The realization occurs that I do not want the motto of my life to be “quick and easy” or “thirty-minute meals”

Now that I am a real, full-time employed person, I understand completely why the first thing my dad does when he gets home from work is untuck his shirt.  Because I now do the exact same thing.

It’s funny, because I was never really aware that that was a habitual thing for my father until I found myself doing it subconsciously as soon as I started a real job.

Can I just say….work is exhausting! 

I also understand why it would be so amazing to come home from a hard day’s work and find dinner on the table. Happy children and a clean environment also seem appealing–which is why I now understand why my mom made sure we were behaving around the hour my dad’s return from work was expected.

Coming home from work now, throwing something together that is healthy and somewhat appetizing in just a few minutes (due to being both famished and exhausted), is the most anyone can ask of me. It is often followed by half an hour to an hour of television, and then catching up on my social life before I collapse in bed.

I have also gained an appreciation for:

-the convenience of online shopping
-the beauty of frozen fish that cooks in minutes in a pan with butter and salt and happens to be delicious
-being able to go to bed early
-mindless entertainment
-having any extra time in the morning
-cultures that encourage rest in the work day (whhhy America, whyyyy???)

All of this, of course, leads up to the very obvious statement: I CANNOT WAIT TO GET MARRIED. Coming home from work to someone I love, making dinner for/with said person…not doing things alone and purely for my own survival. It sounds heavenly. 

All of this also begs the question: HOW DO WOMEN WITH KIDS DO IT???? I am just one person and I seem to be all I can handle. I keep reminding myself I have it easy.

Working is great experience, and I enjoy my job. And working and living in the nation’s capital is an experience I wouldn’t give up for anything. Buuuuut…I am looking forward to the future. If we are being honest here. Which we are.

Future post topic: How my views on family life have changed (or rather, have become concentrated and amplified).  

I am an Oklahoma girl at heart.

Thanks for reading.

Above: a prime example of quick and easy- wine and Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi (also delicious, I might add, if not purely convenient)

An introduction to what might turn into a long-winded discussion of Hill arrogance over the course of…my life

I mentioned earlier that I work on Capitol Hill. I like my job because I like my boss, and my coworkers keep me sane. But I don’t want to be here one second longer than I have to be. And that’s a fact.

I have lots to say about working on the Hill. So many, many things that I must talk about with friends, family and Eric or else I am afraid there is a 100% chance I will turn into what this place churns out like money….ha.

What does it mean to be Hill staffer?

I will tell you. It means that you are cool. So cool, that you aren’t even phased by cool people–even politicians who are really cool.

Are you a Hill staffer? Here is a little test. If you have ever said any of the following in your life, you are most likely a Hill staffer:

1) “Uuuugh. I had to stay so late last night at work because the boss is offering an amendment this week and the LAs [legislative assistants] needed me to do more research.”
2) “Yeah, [insert big name politician] is giving a speech in our backyard next month to some interns. It’s going to be so annoying having all those interns over.”
3) “Yeah, I’ve met [insert big name politician] a few times. We’ve been to meetings and hearings and stuff together. He/she is pretty cool.”

Sometimes, the Hill is confusing, because staffers say things in such a nonchalant way that you might be led to believe that they are really disillusioned by the whole political process. Because, as history has proven, Congress is a well-oiled machine that will never, ever, ever, ever, ever change. So, naturally, a young twenty-something staffer staying one hour later on a Thursday night is going to have a huge impact on the functionality of our country. That last sentence was sarcasm, but the one before it was not.

What staffers really mean when they say things staffers say:

1) “I really didn’t want to stay late last night, but when the LAs told me my research would be used on the Senate floor, I thought “Wow! That is SO cool! I can call my mom and tell her to turn on C-SPAN and watch the fruits of my labor. She will be so proud of me.”
2) “I think it’s so cool that [insert big name politician] is coming over to my house. And I think it will be fun to have a bunch of interns around who will think I am awesome because I get paid for my job.”
3) “Who would have thought that I would be able to meet with these people who have so much more experience than I do. That’s neat.”

Why can’t Hill staffers say those things? Because honestly, all of those things are acceptable. But they can’t say them because we all work in a bubble where we are trained to think that our work is changing the world because normal people recognize the face of our boss when he does an interview on CNN.

I could write a book on how dumb I think the Hill mindset is. I feel the need to write about it because becoming a product of Capitol Hill is like growing up: you don’t know it is happening when it is happening. I refuse to lose sight of everything I value in life because occasionally I walk across the street with Al Franken.

I started this blog to write my way out of being a product of my generation, and right now, that just so happens to include Capitol Hill.

Stay tuned, if you like. I have a lot of lost words in my brain that need a home.

The Washington Heat Arrives

This week, I learned that one should never underestimate the effects of a cold beverage on bodily temperatures.

I walk a little over a mile to get to work every day and I have to get creative in what I wear to work, and what I add to my wardrobe when I arrive.

Also, footwear has to be taken into consideration. So far, my solutions have included wearing as little as possible on the way to work, and wearing colors that reveal as little sweat as possible. I have to keep in mind, however, that walking into the marble halls of the Senate building wearing a tank top and a pencil skirt can feel a little awkward. So, I have learned the appropriate time to don the cardigan I am carrying without melting from the sweltering heat. I also walk in comfy flip flops, and keep a collection of heels to change into under my desk and in my desk drawers. Which kind of makes me feel like Andrea from The Devil Wears Prada…so that’s cool.

This week, I learned that drinking iced coffee while trekking the 1.3 miles to work in 85 degree weather actually makes the walk tolerable. I can avoid sweating much longer than when I walk sans iced coffee.

By the way, if you have ever wondered how many miles I have walked since moving here approximately 20 months ago, the answer would be roughly 1,238 miles. That includes the 16 miles on the day I walked the entire district of Columbia on accident.

I took this picture on that day. Thankfully, it was spring and not the beginning of summer:

And I took this picture on that day. All I had with me were my keys and cell phone, so I could not buy a bottle of water. But thankfully, it dawned on me that I live in a city funded by tax-payers around the country, and I should use what I pay for, and take advantage of water fountains and bathrooms open to the public. So here I am in the bathroom of an obscure museum. I don’t think the dehydration had hit me yet, in this picture, but let’s just say I wasn’t feeling my absolute best until a few days later.But I digress.

I have known that it gets stinking hot in DC (possibly hotter than Oklahoma) since the first time I visited this city with my family 12 years ago. But every summer, I manage to forget until one morning, I open the front door, and am welcomed by suffocating heat. Thankfully, my teal, plastic, eco-friendly coffee thermus is in my life now. I shall never let it out of my sight!