Everyone has things in life that they’re great at, and they talk about those all the time, but seldom do you hear about things that people suck at. Jenna Marbles posted a great video about her shortcomings, and I’d like to have a written record of all the things that I’m terrible at, for no real reason other than I liked this video and was thinking about my own shortcomings today. Ideally, this list will be finite, thereby making everything not on this list something that I’m awesome at, good at, or at least average at. Because, as we all know, that’s how life works.
So here goes:
1. Temperature. I haven’t always been fortunate enough to live in an apartment with a thermostat, but when I have, I have no sense of temperature, or at least how to make it so it’s neither burning hot or frigid in my apartment. It was a little easier in Houston, where you have the A/C or at least a fan on year round (otherwise the air just settles). It was slightly less easy in my first apartment here in Madison, which was centrally heated and usually so hot I needed fans on even when I slept. One of the criteria I was looking for in an apartment before I found this one was that I could control the temperature. Now that I have the power…I have no idea how to wield it. Seriously. At the moment, I’m in long sleeves and long pants in my apartment and sweating up a storm, but I’m going to be heading out pretty soon so I don’t want to get too comfortable. Plus, if it’s too warm in the apartment, I either a) can’t sleep, or b) am so comfy in the morning that I don’t want to leave my bed. I can deal with too cold in the apartment; unlike many people who live alone, I almost always wear clothes when I’m at home alone, or at least a t-shirt and underwear.
2. Motivating Myself to Exercise. I’ve always been about average height and weight for my age, and genetically, there are not really many overweight people in my family – my mom’s side are all tall and skinny, and my dad’s side are a little shorter and stockier, but not overweight – but still, I do worry about my weight and my looks, like almost every other person on the planet. I have my good days and bad days; food choice and exercise-wise, but I could benefit from more time spent being active and less time on the couch. In high school, I was the opposite of athletic; thin and had no interest in doing anything physical in nature. I started exercising regularly only in college, and even then, I’ve had months (usually summer) where I’ve taken it easy. I give myself a pat on the back for retaining my “girlish” (youthful?) figure; most of the shirts I wear I’ve had since high school or middle school and they still fit me, and in pants, I’m a 34 at most, and given that I was a 30-32 in highschool, which was a decade ago now, I’d say I’m not doing too too terribly. Part of the reason for the larger pants isn’t the waistline, though; I’ve gotten bigger in the posterior area and thicker around the legs, so when I shop, I get clothes that fit those, which usually come in a higher waist size, but that’s what belts are for. Still, I can’t seem to get myself to exercise more than 2-3 times a week, 4 if I’m really motivated, but part of me feels like my body kind of just stays where it is regardless of how I eat or exercise; it’s not like I turn into a balloon if I take a month off. Plus, it can get monotonous, and I’m not good at does exercises, period. But yeah, I should get on that.
3. Doing All the Readings For Class. I know it’s a given that in grad school you won’t have time every week to get to/through every single reading, but some weeks, I find that I just haven’t done any reading for one reason or another. Usually I start off strong, then slack off a little, and by the end of the semester, I’m mostly flying by the seat of my pants. I am proud to say that on Saturday, I finished all the readings for tomorrow’s class. Then again, it’s only the second full week of classes. The only problem with that is that now I will probably have to do some reviewing before discussion tomorrow.
4. Keeping the Apartment Presentable. When people come over, I usually give the “I’m a grad student” excuse and people understand, but if you came over to my place, you’d think I never clean because I’m what I call a seldom-picker-upper. I put things on the ground, and then when I’m looking for them, I know exactly where I left them, usually. If not, I just pick everything up off the floor and put it on a surface until I find said item. I always say that if I set myself an hour – or even a half-hour – to just do some light cleaning every day, then I’d feel more confident about my apartment. But then I remember that I have maybe one person over a week, if that, and usually it’s someone who’s seen my apartment before and who I’m not trying to impress, so I just let things be. In my defense, though, most of my mess is books, papers, and clothing (sweatshirts, jackets – not underwear or socks). I never have rotting food on counters, in cupboards, or in the fridge; that would actually be embarrassing, not to mention gross and unsanitary. I usually don’t have very many dirty dishes lying around, and if I do, they’re in the sink or hastily shoved into the dishwasher when someone does come over. Still, if I’m trying to do this whole “grown-up” thingy, I’d rather live in a place that’s more Friends and less Harold and Kumar.
5. The Slurpee Machine. I cannot, for the life of me, ever figure out how to work that goshdarn 7-11 slurpee machine. I can probably count the number of slurpees I’ve had in my life on one hand, but still, 12-year-old kids and 40-something 300-pound truckers can do it.