Don’t Call it a Comeback

Since November 2010, which was the last time I was blogging regularly…

  • I married the wonderful, amazing, tall, awkward, bearded man of my dreams.
  • I wore a Halloween costume that I’m still talking about years later because I’m so proud of it.
  • I learned to love beets.
  • I was introduced to the original Star Trek and I kind of love it.
  • I moved to Seattle.
  • I did approximately 4,198 loads of laundry.
  • I ran/walked a half marathon.
  • I started wearing brown.
  • I finished a graduate program and got an awesome job working with kids.
  • I became a Seahawks fan.
  • I went to Guatemala for 10 days.
  • I ate so, so much ice cream.  So much.
  • I thought about blogging a lot, but knew I’d feel guilty if I blogged instead of doing homework or planning my wedding. Or doing housework, but that didn’t really get done anyway.

Since I used to try to post every day in November each year, I decided to try something similar this year in an effort to catch up and get back into the groove.  But then I couldn’t get my act together to actually post something until November 5th, so I’m allowing myself a little wiggle room.

It’s good to be back.

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My Mountain

We had a guest speaker in one of my classes today who does research in New Zealand. After her presentation, she talked a little bit about New Zealand’s unique research requirements, particularly those involving the Maori population. Before any of her research studies can be approved, among other things, she must attend a Maori meeting and discuss how the study will affect and include the Maori population. And she has to do this in their native language (which she doesn’t speak), so she has to memorize translated scripts.

When we asked her to say a few words in Reo (the language of the Maori), she said she can only remember part of the greeting she usually does. Apparently, whenever you introduce yourself in Maori culture, they want to know where you’re coming from. She was taught to start out by honoring those present (both physically and spiritually) and then introduce herself by identifying her mountain and her river, then discussing her ancestors. Further research indicates this is normal. So I’ve been thinking about my Maori introduction.

My mountain is Sentinel.
My river is Clark Fork.
My tribe is Missoula.
My sub tribe is Seattle.
Obama is the chief.
My marae is a kitchen table.
I am Mego.

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Filed under About Me, Too Cool for School

Quotable

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

– Maurice Sendak

(Thanks to Kallyn for sharing!)

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Filed under Words to Live By

Two Truths and a Video

1. When my parents named me, they had never met anyone else named Megan before.

2. In 2003, I studied abroad in Ireland with about 30 other American students. I was one of four Megans in the group.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Also, I watched this episode of 30 Rock when I was visiting my friend Meghan in Arizona. We were sitting on the couch together, laughing during this scene.

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Filed under About Me, MeTube

Prioritime

A friend sent me a quote from this article last week, which discusses “busy-ness,” a topic that’s been on my mind a lot lately.  Due to a last-minute change in my scholarship (i.e. I get more money, but have to work for it), I’ve been working on campus 20 hours per week in addition to my regular grad school workload (classes, clients, homework) since January.    Some weeks the stress isn’t so bad, but I’ve had a few breakdowns, there have been some tears, and Galen has proven time and again that he deserves a medal for being The Greatest Most Supportive Boyfriend Ever.

Instead of turning into that person that thinks they’re busier than anyone else in the world has ever been, ever, I’ve been trying to turn this stress into something positive by being a compassionate listener when classmates of mine (or Galen’s) talk about their workloads and stress.  I try so hard not to complain when talking to classmates, friends, professors, family, or strangers I meet on the bus, but the bottom line is I want to complain all the time.  I waste time thinking about all the ways to quantify how busy I am. (This is what a degree in math will get you…)  I know it’s not helpful, but the other options (giving up on a social life, sleep, or Me Time) seem so much worse.

That said, the article made me think about the amount of time I spend doing things that don’t really help my situation (I’m looking at you, Facebook).  I decided to start tracking my time over the next week or two to see where it’s going when I’m not paying attention.

The article also included this suggestion, which I liked:

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.

Yesterday, I went for a run.  I made running a priority, because I know it helps me focus and sleep better.  I only ran for about 15 or 20 minutes, but it was totally worth it.  Now it seems a little silly to say “I don’t have time for a 20-minute run,” so I’ll have to be honest with myself when it’s not a priority.  Is this life-changing? No.  But I just started a new quarter and I’m trying to be as organized and methodical as possible.  We’ll see how it goes…

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Sing the chorus, Papa Bear.

I’m sure most of you have already seen this, but it’s so good I had to post it.

The lyrics are available at YouTube. (Grownups – click on “Show More” under the video.)

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Filed under Bleeding-Heart Liberal, MeTube

The New Normal

The Old Normal was living 3 hours away from my boyfriend and only seeing him on weekends.  It was going out with friends for happy hour a couple days a week and brunch at least once each weekend.  It was blogging in my free time. The Old Normal was living in Portland.  It was shopping on Mississippi and eating Pizza Schmizza for lunch and going to the Deschutes brewpub every chance I got.  It was living in the same city as most of my friends and being able to catch up with old coworkers regularly.  It was talking Blazers basketball and Oregon football and Did you see the last episode of Portlandia?  It was making fun of hipster snobs and their fair-trade coffee, PBR and fixed gear bikes, while being a snob about microbrews, Powell’s Books and Tillamook cheese.  The Old Normal was never having spent more than four consecutive days with Galen, even though we’d been together for over two years.  It was not knowing for so long what I wanted to be when I grew up, then deciding, and then the agony of waiting to hear back from grad schools.

The New Normal is living with Galen in an apartment with a great view of the Seattle skyline and very few reliable appliances.  It’s still being excited to see each other at the end of every day.  It’s being 3 hours away from friends, former coworkers, and Galen’s family.  It’s getting to know a new neighborhood and a new city, when I’m not in class, at work, studying or doing homework.  The New Normal is having four or five good friends in this city and feeling like that’s a lot to maintain.  It’s dreaming about having enough time to blog again. It’s taking Galen to the airport for a two-week study tour and realizing we haven’t been apart for this long since last summer, when it used to be Normal.  It’s getting to see my mom every other month when she’s here for work.  The New Normal is not knowing where to go for happy hour or brunch or good Thai food.  It’s waiting for the Sonics to come back to town and trying to have some allegiance to the Seahawks and Mariners.  It’s discovering new donut and ice cream shops, and trying something called “savory pies.”  The New Normal is explaining to people that most of my family and friends call me Mego.  It’s studying something I enjoy and find infinitely fascinating.  It’s having “clients” and trying to pretend I’m grown-up enough to be someone’s therapist.  It’s imagining what will happen after grad school and what the Next New Normal will be.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Keeping Portland Weird, Seattle Reign