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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reprieve

Life has been very busy lately, but I received a reprieve this week in the form of bad weather. Most people dislike bad weather (you know, snow, sleet, rain, hail), but I actually like it. Provided I am in my cozy, heated abode surrounded by my dogs rather than out in said bad weather, I like it. It allows me to relax and feel comforted, all nestled in at home.

This week, the bad weather allowed me to stay nestled in at home instead of making the drive to Victoria for class on Tuesday night. My professor canceled class because the weather was not good when the Houston contingent would be making the drive and it was slated to be even worse when class let out and we'd all be making the drive home. So there was a reprieve this week and some extra time to do things at home and relax. For those of you in Oregon, the drive from Houston to Victoria is basically like driving from Portland to Brookings every single week. The total miles are just about the same.

The reprieve that I received allowed me to realize just how exhausting that drive is. Not having to do it this week made a difference in a number of ways. I got a lot done on Tuesday evening for one thing and for another, Wednesday was so much easier. I usually sleep in on Wednesday mornings because I get home around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night so I am tired. This week though, I was up on Wednesday running errands and getting things done. It was a good feeling to have that energy.

Lately, I've been trying to do things that simplify my life. I stole an idea from my friend, Liz, over at her blog: your life. simplified. I went to law school with Liz and she is truly one of the sweetest, smartest women I know. She practiced law for awhile before becoming a career counselor and finally moving on to start her own organizing business. I loved the idea she had in her blog for using a scrapbooking tote as a way of organizing correspondence. I used a gift certificate I received for Christmas to buy the tote and it's been SO nice to have all my stationary in one place that I can take with me wherever I go.

Something else I've done to simplify my life is download audio books from the local library. I had no idea this could be done until I went to the library site in search of audio books. I was going to see what they had available in their catalog and then stop by the library to pick them up. It turns out the local public library has gone all digital on us! You can download audio books to your iPod or other player or your computer. You can even burn some of them to disc. They have the permission of the publisher to let you do so. Who knew?? I downloaded a simple application that is needed to make it work (it's free and doesn't take up much space). You can "check them out" for two weeks and after that time, the files no longer work. If you've burned them to disc, I suppose you can keep them forever, but I don't care to do that. I just wanted to listen to them for the drive.

I downloaded the unabridged version of The Time Traveler's Wife (TTW) by Audrey Niffenegger and Family Tree (FT) by Barbara Delinsky. I've started listening to TTW already and it's fairly interesting. I love Delinsky and have read several of her other books so I'm looking forward to starting that one as well. Although I've been using the Internet for years, it still amazes me how much can be done and how much time can be saved with it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peace in the Middle of the Busy

Life has been busy lately. I guess it's always busy in varying degrees. I turned 34 on February 4th. It's hard for me to believe sometimes that I'm approaching my mid-30s. I don't have issues with aging like some other women do, it's just amazing to think that time is passing so quickly. It's been 15 years since I graduated high school, 11 years since I graduated college, and five years since I graduated law school. Time is flying by. I feel good about what I've accomplished in my life this far and there are so many other things I want to do. The future is looking bright!

One of those future goals is to become a practicing therapist. To that end, every Tuesday afternoon I drive to Victoria, Texas, which is 300 miles round-trip. It's a long haul because I make the drive in one day. I drive there, sit through class for 2 hours 45 minutes and then drive home. I usually make it home around 11:30 at night. Books on CD help a lot. I finished listening to The Lovely Bones last night. It was an incredible book and very life affirming. The book contained many lessons - how to move on after a tragic event, how to keep living while you're moving on, and how to honor the past, but look to the future. A beautiful story with so much meaning. I need to find a new book to listen to for next Tuesday.

I am very close to finishing school. I am taking Techniques of Therapy right now and am filling out the paperwork so I can start my practicum (field work) this summer. It's exciting to be doing something I love so much and that brings together everything I've done before.

Other than school and being excited about meeting some of my goals, I am getting things done at home too. My to-do list is always long, but today I started crossing things off it. It feels good to be able to do that. Some of it is simply housework, while other things take more thought and time. Still, I am getting them done.

On another note, thank you to everyone who has commented on the photos I've been posting. These are pictures I randomly find on the Internet while searching for other things or just looking at photos in general. I love pictures that bring instant calm to me and I post those in hopes that they will also bring peace and calm to my blog friends.