Some Things I Did Last Week

Last Monday I climbed these stairs.

Four times.

There are 377 of them. That’s 1508 steps. But I also climbed them four times the week before and every time we go we do a little bit more so I climbed 50 more. Plus if you really want a 100% accurate count (you do, don’t you?) there are two extra steps at the top before the fence cuts off the last flight that I climbed as well as sort of a bonus, so I climbed 1568 steps total.

And yet. My jeans are still tight.


I talked to my son on the phone four different days (once twice in one day!) and texted with him every day. That is a new world record for us. When he went away to college he made it clear to us that he was an adult who was ready to lead his own life and certainly didn’t need his parents anymore. (Probably because we didn’t have any money.) He would call once a week (if we were lucky) for a perfunctory “check in” call that would last five to ten minutes.

But the last year of school, his calls sometimes came a little more often and were definitely more enjoyable. He actually seemed to like talking to us. He’d tell us funny stories or we’d discuss current events. Sometimes these calls would last for an hour.

This week he called to tell us about his new job, ask for advice, or just to tell us things that were happening. It made my sadness (mostly) go away.

I watched Dance Moms with my husband and daughter. God that show is a train wreck and I kind of hated myself for enjoying it so much because surely there are so many things I could have been doing that would have been more productive. But sometimes mindless fun is exactly what we need.

I spent Saturday with my best friend on Main Street in Ventura. We drank and ate and shopped and walked. The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect day.

I found this shirt in a thrift shop:

I texted my daughter: I think I have to buy it.

She texted back: I think the law is you have to buy it.

To which I responded: The Supreme Court has ruled yes.

I consciously practiced gratefulness every day. I kind of do this already, when I sit down to write about my happy moment for the day, but I took it to another level for a project I am participating in by focusing on a person that makes me happy (and stretching beyond my son, my daughter, my husband (hmmm… did I ever write my husband???) to a coworker I like to gossip with or the cashier at Trader Joe’s who is always so friendly), a place that makes me happy (you know, other than my bed) and something that gave me pleasure (a glass of wine, dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt, Dance Moms).

To throw a cliche (or perhaps a few) at you – the days are long, but the years are short. And it turns out that every day is not actually an adventure. But I’m trying to seek out the extraordinary in my ordinary days. Or at least the little bits that make me smile. Or the bits that are hard and terrible (because, I have to be honest, those stairs are pretty hard and terrible), but still so great because I did something hard and terrible and lived to tell about it.

I can’t stop even the most ordinary of days from slipping by so fast. But I can take the time to reflect on them.

What are some things that you did last week?

6 thoughts on “Some Things I Did Last Week

  1. I worked seven days in a row at the library, then had one day off (yesterday) which was sublime.
    I learned that our rental house we’re trying to sell fell out of escrow, so we lowered the list price and are moving forward, onward and upward and hopeful. (ish.)
    I FaceTimed and texted with my kids who come home from college this Friday. (YAY!)
    I puppy-sat for my dear friend (and former roommate) while she packed up to move four hours away.
    I attended a goodbye happy hour for that friend, handed her puppy back, hugged her and said goodbye.
    I wrote a blog post of my own, but also tried to cut back on social media even more.
    I texted the lovely Charlene Ross to see if she wants a ride to our writer’s group meeting this week.
    (I miss her and can’t wait to get together again on Thursday.)
    I read this blog post. And loved it. I’m grateful and lucky. Thank you for reminding me, Char.

  2. Thank you for sharing your reflections on the ordinary and the extraordinary which often looks like it’s just ordinary.

    Last week, I watch my son participate in his last big elementary school activity because next year he’ll be going to middle school. The first new school he’s attended since kindergarten.

    I also volunteered for the last time during reading for my other son’s classroom. Next year his teachers don’t want in-class volunteers. I read with him first.

  3. I want to climb those stairs!! Where are they?

    Thank you for the reminder to take notice/pleasure in the ordinary. Such an important practice for us all, but so easy to forget and ignore if it’s not a regular, consistent practice.

    Thank you for sharing, Charlene!!

    • Sometimes I REALLY have to remind myself, Shauna. But I feel so much happier when I do. And I’ll tell you how to get to the stairs offline – let’s go together!

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