bored. There’s so much out there to learn and to do. So I’m doing my best to make something of this life of mine.

Anyway, that’s what I think about when I can’t sleep. What about you?


In related news, I'm still working on what I am affectionately calling "The Awkward Giraffe Project", a thing I'm doing to help save the giraffes because THEY'RE DYING AND WE NEED THEM YOU GUYS. Here's the deal: You donate to the Giraffe Conservation Society and I'll crochet you a stuffed giraffe and mail it to your house. Read more details in this blog post. No, I don't have a lot of time, but that's not your concern. It might take me a little while to get you your giraffe, but you will get one. I promise. So just do the right thing and worry about the giraffes, not me and my time management skills, okay?

Now, tell me about your life. What's new, friends?

Giant Wild Ninja Turkeys, Everyone. Giant. Wild. Ninja Turkeys.

Okay, so disclaimer: I do not have the reflexes of a lightning fast cheetah, so I did not capture this moment on camera. You're just going to have to trust me that it actually happened. I live on the second floor of an old farmhouse and my couch is positioned next to a window outside of which is the first floor rooftop, which is slanted and made of tin. This is important information.

So, I was just calmly sitting on my couch, crocheting while watching Gilmore Girls. You know, the usual.

Everything was great. The sun was still out, but it was a rainy afternoon, so my couch was, like, the best place to be ever. I even opened the window next to me so that I could enjoy the sound of the rain hitting the tin roof while I sipped my coffee and watched my fictional biography play out before me. To say it was perfection is kind of an understatement.

Oh rainy afternoon, how I love thee...

So I'm in my zone, right? I'm all "Le sigh... life is beautiful.... Gilmore Girls is the best and these fingerless gloves are going to be so cozy this fall!" and then


Hm? What? That didn't make sense? Allow me to elaborate: I was sitting on my couch, enjoying a calm and relaxing Sunday afternoon when a WILD TURKEY LANDED ON THE ROOF RIGHT OUTSIDE OF MY WINDOW.

So there we were, Reginald (that's what I named him, of course) and I, he on on my roof and me on my couch. We shared a brief glance with one another before he just flopped off the tin roof because HELLO, IT'S A SLANTED, WET TIN ROOF, REGINALD, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? and then he gobbled away.

Even weirder is that for the next few minutes, I could hear him gobbling, but I couldn't see him anywhere.... which leads me to believe that I'm dealing with some fucking ninja turkeys, you guys, and that's terrifying.

Remember when I lived in Ohio and my biggest issues with nature involved bunnies eating my vegetable garden? Yeah...

A Mildly Inappropriate Conversation with My Mother

Mom: I just found your old bank checks that you lost a few months ago. Me: Seriously?! Where??

Mom: In a laundry hamper in the upstairs hall closet.

Me: Obviously.

Mom: Yeah, that makes total sense, right? I'm actually finding a lot of interesting things!

Me: Whatever it is, I'm holding it for a friend.

Mom: The packet of ribbed condoms, too? Darn, I was gonna take those! Hahaha

Me: Ew! What?!?!

Mom: They were inside a big winter glove. Probably a gag gift, right?

Me: Well, at least we know the gloves are having safe sex.

Mom: Hahaha - The poor thing doesn't have a partner, though!

Me: Aw, so lonely! And yes, my friend gave them out as a gag gift a few years ago. I completely forgot about those.

Mom: Nice!This is the fun part about my kids moving away. I get to go through all their sh-t... Good God, how many hats did you knit?!

Me: They kept me from needing the condoms.



There's a Little Old Lady Inside of Me, and I've Let Her Out to Play

It's true, and I think that Dragon has known this fact for some time, but I'm really starting to come around to the truth of it in its entirety. There were a few signs that have always been there:

1) I love to crochet and knit.

2) As soon as it starts to snow, I buy a jigsaw puzzle that I can sit inside and work on throughout the winter. (I've had my eye on one at the store for months!!)

3) I have major hip and back issues.

4) I love antiquing and things that are really old. Dragon once asked me "Why do you like all the things that make life more difficult?" to which I responded "I believe in a simpler time." and Dragon just looked at me and said "That makes no sense. It can't be simpler if it makes life more difficult." This is an on-going battle for the two of us. Example: I refuse to buy a Keurig. First of all, my friend Lemon, accurately pointed out that they look like Cylons from Battlestar Galactica, and second of all, I love my french press. It tastes better, and there's a certain ritual to getting up and brewing your coffee in the morning that I really appreciate. Another example of this fact is that for my TWENTY-SECOND birthday, Dragon surprised me and took me to Amish Country to go wine tasting and then we went to the Werther's Woodcarving Museum - and I was ecstatic. Literally could not stop smiling. Maybe a lot of that was due to the wine (Amish people make awesome wine!), but don't most people just go to the bar on their 22nd birthday? This fourth point has gone on way too long.

Anyway, so these were the four main character traits that made me seem a little old, but the fifth and most recent one that came about really drove things over the edge.

I don't have a television, but I do have Netflix, and I love it. I absolutely adore it. (Does that make me seem a little younger?) I can watch all of my favorite shows without having to deal with commercials or accidentally finding myself watching crap like Honey Boo Boo all day long. (That young child needs a serious education at an etiquette school!) Instead, I find myself watching really old episodes of Saturday Night Live (I just started watching them from the very beginning, because I thought it would be fun to see how the show and cast progresses. No? Is that just me?) and my most recent and favorite Netflix discovery: THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I am in love with Dick Van Dyke.

Now, I have my modern day celebrity crushes, don't worry, but I am seriously like, in love with Dick Van Dyke. Not only do I find him attractive, but he's absolutely hilarious, which brings him right to the top of my list. (Sorry, Dragon, it's a really close race. Like, we'd need a photograph to prove who crossed the finish line first) Just look at him! He's adorable! And if I ever become a housewife someday, I am totally taking lessons from both my mother and Mary Tyler Moore. I mean. Mary Tyler Moore is just fantastic (as are you, Mom!) and she's cute as a button in this show, too! Now, granted, I would change a few things, like the fact that they sleep in separate beds (where's the fun in that?), but other than that, I'm totally content with the whole "hilarious husband, beautiful and charming housewife, and adorable, albeit slightly dim, child" lifestyle - and the Petries most certainly did not have a Keurig!

So the other day, Dragon came into my house to pick me up to go out and found me sitting in my bed, the dog sleeping at my feet, and the laptop in front of me playing The Dick Van Dyke Show while I crocheted.

Dragon: Oh my gosh. I hate all of this.

Me: still staring at the screen You hate all of what, dear?

Dragon: This! This entire image! And don't call me "dear"!!

Me: Why not, darling?

Dragon: Stop it!

So yes, I am absolutely convinced that I might just be a little old lady trapped in a foxy - okay, gangly and awkward - twenty-something-year-old's body. I guess I shouldn't complain.

And I still maintain that the whole Netflix thing proves that I am somewhat youthful, right? Like I'm good with technology and that's rare among elderly people? Is that agist?

Here, have a butterscotch.