Are you still there?

It’s been so darn long since I’ve actually posted anything. At first it was due to lack of motivation and then it was because I got a new job! I began my new job during the last week of February and it’s been a whirlwind since then. I’ve been so busy and also stressed out that I have no time nor the energy. But always in the back of my mind, a voice often creeps in and tells me that I need to write. “YOU NEED TO WRITE! YOU SHOULD WRITE!” Sometimes when I am driving along, walking and thinking or after a great conversation, I often think I should write that down. YOU SHOULD WRITE THAT DOWN NIKKI! For the simple reasons of being stressed out, having little time to myself and procrastination, I do not write. 

So why am I writing today? Why do I write about needing to write more often? 

1) I feel like I am getting the hang of my job and everything that comes along with it. Perhaps it it because I am trying not to be so hard on myself. After all it has only been less than 3 months since I started the new job.

2) I miss writing. I miss learning and teaching myself to write more.

3) Other people’s blogs. I read a lot of interesting blogs in particular Rowdy Kittens and Life with Roozle. They get to write everyday and they love it even when they have to work at it.

4) Writing. It would help keep my sanity in check because I am writing my thoughts down.

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All Types of Love

This past Sunday evening, I made a batch of homemade peanut butter and pumpkin biscuits for our dog Willie. I got the recipe off Pinterest and it was pretty simple or so I thought. The recipe was simple but it was too moist so I added flour but then it was a tad dry. My attempt at rolling out the dough, per the instructions, was unsuccessful because it kept sticking to the rolling pin. And boy did this piss me off because I imagined it being a lot easier then that. Oh I forgot to mention that my love, my daughter was helping me out and even though it was a sweet gesture, I admit I wasn’t too keen on the idea. Only because I wanted to get the biscuits done as soon as possible…and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet and I was not in the best mood. As any other woman of age, we suffer the horrors of PMS. Some months are easier than others but those unfortunate days my hormones wreak havoc on ME. I do the best I can to be pleasant and inform my husband, and sometimes my brother, that I am not feeling well and sometimes I don’t mince words and I tell them I am feeling very bitchy. Grrrrr! I tell my husband I need some space and that it’ll pass over…several times throughout the day of course. The whole point of this is that I unfairly snap at my daughter without meaning too. Of course, I apologize and I immediately correct my actions. Usually I tell my husband or my brother to keep her occupied while I take a few moments to breathe, which usually does the trick. My daughter is the best helper there is, and I am taking full advantage because according to my mother, this will not last long. Soon I will be nagging her to finish the simplest chores.  

In the middle of baking the biscuits, I helped with giving my daughter a bath and returned to the kitchen to find my husband molding out the rest of the biscuits in shapes of a fire hydrant and squirrels. It was such a sweet sight for a girl who was feeling very grumpy, fat and bloated. My husband is such a wonderful man who tries to ensure that I am taken care of in any way every day. I am touched by his daily gestures and he always manages to surprise me. 

A little while later when the dog biscuits were done, I took two of them and called Willie over to living room, where my daughter and husband were, and gave the treats to Willie. Then my husband said something that I shall remember forever. I made the comment that Willie would eat anything put forth before him, and my husband said, “If that’s not love then I don’t know what is. Homemade biscuits made just for you.” It really made me think of various forms of love that come at the precise moments you need or want them. My daughter loves to help with chores because she loves us and wants to do what we are doing. She loves me even when her mom is in a shitty mood and wants to be left alone. She doesn’t understand the trivial things that seem to bring adults down, and I am learning to remember that each and every day. And my husband manages to make me feel loved and appreciated even after a long day of training at the hospital, and with a head cold to boot. 

Love is wonderful. Every human being deserves to be loved and respected. I am very fortunate to have both.

A Day In the Life of Me

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Last Friday, I worked in the greenhouse for 5+ hours taking sample and taking notes, and the views from inside were pretty awesome. BUT I start out my day at 5am for my daily Crossfit workout (hate to work out any later than noon) but only after a few morning chores such as turning on heat bulb for my hens and opening their door. The ground had fresh powder of snow and there was enough for a coyote to leave footprints in and out of the broader coop area (so glad we close the main coop door and gate leading into their coop area). I don’t blame coyotes for looking around for food because we all have to eat don’t we?

