Little victories

Sometimes, it really is the little things that keep us going. In the midst of an unseasonably cool, rainy week, my continual pledgeship in Broke Fi Broke (they haze hard), and hot flashes so intense they wake me up at night, I thought I’d take a minute to think of all the things that have gone my way in the last little while. Here’s a quick list:

1. They took the scaffolding down off my apartment building! Yes, this really is the first thing I’m excited about. I’m so excited about it, in fact, that when I came home after work one day and saw that it had been removed, I actually did a DANCE in my living room/kitchen (this is NYC, apartments are small and rooms are combined) and said “YAY!!!” out loud. It may seem like a small thing, but IT’S HUGE, YOU GUYS. The amount of light I get nearly doubled, and there are no more strange men stomping around outside my window at 7am.

2. I ran a 5K (3.1 miles) in 28 minutes! My personal record is somewhere around 24 minutes, but after six months off, I think that’s pretty good for less than a month’s progress! I also ran a mile in 7:54. (PR is 7:15.) I’ll take it. I’m planning to run a 10K Β – like an actual, sponsored 10K with a bib and course and everything – on September 22. Since I’m up to 4 miles at less than a 10-minute-mile pace now, I think 6.2 will be very doable. My 10K spilt when I ran the half was 51 minutes, so I doubt I’ll beat that, but stranger things have happened. I’ll be happy just to finish.

Also, I think sometimes people maybe heckle me/shout to me when I run bald, but I don’t know, because I run with loud music and I generally just give a thumbs-up to anyone who stares at me because I am full of endorphins and good cheer out there, so YAY EVERYONE! EVEN HECKLERS! The other day, I was running in my Virginia Track and Field shirt and I passed a guy who was ALSO running in a Virginia Track and Field shirt and I was like HEY COOL SHIRT and he was like (this is my interpretation of his facial expression) HEY THAT CHICK IS BALD! No one notices your fashion when you have no hair, alas.

3. I didn’t blast my budget to pieces in July! July was my first full month in NYC, and living here and not being a gajillionaire can be a challenge. I managed to slip by under my budget with a couple hundred bucks to spare. So now I know that I can afford those extra couple of trips to the falafel place down the street. MMMM FALAFEL.

4. Gordie and I are going on vacation tomorrow! I can’t wait to unwind at the beach for the weekend. The forecast looks lovely, and our destination (I’m keeping it a secret, in case you’re stalking me) is supposed to be quite romantic. Gordie: “I don’t care what you say, we’re getting ice cream sundaes. Don’t try to fight it.” Β Me: “Like I would fight an ice cream sundae.”

Small semi-non sequitur: The other day I wanted some fro-yo, and I was home alone, and it was like 10:30 PM. But I had this craving for fro-yo that just would NOT go away. So I left my apartment and walked a couple of blocks to the fro-yo place and filled up a cup with cake batter softserve and topped it with a bunch of cookie dough and brownie bits and Reese’s Pieces, and if you’re one of those people that gets plain yogurt and tops it with kiwi and granola then just DO NOT EVEN TALK TO ME RIGHT NOW, because the crushed up Butterfingers are MY LIFE. Anyway, after I came out of my fro-yo trance (which is what I call that state when I am SO INTENT on getting fro-yo that I’m not paying attention to anything, people could be giving away free puppies and having a live Luke Bryan concert in the fro-yo place but I’d just be like WHERE IS MY CAKE BATTER BEFORE I HAVE TO SHANK SOMEONE), I realized that everyone else there was with a friend. But I was alone. So I texted Hailee and was like, “Is it not socially acceptable to get fro-yo by yourself?” And she replied, “Girl, if that is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.” So I will continue solo fro-yo-ing because YOLO.

5. MY HAIR IS GROWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t use a lot of emoticons on this blog but this calls for a :). And another :). πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I’m planning an entire post about this, but I want to get a little further along in my hair-growth progress before I unleash it on y’all, dear readers.

6. I pet a bodega cat yesterday. He was so FLUFFY! Doesn’t he just look so OVER everything? He’s like, “Ugh, this bodega doesn’t even have air conditioning, yet you’re going to buy those Hostess products that have been on the shelf since before Y2K. Enjoy your food poisoning, you basic betch.” Whatever, bodega cat.

Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 4.17.25 PM

7. The internet broke in my apartment! I’m actually including this in the “little victories” section because I’ve been finding a lot of ways to amuse myself without it, and since I sometimes feel like I spend too much time staring at screens, I actually think it’s nice to be forced to disconnect for a bit. In the four days I’ve been living without at-home internet, I’ve done a lot of running, exploring the greenway, seeing old friends, catching up over happy hour, listening to buskers in the park, riding my bike, and reading my AMAZING book. I’m reading the Lord of the Rings because, despite being an English major and a very voracious reader, I’d somehow never included it in my canon, and when I told Gordie that he told me it was unacceptable so I immediately got it on my Kindle and dove into it. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know the plot – I’ve seen the movies – but I think virtually all modern high fantasy is derivative of Tolkien and it’s easy to see why. The book is incredibly engrossing, and I think even if Time Warner got their ish together and FINALLY fixed my internet, I’d ignore its siren song to finish Frodo’s journey to Mordor.

8. I made fajitas! That’s all. I made them from scratch, and they were DELICIOUS. It’s always nice to find an easy, tasty new weeknight recipe.

So what are your little victories, readers? Bodega cat wants to know. Look at that face. You better tell him. You wouldn’t like bodega cat when he’s angry.

14 thoughts on “Little victories

  1. GS says:

    The Bodega cat looks so fierce

  2. My girls love fajitas! It is always a bit of a special do, all the different veg and Mexican ingredients on the table, and everyone digging in making their own favourite fajitas!

