You may (ha! or may not) have noticed my absence this past week. I was feeling….uninspired. I didn’t physically feel good, but I also felt temporarily dried up. Like a raisin. Or maybe apricots. I like dried apricots. (Just don’t eat too many at once! Ba-dum-sha!) I felt like retreating this past week and I’m still not entirely sure why. But whatever the reason, I’m back. Aren’t you ECSTATIC?
For other reasons, I spent time this week focusing on what I’m thankful for and the many blessings I have in my life. It’s amazing how much better you feel about yourself if you honestly do that exercise. Shelter? Check. Food? Check. Working brain (most of the time)? Check. Awesome sunglasses? Double check. I hate to admit it, but I was definitely wallowing in self-pity for a few days there, and I really hate that feeling, yet I think all of us wallow for a bit here and there. And that’s allowed, as long as you suck it up after a couple of days and get yourself out of the muck and back into reality. A friend’s Facebook post this week helped. It said something to the effect of “There’s always someone out there who’s got it worse.” You know what? That is so true. I felt ashamed after reading that, because while problems are relative, they’re not at the same time. For example, I don’t get to see my boyfriend every day, or even every week, in person, but I have access to him through technology. How many military spouses can say that? Not many, that’s for sure. I have friends and family who love me and want me to succeed and that thought makes those bad, self-pity-filled whining sessions a whole lot shorter than what they could be.
I also made effort this week to get out. I left campus, which I realized I haven’t done that much lately, or at least not for anything interesting. I met up with one of my best friends for lunch in Dupont Circle, and let me tell you: I WAS A NEW WOMAN. I missed the city! I took the Metro and found a new Starbucks to waste time at; I loved the Greek cafe we dined at and the new accessories shop we found. (I did not, however, enjoy the mile and half drive back to school from the Metro station in THUNDER SNOW. What the heck does that mean, anyway?) (I’ll tell you what it means! It means Laura, scared to death, driving a manual in three inches of snow behind a bus that’s SLIDING BACKWARDS toward her.) (I love the city.) Anyway, the point is that I got out and I remembered why I was here, so far away from the people I love the most. And I needed that.
Later in the week, I visited the FDR Memorial, which I hadn’t been to in my adult life. It was pretty cool, for a memorial, but the best part is getting to walk along the tidal basin and see amazing views of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial.
(Considering I have no photographic skills whatsoever, I’m rather proud of this picture!)
I also like this one too. 🙂
It was really nice getting out and seeing some new sights, but more importantly, it jump-started my inspiration! I needed to feel energized and excited to be here again, and my forays into the city did just that. There are several other places I want to venture into, and now that one of my besties moved up here, I have someone to explore with! (The Postal Museum is still going to happen, but I have a feeling you’ll like the other ones more!)
As for some more inspiration, I’m still stuck on Etsy. I always find something cool, I can spend hours just looking, and I’ve bought several well-received gifts from there recently. What’s not to love?
I am obsessed with these mixing bowls. Aren’t they gorgeous?? This seller has a million different pieces of this jade cooking and dinnerware and I absolutely love it!
I’m also inspired by music, and for the past week and a half, I’ve been listening to the same album over and over and over…
The song list includes covers of the Beatles’ “In My Life”, Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Shining Star”, and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”. While most of these songs on their own don’t get me too excited, Boyz II Men’s versions are UH-MAZING. Those Boyz have some serious, God-given talent. Fo sho.
Good coffee in the right atmosphere always helps me feel positively settled. There’s a local coffee shop in Takoma Park, just across the street from the Metro station, called Mayorga. They are a roasting company with a conscience, working to make a difference in the lives of those who farm the beans. The shops are primarily in the DC-area airports, with a couple on their own (like Takoma). Check out their website and order a couple of pounds of guilt-free coffee!
Martin Mayorga “cupping”. (Photo courtesy of Mayorga’s Flickr Stream)
So now I want to know: When you feel like wallowing in self-pity, what inspires you? What gets you to be productive again? Share with the class!