In Defense (?) of a Solo Road Trip

I went to visit my parents this weekend (my mom, having lived in Central PA for the past 15 years, recently moved back to my hometown in Western NY, where my dad still lives). Jeff wasn’t able to/didn’t want to take off work (ever the workaholic), so I embarked on the 6 hour drive on my own. I’m not usually one to drive lengthy distances by myself, but this trip reminded me of what a delight a solo road trip can be.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good car trip with Jeffrey – we’ve perfected the singalong (we have our harmonies down pat at this point), and it’s nice to have someone to chat with. I also love a road trip with friends, of course. But there’s something so refreshing about a nice, long trip with nothing but your thoughts and your music – no one else’s taste to consider. Your own snacks. Your own Podcasts (if that’s what you’re into). Your own route. Your own stops. The possibilities are endless.

For me, this meant a lot of time to think – about everything. Things that don’t matter. Things that do. The past. The present. The future. That sounds kind of deep and serious, but it really wasn’t – sometimes it’s actually fun to just think about whatever comes to mind, uninterrupted. Despite my anxious tendencies, very rarely did a stressful thought pop into my head. Go figure.

This also meant a renewed love for my music. Remember how I’ve said on multiple occasions that I’m in a major music rut? Well, all it took was 12 hours in the car by myself (and a little solo hotel time to boot) to renew my love for a whole plethora of music, plus discover some great new jams. I think this is partially because local driving (where I typically listen to the bulk of my music) is often distracted – only long enough to listen to a few songs at most, and I’m often only half-listening, while thinking about daily tasks. During an otherwise silent 6-hour drive, I’m able to fully immerse myself in the music (and/or sing at the top of my lungs).

On that note: I’m really digging Grizzly Bear’s most recent album (Painted Ruins), and discovered that I prefer the songs with Ed Droste on lead vocals, rather than the ones headed by Daniel Rossen (in case anyone was wondering). Also, I’m surprisingly pretty into Florence and the Machine’s new album…I’m not sure why I’m so surprised since I’ve enjoyed most everything she’s put out in the past, but there you have it. I originally checked it out because she’s coming to Philly in October with Grizzly Bear as her opener, and I REALLY WANT TO SEE GRIZZLY BEAR LIVE, but could take or leave Florence and is it worth the cost of a ticket to basically just see the opener? Okay, now I’m just rambling. But anyway – take a solo road trip if you get the chance. Very enjoyable.

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A Secret Tip to Make Time Fly

Or maybe not so secret…

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Get up and walk around! I know there’s tons of articles and studies discussing the importance of moving during the workday (especially if you work in an office), but I had always kind of brushed them off. Well, a few weeks ago I jumped on the FitBit train, and I’ve been getting up and walking at least 250 steps each hour since (I’m a slave to those goals).

Of course, it’s a healthy habit…but I’ve noticed that an entirely unintended side effect is that it makes my day pass so much faster. Whereas before it’d feel like hours for 5 minutes to go by, now I’m shocked when my FitBit buzzes and tells me to get up and move – it usually feels like I just made my last round a few minutes ago!

That’s it – just a quick, simple tip to make the day drag a bit less. Give it a try!

Let’s catch up.

Hi friends! Let’s catch up, shall we?

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Reading:

A big, fat, nothing (literary, at least)…but I really want to get back into it! I read Jessi Klein’s memoir on the plane to & from Florida and really enjoyed it, which brought on a brief comedy book kick…but I’m starting to crave my thrillers again. I recently downloaded The Innocent Wife and was excited to dive in, but immediately forgot about it. I’ll get to it eventually!

Working:

On figuring out what my next career move will be. I’ve been feeling a bit bored at work recently…it’s nice to have some downtime, but I’m ready for a new challenge. There are a couple opportunities on the horizon, so fingers crossed!

Listening:

I’ve been in a huge music rut for the past…I don’t know, two years? I’m having the hardest time finding new music I enjoy, and I’m super bored with my old standbys. I’ve been leaning hard on musicals like a huge dork…Jeff & I recently saw Hamilton on Broadway which was the most incredible experience, and I’ve been very into the Spring Awakening soundtrack these days.

Wearing:

Jeans & sweaters, sweaters & jeans…and I’m so over it. I love me some sweaters, but I’m ready for the weather to warm up so I can pull my skirts and dresses out and put my puffer coat away. Get it together, spring!