    If you love falafel, (or falafelafel as we call them!), then you should try making them, they aren’t that hard. And you don’t have to deep fry, you can just fry them with a bit of oil, or some recipes cook them in the oven.

    And yes, good no more men walking around you window in the morning, πŸ™‚

  3. Wanderer says:

    This was great—sometimes it really does wonders to focus on the little victories.

    I went to dinner tonight with two old friends I haven’t hung out with much since graduation—-all of our phones were out of sight and I’m pretty sure I disturbed EVERYONE in the restaurant with my laughter. It was wonderful.

    It’s really ridiculous how often when we are “hanging out” with friends, we really are all just staring at a screen. I’m not going to wish for my internet or phone to break or anything, but making a more conscious effort to put it down and away is great.

    And mega congratulations on your hair!! Soon Bodega Cat will be jealous.

  4. Dom says:

    I’m perhaps too guilty of not celebrating the little victories in life, because I’m too busy shrieking about the petty little rubbish that clogs up ninety percent of my days. Maybe I should be a little more relaxed and look at life in a more positive way.

    I did have an unusually nice day yesterday – I got to have the closest thing to a holiday I’ve had in a while; I had what passes for a picnic around here, sat in a local park in the sun with my lunch and just relaxing, which is something I hardly ever do in my hectic, agonising life. Sometimes I rush around too much and forget to stop and smell the flowers; I need to remember to take a break once in a while. My head and heart need it.

    Also, I should probably say “hello, Michelle” – you write with such warmth, wit, openness and flair! I’m always interested to hear the views and tales of warm, beautiful ladies with a story to tell – you can thank the delightful Katie Piper for opening my eyes to that – and I wish you well for the future. Keep up the excellent work, wonderful lady!

  5. chymeera says:

    I signed up for a Creative Writing course yesterday…I have been wanting to do something like that for a while but never really dared to make the jump but this year, with everything that has been happening I decided, what the heck and YOLO (although I do hate the way people YOLO everything)…I have also signed up for online digital photography course and online nutrition course…yay, I got crazy but I love learning and 2 of those courses can be done whenever.
    Love the contempt exuding from Bodega Cat he sooo “whatever human”!
    Congratulations on the hair growth…and on celebrating small victories!!

    • Catherine Schultz says:

      I wanted to respond to the post here by chymeera so hope this works. I see you signed up to take a digital photography class and I’d love to know more about that. I am really interested in improving my photography skills and have wanted to take a class for a while but never considered doing something online. Hope you will post more as you get into the experience. Will be thinking of my own small victories in the mean time to share with Michelle.

      • chymeera says:

        Hi…so it worked πŸ™‚ Well I am more than happy to share my experience about my learning. I got a discount voucher from Amazon local to take online course with Institute of Photography. Normally this course is about Β£300 but I got it for Β£49 so I thought I’d give it a shot. I am of two minds when it comes to online learning. On the one hand, I love the flexibility and the other, I miss the connection and the exchange you get by going to classes and I am a naturally easily distracted person so I will forget to get online and complete the units and then will have to plough through a couple in one go. I have only completed a couple units at this stage and it is all about learning about your camera…which to be fair, I never spent much time doing when I bought my DSLR a few years ago….we will see if it really improves my photography.

  6. Ann says:

    Oh, doll, your hair will come back, and chances are it’ll be better than ever. Even if it isn’t, it’ll be there.

    You will never stop having the most amazing life, just because you are who you are.

    You only live once, and in your case, it’s the most wonderful thing imaginable.

    • chymeera says:

      Oh yes, it will come back…be prepared for a completely different look…mine is growing back curly as hell! I mean it is ridiculously thick and it looks like I am growing an afro…everyone thinks it’s awesome but I remember how much time I spent pre-chemo straightening my hair (it was always a little wavy) and I am thinking, this is going to take forever…still, better curly hair than none! I am sure you will rock it!

  7. Mary says:

    You’re living in New York now. I think people are thinking about your baldness a lot less than you think they are. People walk around here with CATS ON THEIR HEADS and no one even notices. Run on girl!

  8. Hi Michelle,
    I’m a Chicago Tribune reporter writing on the unique issues young adults have to cope with once diagnosed with breast cancer. I can’t find your contact info on the blog so if you’d like to talk, email me at Thanks!

  9. Barbara says:

    It’s been a while…. Looking forward to your next update.

  10. marina says:

    I was having a bad day and ran across this blog. . . .instantly made it better.
    Here are my victories today:
    -Went running. Didn’t want to. It was hard. But let’s face it, you never regret working out.
    -I love my bedding . . and the two new pillow shams my mom passed on to me yesterday They match it perfectly. Thanks mom.
    -Work wasn’t nearly as annoying today as it was all last week. I love lots of things about my job, a lot people want my job and not being happy with it is my issue not the job’s.
    -Even though I was a total idiot and broke the screen of my new Samsung Galaxy 4G, it still works fine and I found a website that will buy it broken for $100. Here’s hoping it holds up until the new iphone’s come out and I can go RUNNING back to Apple.
    -I can afford expensive cell phones (sorta)
    -I took the (free) bus to work instead of driving paying for parking. This mostly on the account of me getting my lazy a$$ out of bed ontime and finding something appropiate to wear the first time around. When my mornings go smoothly I can arrive at work ontime on the bus and not rush in a car.
    -I found this blog, that made me feel better. It made me laugh. I think the writing is good. It holds my attention which isn’t always easy in the content heavy nature of my life/the internet. Thank you!
    I hope your hair comes back as fabulous as you.

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