channel zero

3. Something that is part of your routine that you enjoy

Some time when I was in middle or high school, I stopped watching television. I realized that every time I sat down in front of the TV, I would eat. I would want something salty and crunchy and I would want to mindlessly munch while I zeroed in on the screen. So at some point I decided to cut off the bad habit by cutting off the source.

I didn’t miss it much, which some TV addicts might find surprising, but I was pretty busy with other things and my preferred activity post-school was reading anyway. (Not homework. Just fiction novels.) And if I did want to watch TV, my small bedroom TV had a DVD player in it, so I’d just pop in one of my seasons of Will and Grace and binge watch that for a while. (This was before Netflix and Hulu, so binge-watching was a little more hands on. You had to change the disc every 4 episodes… I know, it’s complicated and exhausting just thinking about.)

When I went to college not only did I not get a new TV, I didn’t even take my little one with me. I watched a lot of Hulu (before it was a paid subscription) or went to someone elses room and watched stuff if I wanted to. As a theater major at a liberal arts school, it’s not like I had a lot of time to devote to TV anyway. The same applied when I went to Highlands College. My first year I lived with a sweet family, and any TV watching was done with them or the occasional movie while babysitting. Netflix and Hulu, again, if I really wanted to zone out. And my second year, I shared an apartment with 5 other girls so how would I have watched cable even if I wanted to? If the TV was on, it was probably a movie, and between school, ministry interning, and two jobs, I usually didn’t devote my little free time to TV watching.

When I moved to Delaware, well you probably see where this going. No TV in my room, and I opted out of watching any cable and paying the cable bill. Now it was economical. Plus, I had Netflix and Hulu…. so… yeah. I guess you get my point.

So when I married someone who loves to watch TV and moved in with him, you can imagine the culture shock of suddenly having access to cable. Let’s just say I binge-watched HGTV like the newly married woman I was.. but less because of the ring and new last name and more because I hadn’t had cable in years! And we have On Demand! It’s pretty magical.

And most evenings, Allen and I eat dinner at the table or in front of the TV (I’m a table eater, he’s a couch/TV eater, so we compromise by doing both) and usually watch TV for the rest of our evening. But around 9:00p we turn off the TV and go to bed. Since he works at 11:30, he’ll sleep for an hour and a half or so, and I read for about an hour. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes we chat and catch up. Sometimes we snuggle, sometimes we don’t. This happens at least 5 or 6 nights of the week. Sometimes this various, but mostly it looks like that. But that’s it. That’s my favorite part of the routine. Turning off the TV. 

I like TV. I don’t love it. I love activities you do with people that inspire conversation and eye contact. To me, TV watching is a distant activity. It’s mindless. And that’s okay, because sometimes I need mindless. And sometimes I’m all ‘talked-out’ from my day, and I just want to zone out. But my favorite part is always when the screen goes off, and the apartment is quiet. I get my husband’s attention all to myself, and I get to pick up a book. Sleep is imminent at that point, and is there anything better than the prospect of a comfy pillow and a good night’s sleep?

“you’re never fully dressed without a smile.”

2. Thirty things that make you smile

  1. Hearing the door unlock after 7:00a because it means my husband is home.
  2. Opening the blinds and filling my apartment with sunshine.
  3. Organizing my bookcase and seeing the beautiful end result.
  4. Picking out a new book to read after finishing my last one.
  5. When my husband smiles out of the pure joy of getting to see me.
  6. When someone buys me a doughnut.
  7. When someone offers to brings me Starbucks or surprises me with it.
  8. Drinking Starbucks.
  9. Hearing the words “thank you”
  10. When someone holds the door for me.
  11. Presents.
  12. Looking at pictures of the day Allen proposed
  13. The first weekend in November in Delaware/PA when the fall colors are at their peak
  14. My mother’s witty comments
  15. Soft serve ice cream cones
  16. Satirical articles and videos mocking Donald J. Trump
  17. Coloring.
  18. Hot mug of coffee that I get to enjoy sitting at my table.
  19. When someone I love texts me and says, “Let’s hang out.”
  20. The Office / Parks and Rec / Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  21. A clean house/apartment
  22. This:
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  23. Proper use of sarcasm and wit.
  24. Finding a note that my husband wrote and hid for me to find as a surprise (i.e. lunch box note)
  25. Hearing the song I walked down the isle to.
  26. Knowing I can go to sleep and I do not have to set an alarm
  27. My own clever tweets
  28. When people comment on my social media posts
  29. When I’m having an amazing hair day
  30. The thought and reality of vacation/traveling.

