Monday, July 16, 2012

Feeling Challenged

Sweetie and I have been trying not to let ourselves slip back into old habits so quickly. I recently acknowledged that we need to spend more time creating memories with ourselves and our friends. July hasn't started out as active as those last few weeks in June and I'll admit, it's a bit of a letdown. So far, it's been mostly Sweetie & I. We did have two successful gatherings with friends, and hopefully more will fall into place these last few weeks of July.

Fourth of July is a difficult holiday at our house. Our Cocker Spaniel, Max, is terrified of thunderstorms and fireworks. We took our chances going out the first year we had him. We had noticed he was skittish during the weeks prior so we left him in the bathroom, which at the time was the best sound-insulating room in the apartment. We came home 2 hours later to a neighborhood that seemed to be trying to recreate the soundtrack of a battlefield. When we opened the bathroom door, we found Max slipping around in a puddle of his pee, feces, and blood. He had bloodied his paws trying to dig his way through the door. Okay bud, we learned our lesson. We'll never leave you during wartime again.

A couple we're friends with invited us to watch a movie at their house on July 3rd and said we could bring Max with us. We went and watched the movie - full of shoot-'em-up action which cleverly disguised the crackers popping outside at a steady pace. We remembered as we left the city they live in how much more horrible it was for Max when we lived there as well. They really do love their firecrackers!

We were glad to have spent some time with our friends the night before because we had every intention of not leaving the house on 4th of July. The neighborhood we live in now has been 500% quieter than the neighborhood we lived in during Max's first 4th of July experience with us. However, since people come and go over the years, we can never be certain that it won't happen again. So we become intentional hermits one day a year. We put him in his Thundershirt and go to the basement to watch a movie (the only appropriately patriotic movie - Drop Dead Gorgeous, of course) while doing laundry. It seems to be enough noise in a further insulated environment that he doesn't even realize what's going on outside.

On the 10th, Sweetie and I gathered once again with friends at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and saw Antony and Cleopatra.

I had ventured out to Aldi's that afternoon and picked up our favorite cheapo bottle of deliciously sweet red wine and another brick of the extra-sharp aged white cheddar.

We got better seating than the previous visit and I enjoyed the performance. Some of our friends preferred the comedy we saw last time over the more serious tones of this drama. However, I felt it was easier to follow along with the dialogue at this one because there was less distracting activity going on. I cannot compare which I liked better because one was a comedy and one was a drama. I liked and disliked both for different reasons.

The 12th was my evening to volunteer at Harvester's with ServeKC. This is such a fun, hard-working, and efficient group to work with. It's the best kind of work for me too - body exhausting and mind clearing physical labor.

And that's really it. We invited friends over both Sundays and neither worked out. Sweetie came up with a good idea to (hopefully) keep me from getting too bummed out about it though. She suggested we make it a goal that twice each week, we do something with someone. That takes the pressure off any specific day working out. And since Sunday is the first (or last, depending on how you look at it) day of the week, there's plenty of other days to work it out after (or before). I really liked that suggestion.

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