Weekends off

Being an adult is the worst. And, the older you get, the worse it gets. Knowing that, I needed to find ways of compromise so that I can be a responsible, healthy adult without wanting to jump in front of a semi. One of my best strategies is the idea of Weekends Off.

The concept is that, on weekdays only, I do all the bad jobs I hate. Then, I take the weekends off. It’s worked out really well. The bad jobs are less daunting (some things are too awful to face every day for the rest of my life) and the weekends seem a lot more fun for really simple reasons.

Here are examples of things I don’t do on weekends:

• Floss. I hate flossing so much. But, if I do it only Monday through Friday, I’m getting all the benefits with an added bonus of feeling naughtier and lazier on the weekends. (My dentist said this strategy is fantastic, so one out of one dentists approve!)

• Shaving anything. It’s my right as an American to be a hairy ol’ mess on the weekends. (Full disclosure: Sometimes I take a few weeks off from shaving my legs; I’m blessed with near-hairlessness naturally. But, even if it’s been a long time, I still won’t shave on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s my policy!)

• Putting on lotion. I hate putting on body lotion after I shower. It takes all of two minutes, but it’s a mundane, repetitive, stupid chore that eats away at my mental health. It’s just one more lame grooming thing I have to do between the shower and bed, when I’m least amenable to obstacles. So, I don’t do it on the weekends. Two days off and I never get ashy.

(Anyone else worried that these are all grooming-related?)

• Taking vitamins. It’s hard enough choking them down for five straight days. I need two days per week to let my gag reflex quiet down. Are there any vitamins that don’t make you barf? Ug. So gross.

• Eating vegetables. Okay, so this one I’m actually trying to quit. I’ve managed to will myself into eating tons of vegetables on weekdays. I even eat things I’ve always hated, such as spring mix salad, which reminds me of yard clippings. But, on weekends, I can’t face it. Fruit, I can manage. But, vegetables? On a Saturday? Oh god. It’s too depressing to think about.

But, I’m trying to ease into a seven-day veggie habit. I’m taking to it like a slug to a salt bath, but at least I’m trying. Well, I’m in the mental phase of trying. I’m thinking about trying. I’m utilizing visualization techniques and coming to terms with the idea of vegetables on Saturdays. It’s a Clockwork Orange kind of thing. Baby steps.

What strategies do you use to make the awful business of being a grownup more palatable?

Sunday dog grooming and the promise of a well-earned nap

It’s Sunday afternoon and the only noise is from the laundry. That’s a good sound…until it beeps and I have to go deal with it, but that’s a problem for later. I just finished grooming the boys. It’s easily my second least favorite job (the first is doing the bills).

Dog grooming is messy, time consuming, and somewhat painful. Barley is such an asshole during grooming that I feel lucky when I finish with all my fingers intact. Today, he got me pretty good on my left ring and middle fingers. Ugh! He’s such a jerk on grooming days! I swear my blood pressure goes up a dozen points dealing with him. It always starts out nice and friendly, then turns to swearing, then to begging. None of it works. I feel so awful for the strangers he’s tortured over the last decade. Those poor dog groomers! As horrible as he is with me, I know it’s only a fraction of what he must dish out to a stranger, whose fingers aren’t also charged with providing his meals. Of course, Dougal is a dream during grooming. He’s such a butt-kisser. Thank goodness!

As much as I hate the actual grooming, this moment when it’s all done and I’ve washed the millions of hairs away (How do hairs get inside my bra? Seriously? So horrible!) is pretty nice. I can sit here knowing it will be another 8-10 weeks before I have to do it again, and that’s a good feeling.

I’ve been a blog slacker lately. I haven’t been keeping you all up to date on much of anything. Sorry about that. You haven’t really missed much, to be honest. We’re on summer hours at work, which means we work long days Monday through Thursday and a short Friday. Monday through Thursday feel like the longest days ever. There’s no time to get any of my home chores done and, by the time I do any exercise, tend to the boys, and make my own dinner, there’s barely time to shower before hustling off to bed too amped up to actually sleep. I need considerably more down time during the week than the summer schedule allows.

But, the longer weekends are nice.

For now, however, I’m headed downstairs to watch Mad Men and consider a nap. After nearly losing my fingers in a crazy terrier attack, I think I deserve it. Monday needs to stay far, far away from this afternoon.

Tales from Vacation: Pedro, My Love

My one mission in Montana this year was to ride a horse. I didn’t care what else we did, a horse I was going to ride. I’ve been scared of horses since I was a kid. In spite of an impressive My Little Pony collection, I had no interest in the real thing. When my mom and brother would ride my cousin’s horses, I wouldn’t even get near the pony.

Lookin' great on horseback.

I wasn’t afraid so much of getting kicked. My big thing was getting bit. Horses have weird, crazy lips and they’re terrifying when they flash those big chompers. I didn’t realize at the time that horses have teeth ill-suited for biting off little kids’ hands, but the fear lasted well into adulthood, long after I realized it was silly.

Booking a two-hour trail ride was a major victory. Actually getting on the horse was fantastic. Erik’s mom, Peg, Erik, and I had the best time. Peg is an accomplished horse-rider; she looked like a natural. Erik and I needed a bit more time to sink into the situation.

Pedro and me, both showing the heat.

My horse, Pedro, was tall and handsome. He had a weird smell and an obsession with food; we had a lot in common. Once we got moving, it felt really awkward, but that didn’t last long as we followed a trail along the flooded river, through the trees, and ultimately up a steep trail to an overlook where we had an impressive view of the countryside. It was an amazing day. No one got bit (by horse or rattlesnake) and I fell in love with Pedro, my stubborn ol’ Mexican sweetie.

I can’t wait to ride again. I had so much fun and I wasn’t too terribly sore afterwards, though for the first few minutes after the ride, I wasn’t entirely convinced I still had legs attached to my body. We had a great guide, a gorgeous, hot day, and an opportunity to see the area from a whole new perspective. I wouldn’t mind checking back in on Pedro next year.