These are a few of my favorite things

2. Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.

  1. The smell outside after it rains. (I know there’s a word for this, but I can never remember it.)
  2. PUPPIES. Literally any puppy.
  3. While we’re on the subject, any baby animal. I can’t help it.
  4. Coffee. Preferably iced.
  5. Getting to talk to my dad on the phone.
  6. Catching up with an old friend.
  7. Kayaking.
  8. Seeing my employees reach a goal they’ve been working towards.
  9. Sunflowers.
  10. Listening to someone describe what they’re passionate about.
  11. Ice cream.
  12. Opening the mail and actually getting something good.
  13. Watching friends go from completely sober to a little tipsy after a few glasses of wine.
  14. Finding adorable baby things for my friends who are pregnant while simultaneously not having to have a baby myself.
  15. Climbing to the top of a mountain.
  16. Being near the ocean.
  17. Getting to watch someone “create.” Photography, painting, music- doesn’t matter.
  18. Watching my mom and dad interact with each other. They’re freaking adorable.
  19. Christmas Eve traditions with my brother.
  20. Seeing a rainbow.
  21. Trying out a new recipe and actually liking how it comes out.
  22. Looking through old photos.
  23. Getting notes from people.
  24. Hearing someone talk about a book they really enjoy.
  25. Reading a great book that you just don’t want to put down.
  26. Bonfires.
  27. Waking up in the woods after a night of camping.
  28. Having someone tell you something you can tell makes them feel vulnerable.
  29. A good pun will get me every time.
  30. Being so content in one moment you just can’t help but smile.

The struggle is real

  1. Something with which you struggle.

One thing that has always amazed me about little kids is their honesty. They are a people  not afraid to say it like it is! You promised someone earlier that day you would pick them up at the airport and are now trying to get out of it? They will call you on it faster than you can tell them to shut up. They have no qualms about telling you that shirt doesn’t look nice, you look older than you did yesterday, or on the flip side- how much they love you, what funny thing their friend did earlier… It doesn’t matter for kids. They just say what’s on their mind.

Being honest is not something I struggle with. Ask any of my friends- I don’t shy away from telling the truth (good or bad) even if it’s at the expense of someone’s feelings. I am so willing to tell the truth that I’ve had to learn to ask people if they’re telling me stuff to get my opinion or if they just want me to listen.

But in the spirit of honesty, here’s where I struggle: I have a tendency to use my honesty as a scape goat to being vulnerable. I think a lot of people wrongfully link the two, but they are actually very different. Honesty is defined as “truthfulness or frankness;” whereas vulnerability is “capable or susceptible to being wounded or hurt.” Continue reading “The struggle is real”

make it make sense

  1. Something with which you struggle.

Can I write about the struggle to come up with something to write about right now? Or how about THE Struggle, as in “The Struggle is Real” ? Or maybe the struggle of finding something to wear when I “have nothing to wear.” (Even though I have a closet FULL of clothes *insert eye roll*) Or the eyeliner struggle. I’ll explain for any men reading this: you put eyeliner on one eye and it’s perfect. You do the other eye and it’s not even, so you apply more to the first eye in an attempt to even it out. This goes on until ones reflection is actually a raccoon. The eyeliner struggle.

But in an effort to be transparent, I’ll go a little deeper than makeup struggles. Although there is a time and a blog for that.

So here is my general statement about struggle: I struggle with wanting to know and make sense of EVERYTHING.  Continue reading “make it make sense”

30 Day Writing Challenge

Hello, everyone!

This is Alyssa, and I’m speaking for both of us here, but we’re so glad you’re here! Over the next 30 days, Liz and I are going to write EVERY day for 30 days. We both love to write (read more about that here) and want to get better at it. Better at the whole words putting into sentences thing.

Because we’re Type A planners, we’ve put together a list of prompts to help us out because this challenge is going to be… well, a challenge. Here’s the list, so you can keep up if you’d like: Continue reading “30 Day Writing Challenge”