by Taylor M. Vogel
I never thought I would live in Texas. But I moved here in the middle of a pandemic.
I've been thinking about grapes and sweet mini peppers.
I'm not good at being stuck.
I am not typically one to discuss politics on my social media or with people I don't know well. I've spent most of my life in situations where I've been the odd person out with my political views and even struggle to find community that's open to my opinions about politics on the internet (I'm getting there, it's just taking time). So when major world events happen that deeply affect me--like a global pandemic or a blatant attempted coup of the United States government--I sometimes struggle to find community in those moments.
Last weekend, I recorded an episode of Saturday School with Kaitlyn Comstock, where we discussed navigating priorities. One of the tips she gave was to limit your to-do list. I've heard the 5 things rule, and I've even suggested it myself. I've been trying it for the past few months, but kept getting swept away by an overwhelming to-do list. I know that this is the key to my success (I'm being serious, not sarcastic here).
Enter: The Whiteboard.
I quit coffee for my 31st birthday. It might have been the worst birthday present in the entire world, but my body is "apparently" revved up on cortisol, and pumping otherworldly amounts of caffeine into my body every day isn't exactly helping that. And while all of the blogs and Mayo Clinics of the world suggesting tapering off to avoid withdraw, I've tried that about 10 times in my life and it hasn't worked. So, I went cold turkey this week. No more coffee for me, because I'm actually addicted to it and can't manage my intake.
My sweet doggo, Woodford, is the gentlest of dogs. He tries to be brave and protect me from delivery personnel, neighborhood cats, and the metaphorical chickens that invade from time to time. But my five-year-old Bichon-chihuahua mix really wants a life of snuggles and literally walking on the beach. And treats.
When I was little, my dad taught martial arts to the kids at our church for a few years. This occurred in a spare room in our house--we eventually padded the walls so we could all throw each other around.
I am not much of an impulse shopper. Actually, I'm not much of a shopper at all. But, sometimes I like to meander about large places as a way to move around and take a break from a screen--and in Oklahoma, the weather didn't always allow me to do this outside. So, I had a list of large stores for rainy days and found myself in the clearance section of one staring down this large basket on clearance for $5. FIVE DOLLARS for a huge basket! So I bought it.
I love Thanksgiving food, and I love preparing Thanksgiving food. This is honestly something I miss when I join other people for the feast and hear the words, "Oh, don't worry about it! I've got it covered." No! I want to cook!
Taylor Vogel was a public school teacher, and isn't any more. She is the creator and host of the podcast, Now That I'm Not Your Teacher.