So school. That’s different.
I have now been back in school – doing a masters program in biology focusing on macroevolution by the way, because I think I never actually mentioned that – for all of one and one half weeks. And HOLY MOLY is my life completely different.
I’ve spent the past nearly 5 years working for myself, blogging and freelancing, raising Waits and writing wherever and whenever I can. Working from home has its pros and cons, but I’d definitely forgotten what it’s like to have a more traditional – a more rigorous – schedule.
Things are so different these days. We run a tight ship, there’s lots to remember and not a lot of time to remember it in. I’ve got a million things on my mind and I’m always thinking one step ahead. Or two.
Mornings are a flurry of food prep and planning. I’m making our breakfasts and packing our lunches, getting us dressed and out the door. I make smoothies:
While I bustle about the kitchen, Waits eats breakfast and plays. Our new year’s resolution for him was to work on his letters and spelling, so on this particular morning, he and Jeremy played letter matching games while they ate.
I pack up lunches. The preschool has transitioned to a different style of lunching, where instead of each child bringing a bunch of different food for themselves each day, they bring one larger dish to share, and everyone eats everything, together. I love the concept but worried, at first, that Waits would be left out.
I really underestimated the other parents.
So far, roughly 95% of the “sharing” food has been vegan. The other parents have completely embraced it, without being asked at all. They’re just thoughtful, and want Waits to be able to eat what everyone else is eating. So they send vegan snacks, fresh fruit and veggies, nuts and beans and hummus and sammies, even homemade vegan baked goods! Doesn’t that just warm your heart?
And of course, before we rush out the door, we can’t forget the dog!
Harley’s new year’s resolution was to go vegan, so he’s now on a homemade vegan dog food that I fortify with a specially formulated doggie supplement. He also eats a lot of our leftovers, like Waits’s chia:
And the dog soup:
Whew! And then we’re out the door. I drop Waits off at preschool, say my sweet goodbyes, and head out to campus. My first class is at 10.
I love being in class. Right now grad school is still new, still overwhelming, still seeming like an enormous financial burden and oh my god did I make the right decision what am I doing wait get me out of here!
But then I get into class. As soon as the learning starts, all of that fades away. I love science. I LOVE IT. I love the way it makes my brain feel, just like a tense and tired muscle after a heavy workout, tingling from the adrenaline and the growth. When I’m in the classroom, I know I made the right decision.
My first class is over at 10:50, and by 11 am I’m back in my car. Car is home base on campus, my little introvert respite, my rolling office where I can get all my work done in peace and comfort and quiet. See?
I work for an hour, prepping for a phone call with a new Vegan Lifestyle Coaching client. And don’t feel too bad for me, holed up in my car. The view’s not so bad from the top of the parking structure.
At noon I break for lunch.
Leftovers! Roasted butternut, steamed broccoli and kale, quinoa, and lentils, with a side of homemade sunflower-horseradish sauce. YUM. Perfect brain food.
After lunch I do more working working working in the car; on this day it was another hour. But I was getting restless. How could I resist the siren call of a perfectly perfect, perfectly sunny and warm and still southern California winter day?
I’ve been enjoying a mid-day walk to break up the grind, and I always need more caffeine. So on this lovely winter day, I grabbed my tall glass mason jar and moseyed on down to the UCEN.
And then a little walk around campus . . .
And all the way down to stick my toes in the sand:
I feel grateful, each and every day, that I get to live here. I never forget it.
After my walk it’s time to head to class. And after class it’s back to my car for more working working working (I still work for myself, still write freelance, still have deadlines to meet), until it’s time to go pick up Waits. And on the way home with my sweet baby boy in tow, on this particular day, we had to stop at the market. Because it was taco night, and what is taco night without avocados, I ask you?
Waits was hungry so I grabbed him a coconut raspberry yogurt for snacking on the drive home.
So, once we were home I realized something very important, which is this: the thing about tacos is that they require, well, tacos. Taco shells. Taco shells are sort of a necessary part of taco night.
Which I didn’t actually have.
I’m trying to keep too many things straight, I guess. That’s okay – I can improvise!
Taco salad for me, and a little dipper plate for Waits, with refried black beans with olive oil and nutritional yeast, sautéed orange bell pepper, black olives, and organic corn chips for dipping.
Oh crap, I almost forgot the avocado!
Much better, whew! Romaine with refried black beans, sautéed onions and portobellos, black olives, salsa verde, nutritional yeast, and topped with a few organic corn tortilla chips for maximum crunch. Oh and of course, avocado! A whole half of one. Because delicious.
Waits and I eat, play, bathe, and get ready for bed. I love our nighttime routine. Later, much later, after Waits is asleep, I make an identical dinner for Jeremy when he gets home (my home, not his – we don’t live together in case that’s confusing), close to 10 pm.
And these nights, just about all we can do is curl up in the living room and talk, so tired from our long days, but just so glad to be ending them together. I am lucky.
Some days, these days, I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going or if it’s right, but I do know that. I am so lucky.