Tuesday, March 8 2022

big documents, shuffling papers, and basics 2

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Dear Journal,

Good morning friends. Let's roll into this bright and sunny Tuesday morning with a little bit of writing, shall we?

I'm here at the dining room computer. I should have been gathering my thoughts for the journal entry, but google photos lured me into looking at old pictures - a classic nostalgia trap, and I'm even more susceptible when I'm tired.

Time to refocus on the present. Marissa naps on the couch, the dogs sprinkled around her feet. Our basement heater hums in the floor and walls of our dining room. Miles scats and babbles in his upstairs bedroom. There's some clutter on the bar beside the computer. Marissa is in the middle of sorting the wall decorations from the playroom. The decorative polygonal animal heads that once hung on our playroom wall rest on the table, and in all likelihood they'll find a new home in Colorado with our college friends who are expecting their first baby.

Marissa's homemade animal mobile is here too. She spray painted some animal figurines gold and strung them to a wooden ring with fishing line. I've bumped into this mobile and gotten my face tangled in the gold animals so many times, it's basically my signature move. Being the tallest member of the family, my experience walking around our house is uniquely mine, and I have a special talent for running my head into Marissa's home decorations.

And my cup of coffee is here too. I'm rocking the classic Seinfeld mug. It's looking a little low. I'm going to top it off with some of the fresh stuff right out of the carafe.

Thank God for coffee - that's all I have to say about that.

Sip. This is a tough season of life. Nothing bad or tragic - it's just characterized by exhaustion, busyness, and the quiet background hum of feeling overwhelmed. Selling and buying a house makes everything else around you complicated just by association. Every time I head downstairs to refill on coffee, Marissa is on the phone or eyeballs deep into a Google doc.

"Look at how many pages this is," she said, leaning back in her chair, scrolling the mouse to the bottom of her document of house repairs.

I laughed. "That's the best part of writing documents. Leaning back in your chair every ten minutes or so and thinking Let's see how big this mother is now." It seems like no matter how much writing you do, that urge never goes away.

On top of house stuff, there's exercise. Trainer Greg turned the heat up for our last leg of the program. We exercise six days a week with a rest on Sunday, and lots of the routines go to failure. How many push-ups can you do before you body literally fails? Somehow, it's simultaneously more than you'd think and more painful than you'd think.

Lots of big movements with the house. Closing in on our own buying season, we decided to go with a different buying realtor. I didn't feel too bad about parting ways - we had only had a brief zoom meeting and done some preliminary house hunting. But the realtor was kind of difficult to get a hold of, and that worried us heading into such a fast and unforgiving market.

I can forgive being busy and missing some messages. But do you know what's a big red flag? The best way I can describe it is "paper shuffling" - when someone puts just a little too much effort in appearing busy. I think there's an unspoken contract between adults to be more honest with each other than we were with our teachers in high school. If you didn't get around to something, just say you didn't get around to it - don't try to make it sound like you've just been continually working on it. It's shuffling papers around to look busy, like George Costanza working on the Penske file. It's funny on TV, but does that ever work in real life?

Meanwhile, Marissa was working with Jamie, the lady putting together the paper work for our lender. She and Jamie talked on the phone so often, you'd think they were old friends. Jamie mentioned in passing that she was also a realtor, and it took us only a few days to make the obvious decision.

Jamie loves to talk. Sitting beside Marissa with the call on speaker, I quietly chuckled while Jamie delved into one side story after another - pure stream of thought speaking. It's fun to listen to a salt-of-the-earth Chicagoan like Jamie gab, especially when they really get going.

In other news, Rodney wrapped up another semester of ice skating lessons. After his final session, his teacher met me alongside the ice holding his evaluation sheet. "I almost passed him. But his left foot, he doesn't use it enough."

It's true. When Rodney has a lot of ice to cover, he pushes his right leg like he's kicking a skateboard. He'd have to repeat Basics 2, but there's no shame in that - he was the youngest kid in the class anyway.

The bad news is that the Spring semester of Basics 2 wasn't held in the building five minutes from our house. It would happen in the main arena on the other side of town. Rodney and I ate an early dinner, then braved the icy evening beltline to make it to class on time.

The building was a lot bigger than the one by our house. It kind of made us feel like we reached the big time - even though we were repeating Basics 2 again.


Rodney wasn't the least bit intimidated by the bigger building and the crowded lobby. He took to the ice and got busy building rapport with his new teacher and getting to know his classmates.


That's what I got today. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great Tuesday.