What a wonderfully slow and relaxing weekend it’s been! This is just what I needed before the storm that is late August and early September in higher education. It can be incredibly rewarding working at a university, but there are certain times of the year when it feels like you’re in survival mode. One of those times would have to be from the beginning of fall semester until Labor Day. “Just keep swimming” is my fall semester mantra. Ha! As we approach those busier times of year, it’s important that I take those rare moments of free time to fully unwind.
On Friday night, Kelly and I had a date night. Because we both work at the university, it’s definitely hard to connect with one another at the end of summer. His busy times start a little earlier than mine since he works in Residence Life. During the past few weeks, he has worked longer hours and weekends, and I’m often on my own. He was able to break away Friday night, and we took advantage of it and had a dinner date at our neighborhood coffee shop, The Edge. I think The Edge has some of the best coffee in town, but I really love their salads. I am all about a “big salad”, and for me, it’s hard to find a really decent one in Jonesboro. Don’t sell me a dinky little handful of lettuce and call it a salad! So far my favorite salad in town is The Edge’s Mediterranean with the Raspberry Vinaigrette. They put a massive scoop of hummus on it, sprouts, and I swear there is some sort of artisanal lettuce involved. I don’t know what they do to their crop, but it’s some good lettuce. We took our time and had a long meal and good conversation. Then, it was back to the house to catch up on the DVR queue. You can tell you’re both introverts when a night in with the cats is the best date night you can imagine!
Some mornings I’m a smoothie for breakfast girl, but there are many days that I need something more to tide me over until my lunch break. Lately, my favorite go-to breakfast is oatmeal. I’ll spare you from listing the many health benefits that I’m sure you’ve heard for years on how healthy oatmeal is, but personally, my favorite thing about morning oats is how creative you can be with them. Seriously, you can throw anything in oatmeal, and it seems to turn out great. It’s a forgiving base, and I’m no chef, so I appreciate forgiving! I do like instant oats, but a new favorite of mine–the internet famous, Overnight Oats. I use Olena’s recipe with honey instead of maple syrup. Mainly, because I didn’t have any syrup on hand the first time I made them, and I have yet to get around to buying a bottle. My recent favorite additions to oats are walnuts, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and throw in whatever random fruit is on your counter. There you have a filling breakfast that will keep that mid-morning grouchfest at bay when you curse yourself for not securing the lifestyle of a stay at home cat mom. Someday, folks! Someday.
I’ll admit that I can often be a glass half empty sort of lady. That’s my default setting. Someone described me as “peppy” recently, and I had to turn around and see if they were referring to some other Sarah standing behind me. Truth be told, from childhood to present, I tend to have a personality very similar to that of Daria Morgendorffer (see below for the photographic evidence I’ve included). I’m the first in a meeting to roll my eyes when anyone suggests “icebreakers” to “get to know one another better”, and most cards with sappy messages make my skin crawl.
As I get older, however, I find cynicism to be lazy and boring. It’s draining on others when you’re always predicting the storm. For someone truly so happy with life, I notice myself complaining way more than I should. How do you change a personality that has been that of a grouchy 80 year old woman since birth, I’ve wondered? Well, Rome definitely wasn’t built in a day, but I’m getting there, friends!
I find gratitude helps me so much. I had a friend that once asked me how I was so happy (Jaw, meet floor.), and the answer for me is always the beauty in the details. Little moments of content are what make up a life when time moves so fast with age. The simple pleasures are so easy to find when you take a moment! For me that looks like a “Good Things List”. What is on your Good Things List so far for this week?
Jogging one lap and walking two laps for a total of four miles last night! That may not seem like much for some but for a novice exerciser, it feels pretty special. The last mile the “jogging” was pretty slow going, but I did it. There’s nothing like that sense of accomplishment when your brain is telling you no but your body pushes through.
Recent gifts of Spearmint and Lemon Balm from a friend
I had my first facial in years yesterday, and I can’t wait to report on it here soon!
I have my first sprout crop, you guys! Months ago I brought a sprouting lid, but it took Kelly finding a wide mouth mason jar at the thrift for me to finally test it out. Voila! It looks like a weird mass of weeds, but I promise you, there’s nutritional goodness in there. I love sprouts in salads and on sandwiches, but I find them to be pretty pricey when you buy them. It’s so easy, I might pick up a few more sprouting jars and have a window sill sprout farm going soon!