There is an awesome local coffee shop called “late for the train” and serve the best chai lattes I have had besides my own. I usually make my own but sometimes I just crave the idea of someone else making it for me. That was a good day even though it was long and there was some lag time.

Procrastination Nation

I’ve been having this problem for a long time and I’m still trying to grapple with the reality that I just have to do! It’s really tough to do things you keep putting off because no one is holding you accountable except for…YOU! We are are own worst enemies. Am I right? 

On any given day, I usually have, what feels like, a gazillion things running through my brain. I have to do this or that and I have to do it by then or soon. I used to be a task lister but that faded when my work load changed. I wouldn’t say the load decreased but rather my work changed. I am not traveling as much nor am I scheduling meetings for multiple principal investigators and I am not calling or emailing people to submit requested documents. My work varies and I really like my flexible schedule which allows me to arrive at work at 7:00-7:30am and leave early so I can pick up my daughter and brother, and perhaps complete some errands. 

Ok, let’s just say that I am very good at completing the necessary daily tasks: nourish my daughter, pick up my daughter, love my daughter, pick up brother from school and make sure he does his homework, collect eggs and feed my chickens, eat, workout and sleep, and then do it all over again. I am very good at doing things that people expect me to complete. Here’s where I get in trouble: when people get lax about due dates and times or if I don’t implement due dates and times for myself. This could apply to anything including posting on my blog (so I can practice and improve my writing) and posting photographs for an online course I am taking. It’s very tough for the reason that I procrastinate and I beat myself up when I don’t complete tasks within 24-48 hours, but it could be a lot simpler if I just practice the discipline of task listing and art of doing instead of saying I will do.

How do you handle procrastination?

 

Last Year and Now the New Year

So I almost did it! I almost finished a month of blogging everyday via NaBloMo December. I was doing fairly well posting content using the daily allotted prompts but then the holidays began. Now I am not much of a holiday, Christmas person and don’t make or wrap my gifts for other folks until the very last minutes before the gift exchange. In addition to the holidays, my little family and I spent a week out on the rez with my extended family, and it was just wonderful. I really do enjoy doing chores for my dad and mom so they don’t have to do it. Mostly the heavy lifting like hauling hay, water and wood. And our daughter brings so much joy to my parents and rest of the family and that makes the holidays that much more special. The other thing is that the Navajo Nation does not have adequate resources to bring quality Internet services out there so we do not have access to the world wide web, unless we are at the local school as an employee or library guest, or live on school campus. Some folks have Internet access via their smartphones but that depends on service providers. We choose not to use ours because the upload is too long and we are scared of using up our data just to check Facebook or something like that.

The New Year brings such joy and promises. Like a fresh clean notebook ready for pencil and pen markings of words and drawings. It’s a mental picture of the possibilities and opportunities in the coming year, and it is very exciting. My daughter has already had her milestone, using the her little portable potty chair to use the bathroom. Wow! That was great! So I predict that before her first birthday she will have potty-trained herself. That will be a relief to our diaper consumption. 🙂

 

All work and no play?

Everyday I come to work and I think of how lucky I am to be employed at the university that has provided insurance for the past couple of years for my family. It came at a very good time and in particular when my husband was in the midst of being in nursing school. It was the first job that I actually worked the standard full-time 40 hours per week that came with health benefits. I felt very grown up…mostly because for the past decade I was in school and working various part-time jobs, and delving further into the world of river guiding. And then I began work on the Native American River Guide Training Program, which I toiled on night and day (most of the time) and worked more hours than I was paid for. I worked very hard on making the program a big success especially in recruiting and raising funds for the participant fees. It was a program I was and still am very passionate about, but back then I was very deeply involved in all aspects. I was doing most of the planning and managing of the program, instructors and participants but I had amazing folks to work with, and most of whom I still work with today. Back then I don’t think I “played” very much because I felt my work was my play, too. Little did I know that outlook was taking a toll on me. You know what? My version of all work and some play was to work 60+ hours per week and play at the local bars or wherever there was a together involving the presence of a keg or six pack of beer. You see, I was an alcoholic without realizing I was or else I was in serious denial.

