Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Life

More things I wonder

I haven’t done a things I wonder post in quite awhile and although I had planned to write a post today correcting yet another asshole on the internet who is completely and utterly wrong, I decided to save that for another day and wonder out loud instead.

Because I do what I want.

  • I haven’t been to the library in like 6 weeks. Are the librarians sad? Happy? Have they noticed?
  • Why can’t the prices of drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts match the increments of the gift cards they sell? Who the fuck enjoys having 82 cards with like 9 cents on each one?
  • Why does my flexible spending company not believe that places with words like “orthodontics” and “vision academy” are medical providers? 
  • Can daylight savings time go away?
  • Am I the only one creeped out by Pinocchio?
  • Why does NetGalley take so damn long to tell you if you were approved for a book? PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW AND KNOW IMMEDIATELY.
  • Is there a way to care less about March Madness? Because if there is, I’d like to know it. I’m curious to find out just how far my indifference can go.
  • Do people actively avoid me like I avoid them? I mean, I’m sure the answer yes but I still would like to know. Maybe I don’t. Mark me as undecided on this one and forget I asked.
  • Can one own too many pairs of black yoga pants?
  • Why does my microwave heat things to boiling inedible hot or not at all? (Perhaps it’s time for a new one but I hate shopping for appliances. Are there personal shoppers for these things?)
  • I know I wrote two of these so why can’t I find the second?

How about you guys? What are some things you wonder?

Weekly six-pack, 2017, v11

Concise recap because this is coming to you direct from my phone and holy shit is typing a blog post on the phone annoying. I apologize for any weird formatting and autocorrects.

Reading. Finished Never Let You Go. Started Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Picked up nothing from the library and nothing new from NetGalley although I did learn you can have a wish list and I promptly added Amy Stewart’s new book to that (third book in the Kopp sisters series). Thanks, as always, to everyone who participated in SUYB. 

Watching. American Crime. If you guys haven’t watched it yet, I implore you to do so. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix and if the season 3 premiere is any indication, this one is going to be a doozy.

Eating. These one pan shrimp fajitas. I added guacamole on the side because GUACAMOLE. We also had it with yellow rice instead of tortillas. 

Wondering. WHY??! This book fucking sucked and I can’t imagine the movie will be any good. I guess the upside is no one will think the movie ruined the book which, to be honest, is the big fear I have with the series adaptation of YOU. I’m not sure I want to see that but let’s be honest. I will watch it. Same with Dumplin’ and All the Bright Places. And good god, can all the books I like please stop being movies? 


Considering. This reading challenge I saw on the We Need Diverse Books IG account. It’s short and easy enough. Plus, it’ll force me out of my comfort zone. Anyone else interested in it?

Laughing

Hope you guys have a great weekend! Be safe if you’re going out for St. Patrick’s Day. See you back here on Tuesday!

Making my bed and other advice I do follow

Last month I wrote a post about all the advice I don’t follow. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad advice; it’s just not for me. Which is fine. Everyone is different and I think it’s important to listen to different perspectives and take from them what you need. But I figured it was a good counterbalance to that post to discuss the advice or suggestions that I do follow.

A qualifier: I don’t follow all of these to the T. I screw up, make changes, and sometimes flat out ignore them. But overall, this are a few tips and tricks I’ve accumulated along the way to make improvements:

  1. No social media notifications on my phone. None. Not at all. Not email, IG, Pinterest. I don’t even have Twitter or FB on my phone (although I do have groups and messenger, mostly for communication with the child’s gym. These people hate email). I did, at one point, have notifications for all the apps turned on but it stole so much of my time and sanity that I got rid of it all. It has made a huge difference in my presence with people and eliminates distraction. One exception: MLB score updates on all Mets and Orioles games. 
  2. Prioritizing my time. I’m a huge advocate for the way Laura Vanderkam discusses time and time management and using her system has, well, I don’t want to say revolutionized because that’s too dramatic but drastically changed how I use my time. Basically, instead of trying to do everything, I’ve whittled down my core competencies and what’s essential and important to me and fit my time around achieving the goals within those. I might be mixing up messages from two of her books but whatever. It works for me. 
  3. Meal planning. I don’t meal prep. I discussed that last time. I do, however, meal plan. I’m not a good enough cook to look at a whole bunch of random ingredients and mix it all up into something palatable nor do I have a good enough memory to remember recipes or what I need to buy at a store (or have on hand). Meal planning makes me pay attention to what I’m buying (saving money FTW) and it also assures that I know what I’m cooking and how to do it properly. It also answers the question “what’s for dinner?” I hate that question. 
  4. Sleep routine. Confession: my sleeping habits are shit. I have a terrible time falling asleep, staying asleep, and all that jazz. It’s even worse when my anxiety hackles are up. I had tried everything but what’s really helped is having a routine. And not having electronics in the bedroom. True story: we don’t have a TV in our bedroom and I won’t even read an eBook before bed, no matter how good it is. The combination of those has led to me being able to sleep decently 4-5 nights per week which is a HUGE improvement. 
  5. Making my bed. I forgot where I saw this originally but it basically said that making your bed sets up the rest of your day. It helps you feel organized and put together and some other helpful shit like that. And you know what? It’s true! There’s something about making your bed that separates night from day and says “let’s get today going”. It also makes my room look neater (and, considering my husband is a class A slob, any little bit helps) and keeps the dogs off the sheets. Everyone wins!

