Allison is Adulting

Life has been moving along so quickly, I can hardly believe it. At the end of April I closed and moved into my new house. I love it! But the work that comes along with a crumbling chimney and flooding in the basement has certainly kept me on my toes. I’ve also had way more interaction with wildlife than I anticipated too -bats and skunks and stray cats oh my!

I much prefer the interior decorating side of owning a home. I painted my once lime green guest room a light gray and have plans to put a bold black and white floral wallpaper up in the closet… Maybe with some framed wainscoting. I love hunting at estate sales and secondhand stores for the perfect pieces for my home. Some of the most wonderful pieces, like my porch swing and 8×10 dining room rug were discovered by the side of the road. Check out these fun frames that I thrifted and hung in my office!

Matt and I pulled out a section of wonky fencing in the yard last month.. replacing that fence is rapidly approaching on the never ending “to-do” list. I would love to put in a patio of pea gravel and pavers in the backyard, as well as finish my driveway that I’m currently mowing. It’s fun to dream, but also humbling. Who knew wood, stones and dirt were so expensive?

Not to mention that now that the world has a hint of normalcy, with concerts and events resuming, it’s harder to save money. Working at home all day means I make a mad dash for the door when the clock strikes 5pm and the treat yo’self mentality after 8+ hours of isolation is hard to shake! But I’m hustling to make up for it, freelancing with the Lockport Union Sun & Journal and assisting Catherine Rose Floral Design with wedding flowers.

I feel tired more quickly than I used to. Is it post-Covid burn out? Is this just life at 26? I love the people in my life, but I don’t remember socializing being so mentally draining before. I find myself mindlessly scrolling tiktok, reading books and going on bike rides or kayak adventures. Crowds feel overwhelming and bars seem unimpressive. Life has a different pace than it used to.

It’s difficult to stay present at times, but that isn’t a new challenge for me. The house could always use another improvement, as could I. That’s the downside of constantly wanting more. Shauna Niequist wrote a great book called Present Over Perfect, a wonderful resource for those of us fighting against the need to “do all the things”. I’m holding her life lessons close to me as I stumble less than gracefully through adulthood.

Meet Matt

It’s mid January in Western New York, but there has been barely any snow to speak of. I’m adding this to the list of things that just feel “off” about the last 10 months. On Sunday my pastor at church called 2021 “2020 with a fake ID”, I don’t think I’ve heard of a better comparison. The clock struck midnight on January 1st and corona virus continued to plague the earth. It’s still a weird feeling, living through monumental historic events like a pandemic and the storming of the Capital building. This prompts the question; could this really be the same life I was living not so long ago?

It’s clearly not… and although there is a hint of sadness in that realization I am also so thankful for the changes that have occurred in my life during this heavy season.

Meet Matt

I’ve sheltered my boyfriend from my blog long enough, here’s a formal introduction complete with adorable winter photos by Lindsey Fetterhoff Photography. Matt is wonderful and truly the highlight of 2020. He loves board games and over committing his schedule almost as much as I do. We talk constantly and keep an ever expanding list of date ideas. Cooking dinner is actually an enjoyable activity with him around. He’s also made football more interesting ***GO BILLS*** and has shown me that crossword puzzles are really fun.

By societal standards Matt is a unicorn. I heard guys like him existed, but in a sea of wild ponies -not even stallions- it seemed far fetched. I never thought I would find a faith filled man, who surprises me with flowers and reads biblical devotionals with me everyday – even on the phone if we’re not together. He makes me a better person.

Like any relationship though, it takes work. I clung tightly to my identity as a fiercely independent woman, so naturally there are times I feel a little lost without the security of that label. One of the incredible things about Matt is that he never wants me to apologize for being a strong self-sufficient person though, he loves me because of it. And inevitably we approach some situations differently, so as the analytical intellectually driven person that I am, in uncharted territory, I do the only thing that I know how.. when the going gets tough, the going does research. I take Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and other personality tests. I read books on our Love Languages (I’m “Acts of Service” and he is “Quality Time”) and dig into scripture for guidance from my Father who clearly has a better idea on how to navigate all things than I do.

On Saturday Matt and I celebrated 6 months of happiness together. So while the world is at a standstill and panic and fear saturate the headlines everywhere, my mind keeps spinning in another world; one immersed in love and goodness. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, the government moratoriums and foreclosure regulations have kept my job pretty slow right now, but my personal life is so fulfilled. Thank you for letting me share this with you.

One year

It’s been one year since my grandpa passed away. This day is an emotional milestone for my family and anyone that knew Emil Deutschman. He left behind a heart sized hole, that we ceaselessly try to fill with stories and memories from before October 30, 2019, clinging to the past so that we can carry him with us into the future.

My grandma and I visited the cemetery that houses the dust of his physical body today, but I don’t picture grandpa there. I remember him most vividly when I drive over train tracks or see railroad crossing signs (he loved trains) and whenever I use hand sanitizer (his hands were always sticky)… a more frequent occurrence amidst a pandemic. I think about grandpa whenever someone opens gift wrap too slowly and meticulously. I fondly recall playing rummy with him whenever I am part of card games. I feel a connection with him whenever I get annoyed with my parents’ dog Bear for being overwhelmingly unnecessarily hyper. I share his competitive spirit and short temper.

I mistakenly drank a pumpkin soy latte at 10 am this morning -an error in judgment that I make approximately every 6 months, to remind myself that I cannot handle caffeine. My anxiety and emotions were already heightened by today’s date, but my trembling now had a built in physical excuse. I felt a version of jittery peace, standing with grandma in a sea of graves, praying out loud to God and thanking Him for the memories and goodness that have been provided in 2020 -despite popular belief. Thanking Him for watching over us and taking care of grandpa. Firmly believing in Him and His plan, and that is so much growth compared to where I was mentally last year.

As we meandered through the rows of tombstones it began to snow for the first time this year, a symbolic event not lost on me. While we were on the hunt for my great grandmother’s grave I told my grandma “nothing reminds me of my mortality quite like a cemetery”. She showed me her nameplate on the crematorium just missing an end date, another reality I am far from ready to accept.

I don’t cry often, my instinctive reaction to unfortunate circumstances is anger -as if life is an unjust circumstance that if I could furiously speak to a manager about, I could resolve. No amount of well spoken rhetoric has the therapeutic effect of actual emotional release though. It felt good to shed a few tears today; overwhelmed with nostalgia yet fulfilled by the knowledge that grandpa lived a great life that I was honored to be a part of for 25 years.

When anniversaries come around we have an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the moments in time that have changed us. I used to believe that we had a choice, a decision to allow these blips in our lives to break us or build us, but perhaps that viewpoint is a little cold and too black and white. Some of the best memories I have are an imperfect combination of breakdowns and buildups, the year after grandpa’s death included.