Plain and simple, I was drinking too much and I didn’t know it. I loved the feeling of drinking good beer (and bad beer as the evening went on) but then I got carried away. I thought this was how it was done. I didn’t know that some people stopped drinking at a certain point and I kept going. Then an event happened that changed my life. I almost had my life taken away. I was traumatized. To stuff that pain elsewhere I drank but even that wasn’t working anymore. I began attending counseling sessions and this woman helped me very much through this negative time in my life. At her insistence I began attending AA sessions which were also very helpful. Four years ago in November, I have been sober and so glad I am. Life is much easier. No more awful hangovers. No more purchases of unnecessary 30 packs of beer or pints at the bar. Waking up was more enjoyable.

So now I try to have a healthy balance of work and play time. If there is an unbalance, I am cranky and spacey. I cannot afford to be unreliable because of my daughter and husband who need me. These days I much prefer to be sober and happy. I pity all the college students I see staggering in and out of the bars and onto the city sidewalks every week and weekend beginning on Thursdays and especially on our city’s terrible allowance of Tequilla Sunrise. Alcohol in moderation and safe places is much better then in places where someone may get hurt or left behind.

Now when I “play”, I spend time with my family, read a book, care for my chickens and garden, and began DIY projects. I love my life!

Celebrations

I had two very good reasons for not posting last Thursday and Friday. My husband graduated from nursing school on Thursday evening and my sister graduated with her Masters degree in Climate Science and Solutions on Friday afternoon. On Thursday, my husband and I worked out at Crossfit Flagstaff and did half of “Murph” which consisted of an 800 meter run then 50 pullups, 100 pushups and 150 air squats followed by a final 800 meter run. Even though it was half a Murph it was still a very tough workout but we felt very good afterwards. We then ran some errands in town and then went home to eat breakfast/lunch and then we tidied up the house for the impending arrival of family later that evening, and for the reception the next day. We got our outfits ready including our daughter’s outfit, for my husband’s graduation ceremony. After we got ready, we had do some things before the ceremony, we went to drop my daughter’s clothes off with my sister, and  then pick up some pizzas for the high school students I work with. These are Native American students who reside at Kinlani Dorm while they attend the local high school, and we learn about climate change effects and solutions in their individual communities. Great students! I’ll have to tell you more about them later.

After we left the dorm, we went to a brief reception at a local Mexican restaurant where I met some of his classmates. He had such a good crop of students to work alongside with during the last two years of nursing school. After an hour, we headed to the school before the reception to save 10 seats for my family. To make a long story short, my daughter and I stood alongside my husband as he received his ribbon of completion and we watched as he received his outstanding student award. It was an amazing experience because my parents and other family members saw and heard what a great experience my husband had in school, and watched him be awarded for his hard work. It was amazing!

The next day we all got up early to start prepping food for my husband and sister’s graduation reception at noon. Now mind you, it snowed a 6+ inches the evening before but we were forth steadfast. Mainly because we were all hungry for my mother’s corn and mutton stew, which is made from her homegrown corn and organically raised churro sheep. When the time came, my father said a beautiful Navajo prayer blessing the food and the family who came to celebrate with us. It was really neat! Then around 2 and 3pm, people started heading towards town for the graduation. My husband and I left around 3:00pm because our daughter begin fussing and so the car ride lulled her to sleep. Whew! A grumpy and tired toddler is not very fun for anyone especially the toddler herself.

Anyhow, another long story short, we got to the graduation in time to see my sister receive her master’s degree and it was a beautiful sight. She graduated with distinction with means she was one of the top students in her class, and she should be because she worked so very hard during the past year and half. After she went up on stage, we shamelessly tired to get her to leave early so we could go celebrate at a local restaurant, but she wanted to stay through whole ceremony and then get photographed with her classmates. Then around 6pm, we met a diner on the east side of town (the west side was inundated with graduates and their families) where we had a great dinner. We ate very well and laughed to our hearts content. Afterwards, my husband and I said it was such an awesome dinner and a good way to end the a wonderful two days.

Of course, sleep was much welcomed and came easily that evening. I would have slept in the next morning but I had to go and volunteer at my gym’s competition that was also a fundraiser for a local foundation. To say the least, it was a very long day on my feet and talking with people and dealing with two very awful impatient men. So yesterday, I was still very exhausted and I felt very off. I was not happy. I was so tired but I struggled through it to spend an awesome day with my baby girl.

Celebrations are wonderful but oh so very tiring especially if you are the host or family of the honored ones. It is worth every minute of sweat and stress but it is also easier when you have a lovely husband and awesome family by your side to help you through the whole thing.