life lately // august 2021.

life has been moderately quiet for the last month, but in a good way. here’s how i’ve been spending my time, if you’re curious.

meet stella. memphis, tennessee. august 2021.

lots of dog sitting. i came back from new york straight into a 10-day dog sitting job, and since then i’ve had three more. i have two more jobs scheduled for this month, one in september, and a tentative one for october depending on where i’m living at that point. it’s been so fun to couchsurf and hang out with old and new pup friends, and the regular change of scenery has been good for me. and the money has definitely come in handy.

watching the olympics. i love watching the olympics*. i love watching the sports i follow anyway, like women’s soccer and swimming, and i also love watching the things i don’t normally get to watch, like the triathlon and the track and field events. chrystal and i texted each other updates throughout, and it was great having her and dillard for company when those us women’s soccer matches started at 3am. it was hell on my sleep schedule, but it was worth it.

taking online courses. i have been a fan of coursera for many years, and this current round of funemployment has allowed me to check out some very interesting courses they offer. i completed one on leading diverse teams and organizations and am currently trying out one on removing barriers to change, another on inclusive leadership, and a specialization in organizational leadership. in the absence of in-person lectures and events, these courses have been feeding my love of learning.

setting up cocktail chatter. last week i mentioned my new project, cocktail chatter, to gather my friends virtually and have them share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to. i intentionally kept the group small for the first few gatherings so i could fine tune how i want to structure it, and going forward i’ll slowly begin inviting more people to join. ideally i would love for those who participate to invite their own friends and coworkers so that i am not the only connection point, so hopefully that will happen organically in the coming months.

getting back into the habit of cooking. between traveling and dog sitting, i went nearly a month without going to the grocery store. i don’t say that with pride, but that’s how it went. i have always struggled with cooking for only one person, and it’s been especially bad recently, so i have been bookmarking new recipes and trying them out. it’s going to take me some time to make it a habit again, especially with how much i will be in and out of the house over the next few months, but i am taking it day-by-day and celebrating small wins.

building up my strength. i am still banned from long walks, runs, and hikes. i have my ankle braces that i wear for 6-8 hours a day, and i am doing regular at-home workouts to continue strengthening my ankle muscles and joints. i have a follow up appointment with my podiatrist in a few weeks and am hopeful to at least be cleared for short walks in the next few months. i’m going a little stir crazy.

got a new roommate! through sheer good luck, megan’s boyfriend steve needed a new place to live at the end of july and i wanted and needed a new roommate. my hope was to find someone who would be okay sharing the house as long as i’m in memphis and then would rent the whole place once i move, and steve was on board. his stuff is all here, but between our two schedules we have yet to overlap. regardless, it’s good to feel another person’s presence in the house again.

a lot of reading. this one comes as no surprise, but i shocked even myself by finishing 10 books in july. i’ve slowed down considerably this month but am still on pace to read 75-80 books this year, which i still have difficulty wrapping my brain around. i’ve been reading a lot of quick mystery and romance novels, but even so i’ve also been soaking up a lot of other fiction and nonfiction. i’m in a few loosely structured book clubs, and those have helped keep my motivation up, and as the weather allows i have loved taking an hour to read out on the porch.

taking time for myself. more than anything, i have done my best to be kind to myself. while finding a new job is still a very high priority – i need both the salary and the mental stimulation – i have also been very careful to not let that take over my life. if there is a day where i don’t have the energy for it, i give myself a break and read or watch a movie or cook a meal or clean my room instead. and the beauty of setting my own schedule means that my hours can be as flexible as i want them to be. some mornings i wake up and read in bed for an hour before i get up. i’ll take a break from writing cover letters and watching videos for my courses to do a workout or go to the grocery store. i am lucky enough to not be in desperation mode just yet, and i plan to continue taking full advantage.

so there you have it: what life has looked like for me recently. the rest of august will bring a buda besties reunion with maggie and katie this weekend, more dog sitting adventures [including a reunion with baxter!], and hopefully some good news on the job search front. i have a stack of magazines that i ignored while the olympics were on, and i need to get back into a good sleep routine, but otherwise life is moving along slowly but steadily.

i hope that wherever you are, your month is treating you well.


*i have many not-positive thoughts about how the olympics are managed and about the human and economic impact it leaves on the cities who host, but i’ll save those for private conversation. for today i’m focusing on my love of the sports.

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