1. My children will be happily playing or busy on a completely different layer of the house (I've been told that most people refer to these as "floors," but as this is my first 2-story that I've ever really lived in and I'm learning here), but as soon as I close my door ever so quietly in order to change (morning or evening), there's a little person who needs a) me, b) the cat or c) nothing at all, but they obviously don't agree that I need some space occasionally. So, I've learned that my children have super sonic hearing. They are able to hear the sound of me thinking about changing. I'm wondering how to use this to my advantage.
2. I only have 1 pair of jeans, and frankly, this is usually more than enough seeing as how I wear them about once every other week for "payday Friday jeans day." But then comes the difficult we're-gone-for-three-days-visiting-family-over-the-holidays situation, and I'm trying to decide what the best situation is when considering other pants situations need to be casual but not work-out casual, cohesive to the shoe situation so that I don't have to take an entire array of footwear, and not too tight because holiday food. So, I've learned that 1 pair can do 'ya if you consider the whole situation.
3. At the in-law Thanksgiving event, a great-aunt-in-law was there, and a delightful, kind woman she is. But like so many people of a certain age, the talk inevitably came back around to "Don't work so much because your kids will only be young once." And this was when she misunderstood me to say that I am teaching part-time. The boy, who is actually related to this woman and who naturally works full-time as well, was standing right beside me and didn't get "the talk." I was reminded that we (unfairly so) assume that a person (inevitably a woman) who works is forsaking her family time; I feel pretty strongly that my 5 AM grading time doesn't negatively influence my appreciation of my daughters' childrenhoodness and our time together. So, I've learned that these things don't always bother me because I KNOW BETTER but still, here's to hoping that I won't do that to other women-people someday (knowingly).
4. The other day, the Younger was beside me, looking at a picture of me holding her up & both of us laughing when she was 1-year old. She studied that picture a moment and finally, we had this conversation.
The Younger: "I like your face."
Me: "I like your face, too."
TY: "I mean I like your body."
M: "I like your body, too."
TY: I mean I like how you look in that picture."
M: nothing because my heart melted a bit
So, I learned (again) that kids are fantastic and honest and five is a really great age.
5. My mom got a dog. This is NEWS. I have known this lady for coming up on 35 years now and not once before 2 months ago can I recall hearing her mention "Gee whiz, I really wish that I had a dog." No, no. I would promise you ten times out of ten that my mom is a cat person because guess what we've always had since I was a scrappy little 3-ish something? Fine, furry felines. And my mom, she has loved her cats. But, she got a dog. She searched and researched until she found the perfect little mutt for her, and Sadie is a keeper. However. My children, namely The Elder, has a I-love-them-deeply-but-only-from-a-distance obsession with dogs stemming from the warring emotions that come from being a true lover of animals but also a girl who still harbors that guttural fear of having a BIG Saint Bernard WOOF in her face when she was 2 and having a neighbor's frisky German Shepard full-sized-puppy chase her when she was 6-ish because he thought they were playing and she disagreed. My children truly sequestered themselves in the opposite side of the house when forced to came to terms with my mom's utterly lovable 6-month old miniature schnauzer (or "snauzsher" as The Younger says), a true love-you-to-death-with-hugs-and-kisses kind of a dog. But, we prevailed and talked about the correct way to approach a dog. AND, once The Younger had had enough of following The Elder's lead and boldly determined that she was just going to have to meet this little pups, The Elder tucked tail and followed. Lo and behold, the girls a-d-o-r-e Sadie, and the feeling is oh. so. mutual. We are now drawing pictures of Sadie. Talking about Sadie. And, planning Christmas presents for Sadie. So, I've learned that my children can be brave after all. We had faith in them all along.
6. My new gym (because cold weather, folks & these lungs aren't made for that) comes complete with a 30-something white male who thinks that a good workout is about an hour's worth of running AT FULL SPEED (right around a 9 or 9.2 out of the highest speed of 10 on the treadmill - as a point of comparison, when I am well warmed up and running at my fastest, I'm usually top out my run around a 6.7 or 6.8 and that's around a 9-minute mile). Except that he doesn't run the whole time but stands there for 30-seconds or a minute looking intently at his phone after every 2 or 3 minutes of running. And, he's really loud. Plus, sweat flies off of him. It thoroughly distracts me from my enjoyment of whatever HGTV shennanigans and ESPN hijinks are on. So, I've learned to avoid the 5:00-6:00 hour like the plague.
7. One night, I psyched myself out from running when it was cold and 7:30 and I'd had a full day already. The boy convinced me to use his yoga for runners DVD instead. I love me some yoga on many a day, but never in my very existence will down-facing-dog bring me joy and inner peace. It is death. So, I've learned to never trust a yoga instructor who chirpily adds that "This is a resting position..." AND to understand that my shoulders will be sore-baby-sore after that sess.
8. Since we've moved here, I've paid almost a month's mortgage in late fees at the public library. So, I've learned that living 10 minutes away from the library means I never go there now. Or something. This may really be our new norm.
And that reminded me that I had books due today. And didn't renew them. So wrap it up, Eunice and get thee to an online renewal option. Oy oy oy vey.