Tag Archives: getting a grip

Casa de Critter

13 Sep

There are a lot of great things about living on my own. The independence, the privacy, the bragging rights…but one thing I don’t like is having to deal with the growing presence of little critters in my apartment. When I was living at home, my dad was master exterminator. He was the one who would suck up the disgusting clusters of lady bugs that freaked me out, or pluck an enormous daddy-long-legs from the shower curtain. Now these delightful tasks have fallen to me! Just this week, there was a giant bug lurking in my magazine stack, and an ant colony under my sink! But last night, it all culminated into quite possibly the most traumatic thing to happen to an apartment dweller: There was a MOUSE in my apartment! Insert screeching, shrieking, and terrified hopping at your own discretion.

The giant bug and the ant problem were easily solved with an overly enthusiastic spraying of half a can of Raid and more shrieking, but the mouse?! Ewwwwarggggggguhhhhhheeeeekkkk! There I was, peacefully lounging on my bed with a book, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a movement which sat me up so quickly, my neck is still sore! And there, at the base of a chair I will now never sit in again, was a mouse! A tiny, cute little brown mouse…WHAT? NO. RODENTS. UGH.

Of course, maturely, I immediately started screaming, which surprised the mouse. But instead of running towards whatever hole in came in, it ran closer to my couch! So I shrieked, dropped my book on the floor, and shouted “Get out mouse!” until it ran back under the chair! I then cautiously got down on the floor to see if it was still there, and then started freaking out some more before realizing it was just the chair leg! Regardless, I spent the rest of the night tip-toeing across the floor, running past the “mouse area” and ripping the covers off my bed, thinking there would be another one snuggled up!

I just got back from the store, where I purchased six boxes worth of traps. Although thinking about it now, the only thing worse than seeing a mouse is having to dispose of one! Let’s hope he went home…or at least started living at my annoying neighbor’s place! Ah, adulthood!


Things I Bought This Week

16 Aug

This is shaping up to be week four of, drumroll please: “Literally having nothing to do for eight solid hours a day…so I might as well just spend money on stuff.” The past couple of weeks have been slow ones, and when I have nothing better to do, I online shop. Or rather online browse, until I finally just break down and buy a bunch of stuff in one day. Yesterday was that day.

It started with a simple search for a new bathing suit for my upcoming vacation, which turned into looking for a summer dress, which spiraled into shopping for a fall dress, which led me to boots, which led me back to flip-flops for my vacation, which left me dangerously close to booking another vacation. Thankfully, sanity stepped in on that last part, but in two-to-three weeks, I’ll be receiving packages like it’s nobody’s business!

I need to find a more productive way to channel my restlessness. Last summer, I whiled away the hours on Craigslist, and at my first job, I spent the endless bouts of free time weeping in the bathroom. So I guess I’ve evolved a little bit? At least I’ll be fashionable, right? Right?! …In the mean time, I better find a part-time job to pay these bills!

The Elusive Balancing Act

13 Aug

It is a well-known personal fact that I have a bit of a hard time with the whole work-life balance thing. When it comes to focusing on my work or personal life, the chips almost always fall to the former.  It’s either all work and no life, or no work and no life! I kid (sort of…), but I do find it challenging! This morning, I saw that the founder of one of my favorite blogs, Grace Bonney of DesignSponge, was giving a radio talk on this very subject! So I listened in and killed 30 minutes of my day!

Grace basically hit the nail on the head with a lot of the things that go through my head. She said the key to becoming more balanced is realizing that not everything is going to fall apart if you’re not there, and that a career isn’t ruined by saying no to one thing or making a single mistake. That last part is a huge one for me–I pretty much spent my first few months at this job in thinly-veiled terror that every mistake I made would be the be-all and end-all. Listen, my paranoia certainly hasn’t disappeared, but thankfully it’s lessened a bit, especially after I had my ulcer removed! But living with that constant stress isn’t healthy, and as I’ve been at this job longer and have become more confident, I’m learning to let things go a little more.

The other great thing about Grace’s chat was that she suggested making some lists! There is pretty much nothing I enjoy doing more than list making…I literally sometimes put “Brush your teeth” on my post-work to-dos! But she said it’s important to have both short and long-term goals, and to realize things don’t happen overnight! My impatience sometimes makes this a hard one to grasp too–I love my lists and making these goals, but the second I slip up, I scrap the whole thing and start from square one! Rather than helping, it’s only discouraging! So basically, if I don’t brush my teeth, my entire night is ruined! As are my teeth….

The bottom line is that the point of life is to find people and things that you love, and realize how those things fit. Yes, I love my job. And yes, I work hard to do well. But I also want to have good relationships in my life and invest time in other things I enjoy! …So basically, more happy hours?!

A Schedule of Sloth

19 Jul

My productivity level has officially hit a brick wall. After last week’s busy yet rewarding work week, I knew I’d have some down time, which I was both looking forward to and dreading! As much as I try to anticipate it, I’m still struck by how quickly I fall back into the pattern of lackadaisical laziness! Time and time again, the week works itself out like clockwork:

Friday afternoon: After a race to the finish, I finish up early and pat myself and my coworkers on the back, before busting out of work early and heading to the happy hour/social activity/…far more likely, the comfort of my bed.