Watching:

We just finished Wild Wild Country on Netflix, and it was wild (no pun intended, ha!). Highly recommended if you’re looking for something to make you say “WTF?!” It made us want to re-watch Making a Murderer. We’ve also been digging some newer comedies – A.P. Bio and Corporate are the first to come to mind.

Needing:

To get back on a normal schedule, desperately. A combination of Seasonal Affective Disorder and laziness has me waking up super late these days, and it’s bumming me out. I miss those quiet early morning hours, and productivity has gone out the window. I know it’ll be a lot easier once it starts warming up, but I’m looking forward to feeling human again.

Wishing:

For a home refresh. Jeff had some uncertainty going on with his career for a few months so we put any major purchases or projects on hold, but he’s accepted a great position with a new company (he starts tomorrow!) and I’m itching to get moving with some projects. I’m still loving our bedroom re-do that we finished this past fall, but our main bathroom needs work desperately, our porch needs major construction, and we’ve been dying for a new couch. I’m starting to feel the itch to move, but there’s really no reason to leave at the moment and I keep reminding myself to be patient and wait until the perfect house in the perfect location becomes available (plus, I’ll be heartbroken to leave our little house). In the meantime though, we need to make sure our current house is ready to put on the market…it’s go time.

Drinking:

Coffee, in higher quantities than normal. My usual cup a day habit has been creeping up to 2 or 3 cups on average. I do feel a little better about it since I cut dairy out of my coffee routine in favor of plant-based creamers, but I do still indulge in a real latte every now and then. I’ve also been drinking a lot of wine, and the occasional gin cocktail – Jeff’s been big into bourbon lately, so I’ve been trying to expand my booze horizons.

Writing:

The Good Food. As mundane as a lot of my daily posts are, it feels good to be writing regularly, and the straightforward format keeps writer’s block mostly at bay.

Eating:

I’m just gonna leave this here.

Wanting:

To run/walk outside, desperately. I haven’t stuck to my pledge to work out daily, partially due to laziness/SAD (such a vicious cycle, since exercise is a very effective antidepressant for me, but it’s so hard to get motivated when you’re already physically depressed) and partially due to some minor physical setbacks. This sounds like such a cop-out, but I was pushing myself a little harder than I probably should’ve with running and got terrible road burn on the balls of my feet, which led to huge gross layers of skin peeling off – sorry, I know that’s disgusting. If anyone has any recommendations on how to avoid this, PLEASE HELP. I’ve tried wearing two pairs of socks and it didn’t help at all. I’m pretty sure my shoes fit properly, and my stride is okay…my next step is to lubricate my feet, but it sounds uncomfortable and I’ve been putting it off. Anyway…I really do find it so much easier to keep up with consistent physical activity when I can just step out the door and go. I honestly do enjoy the gym some days, but some days I just don’t feel like getting in my car and driving somewhere (or changing clothes in the middle of the work day). I know we always get a mid-March snow storm, but winter really feels like it’s hanging on longer than normal this year and it’s killin’ me.

Dreaming:

Up our next adventure. Since our trip-heavy last year, the travel bug has bitten me, hard. I’m itching to get on a plane and go…pretty much anywhere. I’d love a trip to California (possibly San Diego, or maybe LA?), but I’d also be happy with somewhere a bit closer – maybe south Florida, or possibly the opposite direction to Maine or Vermont. I’d love to plan another international trip – Italy’s #1 on my list, and I’m always down for an all-inclusive, tropical getaway, but we’re in kind of an awkward place where we don’t know if or when I might get pregnant, so I don’t want to plan something big too far out and then have to cancel. We will see!

 

 

 

 

A (Very Dumb) Dilemma

So, I have a dilemma. Remember how I’ve mentioned I’m obsessed with Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce (which, by the way, I need to google the spelling of every time I write it)? Well…it’s SO GOOD that I can’t NOT use it! Which sounds like…well, not a dilemma, but…I LOVE making tomato sauce! I’m definitely not above a shortcut, but I genuinely love long, drawn-out cooking processes, and no sauce that I’ve ever made is as good (and I’ve made some pretty delicious sauces).

I could use the excuse that it’s expensive (which it is), but while it’s almost $10/jar at most grocery stores in my area (which is, dare I say, ridonkulous), Target sells it for around $6, which makes it really not that expensive. So I use it basically any time a recipe requires any kind of red sauce…you guys, it’s JUST SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. Jeff loves it, too. Sigh.

Okay, this week’s edition of “Problems that are ridiculous even as far as the first world is concerned” is over. Thanks for tuning in.

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