I’m currently sitting in the Houston airport waiting for my connecting flight to Orlando. It’s been a multi-hour layover already, which allowed me to eat an egg sandwich, buy a couple of products from Kiehl’s (I forgot to pack body lotion), and contemplate ordering a milkshake from Potbelly. Also, it means I have time to sit here and write a little something. Even though there was an empty middle seat next to me on my flight from Orange County this morning, there still wasn’t enough room for me to comfortably use my laptop. And that was in a United Economy Plus seat. Fortunately, the plane was incredibly empty so I could relax a bit more than usual. I decided to watch “Jojo Rabbit” to pass the time, but it turned out to be much darker and more disturbing that I expected. Really only the first fifteen minutes of the movie were the comedic romp that the trailer promised. The rest was very unsettling. I wish I had queued up “Frozen,” or at least stuck with CNN while inflight. Current events are upsetting enough without adding fictional angst to the mix! If I was trying to make better use of my free time, as I alluded to in my previous blog post, I would have opted to read a book instead. The fact that I didn’t should tell you all you need to know about my progress on that front. I’ve been wasting just as much time while off social media as I did before my break this month. But that’s a story for another post.
I’m headed to Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. (Like since my previous trip in January 2019.) Unfortunately I’m not in satisfactory shape to run the half marathon itself, but I’ll still be participating in the 5K and 10K. I haven’t done much running in the past year or so and I really miss it. My endurance just isn’t what it should be anymore, but I am still going to enjoy running at Disney World this weekend, even if it is only the shorter races. The weather is mostly going to cooperate too. It’s hot in Orlando today, but there’s a cold front coming through sometime tomorrow so Friday and Saturday are going to be lovely. By my standards, at least. I’d much rather be cold than hot, especially while running. However, I didn’t think to check the latest forecast before I left for the airport this morning, and that means I only brought a medium-weight hoodie with me. There’s a possibility I’ll have to buy something warmer if we really do get a couple of days with highs in the 50s and 60s. Not that I mind shopping at Disney World. I’ll look around the race expo in the morning to see if there’s a jacket or sweatshirt that I can’t live without. I only brought my small suitcase with me, though, so I can’t go too crazy. There was a little free space in there when I zipped it up this morning, but not much!
I’d better get going so I can find the gate for my flight to Orlando. I’ve been camped out in a quiet corner of IAH for the past hour so I could write this post without worrying about a whole crowd of people reading over my shoulder. I’m sure this description of my travel day would bore them to tears, but I’d still rather have a little privacy if I can find it. It’s funny how quickly I penned this post, considering how much time and brainpower it usually takes me to craft something that I feel is worthy of publishing. I definitely overthink my blogging at times. OK, most of the time. Funny enough, I have a copy of The Artist’s Way in my backpack which I’ve been dying to read. I’m hoping to find a few creative strategies that I can implement to improve the quality and volume of my writing. Since I probably won’t be able to use my laptop on the plane, I’ll crack the book open on my way to Orlando and see what wisdom I can glean. It’s sure to be a better way to pass the time than watching “Jojo Rabbit!”
As January came to an end I wasn’t feeling very well. After a week of more physical activity than usual my energy level was incredibly low, and I spent a lot of time on the couch. During this prolonged rest period I realized that I was nearly always scrolling through content on one social media platform or another. Now, I’m not young or hip enough to hang with the cool kids on Snapchat or TikTok, but I am a heavy user of Facebook and Instagram. I generally prefer to post photos more than anything else, which makes Instragram my favorite app, but I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends. Not only old friends that I made long before social media existed, but also friends I met through social media. And I have been known to argue with misogynistic jerks on Twitter from time to time. (Now that I think of it, I’ve been argumentative on every platform. I’ve even been blocked by a few accounts for pestering them with crazy stuff like acceptance and equality. Some nerve, huh?) Basically, given an internet connection, I can waste time like a pro. The real problem is that I have absolutely nothing to show for all those hours on my laptop and phone.
Reflecting on my downtime over the last two weeks I realized that I should have been participating in an activity that was actually fulfilling – like blogging (hello lovely readers!), reading, making videos, uploading photos (I’m so far behind on Flickr), or even picking up cross-stitch again. You know, basically anything except staring at a screen like a brainless zombie. To see what I could do to turn the tide, on January 31st I decided to take a social media break during the month of February. I logged off Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that evening hopeful that this would allow me to refocus on endeavors that are productive in one form or another. (Plus, the cumulative effect of social media on my psyche has always been unfavorable, so getting away from it for a while should be beneficial.) I read a few books towards the end of 2019 about forming positive habits and finding time for creative endeavors, and now it’s time to put some of those ideas into effect. First up, my blog. I always lament the state of it when I don’t post as often as I’d like, so I’m going to use a large portion of my reclaimed free time for writing. I get a good deal of satisfaction out of this creative expression, even if no one else reads it. I’ll never be a career blogger or anything like that, but I’d like to write something meaningful from time to time. That’s going to take practice. We’ll see what I can about that do over the next four weeks.
When I went back to work on January 2nd I was excited to get back to my routine, but I was also a little bit nervous. I wasn’t sure how my body was going to handle the increased activity, even just working part-time. Fortunately my four hours went smoothly that day (I even remembered my computer password) and I left that afternoon feeling pretty good. On my way home I had to swing by the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions (I take so many now). As walked out of CVS I noticed that something was awry. Two of the magnets on the back of my car were missing. I stood there in shock for a minute because I had a hard time wrapping my brain around the situation. Someone had swiped my Disney Premier AP magnet, and also my special Halloween edition Disneyland AP magnet (see above photo). This was extremely upsetting. I wasn’t 100% sure if the theft happened while I was working or the during the few minutes I spent inside the pharmacy, but I find it unlikely that anyone at work was to blame. The most likely scenario is that the time my car was in the CVS parking lot allowed a thief to brazenly remove two magnets off my car. Luckily they didn’t want my Florida Gator magnet so that one remained in place. Small mercies. Fortunately I had a replacement for the Premier AP magnet at home , but I went through a lot of trouble to get that Halloween magnet in the fall!
I never got around to blogging about it (not yet, at least), but I went to the Disneyland Halloween Party with my BFF and her family on September 29th. Needless to say, we had an amazing time. The party was moved to California Adventure park in 2019 so a lot of things were different, but we still really enjoyed ourselves. The location change meant that I wasn’t able to hit the location inside Disneyland park where the limited edition Halloween AP magnets were being distributed. Luckily we had already planned to spend the night in Anaheim after the party (a Friday night) and go to Disneyland the next morning. My energy level was particularly low that Saturday, and I was pretty much ready for a nap after three hours at the park, but I was determined to get a magnet. From what I saw online it was a hot commodity amongst annual passholders. Shortly before I went home I swung by the Star Wars Launch Bay, stood in line, and acquired my very own Halloween AP magnet. Success! Since I’ve had that magnet proudly displayed on the back of my car. Well, until January 2nd, at least. I’m glad I have photographic evidence that I owned one of those babies, if only briefly. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but still mildly infuriating. I’m sure I could get another magnet one on eBay, but I don’t want to spend money on something so insignificant right now.
Funny enough, when I got home the evening of the magnet theft I wrote a Facebook post about the incident, and several of my local friends commented that this had happened to them as well. I had no idea there was such a rash of Disneyland AP magnet thefts in Southern California. I guess it is a ridiculously easy thing to steal, but I’m not quite sure why. False prestige? Anyway, I’ll be on the lookout for something new to replace the Halloween magnet this year. Or maybe I should just put it on my fridge instead? At least it would be safe there!