So there you go. Some of the advice I DO follow. 

How about you guys? What are some tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way that have made a difference in your life? Which ones do you recommend I try? 

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Weekly six-pack, 2017, v10

What a week. Not so much from the I got a whole lot done perspective but more in the wow, this week has gone by in a fog perspective. I have approximately zero clue what I’ve done, where I’ve been, or anything at all, really. But I guess it couldn’t hurt to try to figure it out. 

Reading. Finished Nearly Found and The Best of Adam Sharp. Started Difficult Women. Got one new book from NetGalley and none from the library. Still working on my priority list and once I get through the books mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m comfortable starting request library books to read along with the NetGalley ones. And don’t forget, Show Us Your Books is on Tuesday!

Attending. Meetings. A lot of meetings. Mostly over the phone, which is nice, but some have been in person and that’s no fun. Plus they leave me feeling drained and not wanting to talk to anyone. Even more than usual.

Celebrating. My kid. She had a hell of a week, starting with winning a bid to compete at Disney World in May and ending with straight As, yet again, on her report card. This was like the 4th or 5th consecutive report card with straight As. We don’t pressure her to do anything except her best so the fact that her grades are all self-motivated makes it even more amazing.  

Using. Remember how I talked about my introvert activism? Well now you can add lazy activism to the list. I learned about this website that will MAIL THE POSTCARDS FOR YOU. You type your message, pay a small fee for the postcard plus postage, and they do the work. There are now no excuses to not contact your representatives. NONE. 

Watching. Big Little Lies. When I found out they were adapting this into a TV show, apprehension took over. Liane Moriarty isn’t exactly a spectacular writer but this was an excellent book and we all know what can happen in that situation. But it’s on HBO, which is helpful, and wow! I’m pretty damn impressed at how good it is! It’s true to the book and incredibly well done and well acted. I’m glad it’s a limited run, though, because it would absolutely start to suck beyond the 7 episodes.

Laughing. 

That’s it for this week. Hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be at a cheer competition on Sunday and doing absolutely nothing on Saturday except reading and sitting on my couch. Looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday for Show Us Your Books!

 

My introvert activism

With 45’s presidency in full effect, we’ve reached a level of activism in this country (and around the world) that I’ve never seen in my almost 40 years. If you’re like me, you want to get involved any and every way you can except there’s one problem. You are a raging, textbook introvert. Crowds intimidate you. Confrontation, particularly on Facebook, is difficult. Calling people on the phone is nerve-wracking and while good for an introvert in theory, is almost as difficult as confrontation. 

Basically, if you’re an introvert with a people aversion (like me), typical activism is not your cup of tea. But, fortunately, there are still things you can do to support your cause or #resist. I’ve talked a little bit about this before but here’s what else I’ve been doing:

  1. Voting with my money. I don’t have a ton of disposable income right now (thanks, Disney World. #cheermomproblems) but I do set aside some to contribute where I can like the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. I also frequent stores, businesses, and other places that align with my beliefs and don’t support hatred and discrimination. 
  2. Social media. While I don’t engage in discussions on FB, I will share posts on Twitter or support other activists on their social media platforms. For instance, a friend of mine is a concert producer (like big time. Runs the shows from behind the scenes) and she frequently uses the hashtag #damselinsuccess on IG. There’s also an IG account where they share what they’re working on and highlight other women (similar to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls). Following them, commenting, letting them know I support what they’re doing is sometimes the encouragement activists need to keep going. 
  3. Wear my label. I know this is mental health thing but it works here, too. Steph is really good at showing her feminist wear, and sharing others who make various products, so you can check out her site for ideas. But a simple, easy way to let people know where you stand is by wearing it. On your shirt, on your wrist, on your car. It’s subtle, maybe it’s passive aggressive, but that’s just fine by me. 
  4. Write letters. Or postcards. Calling is not my scene. I’ve never been a big phone person. I’m great face-to-face or in writing but the phone makes me weird and nervous. So you can imagine how hard it is for me to pick up the phone and call my representatives’ offices. EVEN THOUGH I know their job is listen to me, write it down, and move on, and they’re not judging me (seriously. My husband worked for Senator Carper and it was literally his job to answer the phone, write down constituent complains, pass them along, and then stop caring about it), it’s still difficult. So letters it is. 
  5. Buy or make things. I’m not crafty at all but if I was, I’d be making signs for my friends who do attend protests or making jewelry to sell or whatever other creative, artsy thing I could do. I could write a book like my friend Sheila and her friends did (and all the proceeds from the book go to Planned Parenthood) but let’s be honest, I’d write it and then not promote it. So instead, I’ll buy the things and share the things made by people braver and craftier than I. 

I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll find other ways to make my voice heard but for now, this will have to do. 

Other introverts, tell me what you’ve been doing? Anything working really well for you or anything working not at all?

 

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