Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Be kind to your future self

I screw myself over a lot. I don't mean to, but it happens. Example:  It's any old weeknight and I need to pack my lunch for work the following day, but this Netflix marathon is really hard to tear myself away from.

I know if I wait until the morning to pack, it won't happen.
I know packing a lunch is an easy way to save money and spares me from having to go out in the cold the following day.
I know the consequences of not packing my lunch.

…But those problems? Those are Future Shelly's problems. And I hit play on another episode.
Studies have shown when we think of our future selves we don't even recognize us. Future Shelly is a stranger to my brain. Whoa. That's why it's so easy for me consistently  eschew bed time and house hold chores until I'm reduced to a sleep deprived zombie living in the human equivalent of a pig pen. How can I stop the madness?
Since I've been managing to stick to most of my 2015 resolutions/goals/intentions, I think I can reasonably handle adding one more: To conscientiously make decisions that are kind to my future self. By attempting to live life this way, I think the rest of my goals will fall in line naturally.

Ways to be kind to your future self, big and small?

Drink water after a night of drinking. And all the time.
Pack your lunch for work the night before.
Fill your gas tank up when the light comes on, don't wait till the next morning when you are invariably running late to work.
Exercise regularly.
Wear sunscreen.
Don’t go to bed with a sink full of dirty dishes
Don't throw your clothes on the floor. Dirty clothes hamper or back in the closet.
Save for retirement.

So the next time I’m stuck in my comfortable butt-groove on the couch, I will ask myself: is this being kind to my future self? Have I washed the dishes? Have I worked out? Have I packed my lunch...Jeeze, Future-Shelly sure does sound like a nag. Now I get why I'm usually such a bitch to her.

Friday, February 27, 2015

February in Pictures

I'm posting this a day early, kind of banking on nothing interesting or photo worthy happening in the next day and a half. If it does, there's always the update button.

February was marked by several cycles of heavy snow, followed by unseasonably warm weather, followed by snow again. I'm not complaining. I like the snow, but it's nice to get a break from winter, in winter.

I'm obsessed with tortas, a type of Mexican sandwich. 

Pausing on a hike.

Flat tire blues

Hair update. Come a long way from the pixie

Have you seen these buggy escalators at Ikea? Do you say buggy or cart? I usually say cart but everyone seems to say buggy in Denver.

Ikea, bad for my wallet, great for my step count. 

Somewhere in there is a biscuit. Valentine's Day brunch at Denver Biscuit Company.

Biscuit cinnamon roll.

Biking on North Table Mountain

Lobster consensus: buncha hype


Snow Mustache 

Cloudy and sunny in Denver

The snow plow stops for nothing and no one.

For more of life in pictures, you can always follow me on Instagram @leshemc. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Mysterious Case of the Dog in the Car, or In favor of Single Family Homes

A few weeks ago, I threw a temper tantrum. I haven't had one of those in a while. Sure I've been annoyed, sad, angry and the whole gambit of emotions, but not a temper tantrum. This totally goes against my goal to be unflappable. That night a few weeks ago I got flapped, big time.

I've been living in my current apartment for three months. It's been quiet and normal for the most part. The night I lost it, I had promoted myself from the unpack phase to the decorate/rearrange phase. The fun phase! Around 8pm, I started to hang a picture. About 2 nails into this process (out of what would have only been 4), my raps on the wall were met by raps on my door.
It was my upstairs neighbor asking if we could stop because "It’s past kid bedtime."
I obliged but then a minute later the fit took over. I was so frustrated. Their lil NiƱo RUNS around their apartment (my ceiling) constantly. I don't complain because he's a kid, ya know? They're full of energy. And because I understand I live in a multi-tenant situation, I accept I will hear noise from my neighbors.  
Secondly, I work all day and my weekends up to that point had been spent being too sick to move. I finally felt better and was DYING to get the apartment arranged. Is 8:15pm too late to be hammering? Someone please tell me if I'm out of line.
Throwing a fit over one complaint sounds like an overreaction, I am sure, but this was not the first. _________________________________________________________________________________
Between Christmas and New Year’s, Chris was in Ohio, and I hung back a few days extra giving me three glorious days of alone time. I watched Netflix, ate take out and sorted through boxes, all in my sweat pants.  One morning I woke up to a text from Chris. The downstairs neighbors texted him (they don't have my number) that my footsteps were too loud at 11:00pm. On a Saturday night.  At that time I had been folding clothes and putting them away.

What makes this a particularly difficult pill to swallow the neighbors I offended with my footsteps own and regularly play a DRUM SET for hours, and not very well, might I add because I'm irritated and petty. 
Back in January, around the same time I violated “kid bed time” noise ordinances, I began to suspect someone was keeping a St Bernard in their car. Like, living in the car.  
I came home from work to find a car parked  next to me, noticeable because it had been entirely unoccupied up until that day.
But there it was: a Volvo. And sitting in the driver’s seat, a giant, jowly St Bernard.  
I told myself the owner must be running inside to grab something from a tenant (My building does not allow dogs.) The weather was temperate, and the window was cracked so I didn't worry too much.
But the car stayed there for a 3 more hours. I ran down to check on him, he was OK of course but it was getting late. Were they really going to leave the dog in the car over night? Was that animal cruelty or was I over reacting, I wondered.
Mercifully, The Car left. (Maybe because they saw some weirdo peering in it...who can say?) I was relieved. The dog was probably being taken care of and my moral dilemma was averted. Phew.
But then The Car was back in the AM, The Dog strewn across front seats. I resolved  if it stayed there much longer, I'd call animal control. I left for work, and made Chris give me a status updates on The Car. It left two hours after I did. Relief again. Short-lived, though as it was back again, gone again, back again, gone again. For three days. _________________________________________________________________________________
I called my Dad, my moral compass, to ask what should I do about this dog? He asked all the appropriate questions: what's the weather doing, does he seem ok, and are they taking him out for walks? Yes the weather is temperate, yes the dog seems ok, and yes I think they are walking him...He said to monitor the situation, but most likely they are visiting for a few days and simply don't have the money to pay for a kennel. They probably love the dog, and how terrible would it be for Animal Control to take him away, when in all likelihood and appearances, he's fine?
This was a hard thing for me to do. But after all my neighbor's interfering in my life, it made it easier for me to take a step back and give them the benefit of the doubt (all while performing regular checks on the pup to ensure he was in fact, not being abused.) Odds are they weren’t committing animal cruelty.  Just like I was not intentionally trying to annoy my neighbors with footsteps and hammering.
We’re all just doing the best we can, living our lives.   And the next time you move, if you can't deal with noise or other people's decisions, perhaps you should think about moving into a single family home.