Friday night: I make it to 9:30 PM, then fall asleep to the steady lull of my own lameness and the ending credits of Grey’s Anatomy. 

Saturday-Sunday: I catch up on sleep, talk about how tired I am, brag about my busy work week, and am all together a very pleasant person to be around, obviously.

Monday morning: I come in charged and refreshed, only to get distracted by People magazine, before getting my third cup of coffee, before moving onto my New York Times queue, before giving myself a pass because it’s Monday and I was busy last week and then leaving at 5:30.

Tuesday-Friday: See Monday morning. 

I don’t know what gets into me, but unless I am working like crazy, I barely do any work at all! All of the motivation that fuels my busiest weeks must get stored someplace far away from my brain. My intentions are to keep myself busy–there are always things to organize, stories to pitch, memoirs to write, right?! But instead, I find myself day after day shopping for summer dresses, daydreaming about my vacation, and researching adult ballet classes (still looking for that hobby…).

Ugh, I need to get in the game! Snap out of it, me! Find that ambition, reignite that spark! O…it’s 5:30, you say? Well in that case, I guess it’s time to call it a day!

Time For A Break!

6 Apr

I always know when I need a break from the city when I want to punch my hand through a wall, consistently, for ten hours.  This has not been an especially good week–I locked myself out of my apartment, my drunken psychopath neighbor returned from whatever psych ward he was at and was cursing and ranting until the early hours, and I haven’t been able to get a seat on the subway all week! The one saving grace is that I’ve been blow drying my hair in the morning, and it looks great. But is it enough to keep me from getting into an angry brawl before the day is over?

Usually, city life doesn’t bother me, but when I know I’m going to be leaving, even just for the weekend, everything seems exaggerated. Yesterday, I rode the subway home and a woman was holding onto the bar, her arm level with my nose. Every time the train would lurch, her arm would hit me in the face. Yes, this would always be annoying, but last night I was two seconds away from punching her in the neck! I settled on glaring at her so intensely I had crow’s-feet by the time I got off the train!

Then there’s my insane neighbor. I have never seen this man, but he makes sure that everyone within a thirty block radius can hear his senseless ranting when the mood strikes. After a half hour of incessant obscenities and offensive drivel, I started banging on my wall, shouting “SHUT UP” at the top of my lungs. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? He either passed out or moved to another room, and my fury gave way to exhaustion and I slept like a rock!

And then there are the smokers, the slow walkers, the cell-phone addicts, the baby strollers–daily obstacles that, this week, seem to be hitting my last nerve. Of course, it will reach the climax tonight when I arrive at the hub of all misery, the headquarters for the world’s most annoying and oblivious people: The Port Authority Bus Terminal.  Thank God it’s Easter and Jesus is in a forgiving mood!

Getting Myself Together

3 Apr

It’s been a really busy few weeks! For two weeks straight, I was working on week-of-air pieces, which meant many late nights and zero time for anything else. When last Friday night rolled around, I surveyed the sorry state of my apartment: two weeks worth of clothes I hadn’t put away, a huge pile of laundry I hadn’t done, and a fridge holding a moldy head of lettuce and a bottle of maple syrup. Instead of tackling any of this mess, I promptly collapsed into bed and watched two episodes of Mad Men before falling asleep on top of my keyboard. The life I lead!

But Saturday–you could not stop this. I cleaned my apartment like my life depended on it! I folded clothes, organized my dresser, color-coordinated my closet, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, washed, windexed, wiped and swept until there was not a corner of my apartment left unscathed from my scouring. Then I did laundry, returned my library books, grocery shopped, went for a run, and met my friends for dinner and drinks. SHA-BOOM. PRODUCTIVENESS.

I’m realizing that my life lately is all or nothing–and mostly that means all work and nothing else. I usually consider myself a really good multitasker, but I can’t seem to multitask both my work and social lives these days.  But Saturday was really refreshing because I felt like I was able to get myself back in order and clear my head. Now I just need to learn to intersperse these moments of at-home productiveness into my busy work weeks so I can avoid spending two hours of my weekend scrubbing my bathroom tiles!


23 Jan

Last week was a crazy week! I was working on a “crash,” which is a “technical” term in journalism for when people go absolutely crazy over the amount of work they have to do in a very short span of time. It had been a while since I had worked on anything like that, and it’s amazing how quickly you forget how stressful and exhausting it can be!

By Thursday night, I was seriously loopy, which made it a little hard to be professional. My coworker made one comment, which with more sleep, or if said earlier in the day, probably would not have struck me as funny. But at 9:30 at night, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Like, let’s laugh about this comment for five minutes and try to hide it by spontaneously fake coughing, which is fooling no one and you LOOK RIDICULOUS. Unfortunately, my colleague was in his own haze, and just kept making these little offhand comments and I was absolutely out of control!

I should have just gotten up and had a drink of water or something, anything to clear my head and refocus. Instead, I sat my computer station and willed myself to get a grip. That didn’t happen soon enough though,  because in passing, one of my other coworkers saw me and said “Well, someone’s got a case of the giggles!” This of course, just made me laugh harder! I am a hopeless case.

I wish I could tell you what it was that I found so hilarious, but alas, I cannot. At least my face eventually resumed its normal coloring!