Monthly lunch meeting with Nara

Even though I have no time and I almost cancelled three times this morning, I deliberately took 90 minutes  to go to my monthly lunch with my friend Nara. I’ve been trying to add these monthly lunches and phone calls and such in, so I can actually prioritize maintaining friendships as opposed to just running from thing to thing to thing.
It’s a struggle; I still haven’t managed to set them up with my sisters, much less various other friends, and Kevin and I said we were going to do a monthly date night, and put time in the schedule, and we missed the last one weeks ago and still haven’t found a night to do it instead. But working on it.
I walked up a few blocks to Lake Kitchen for this one (look, exercise!), and tried their shaved brussels sprouts salad, which ended up more like a cole slaw than I anticipated, but was pretty good, even though I don’t like cole slaw. I’d go even lighter on the dressing than they did, and I could skip the bacon entirely, but the base of it — brussels sprouts, pear, blue cheese, currants, nuts — was quite tasty. Not the sort of thing I’d normally cook for myself, but a nice change, and very autumnal.
I ended up only eating a bit of the steak I added to it, but that’s fine — I’ve brought it home and will put it in the family’ dinner tonight. I have some overcooked tortellini to try to rehabilitate — if I make a cheesy cream sauce, with some broccoli and steak, that should salvage it, I think.
Nara asked if my life was actually calming down at all, with Feast getting ready to ship out, or if the book going out would just mean that I would have a flood of other things surging back up again. And I said…maybe?
On the plus side, my house is steadily getting cleaner again, even though we no longer have Chris helping us with house management (the kids are picking up tasks, but I also just have a little more time than I did last year), and I’m feeling less panicky about what time-sensitive and explosive items might be buried in my e-mail, now that Stephanie is working on triage for me. Those are both good signs.
On the minus side, I haven’t managed any regular exercise since summer, which is definitely a problem. That’s the next priority, once the book is shipped out the door, I think. That and finishing up an overdue Wild Cards story. (Shh….)
Nara and I have similar…issues? Over-committed, over-stretched, overachievers. Fretting about our kids. Socially conscious, wanting to save the world. It’s good to have a monthly check in, at least, even though it would be better if we could see each other more often. It’s sort of ridiculous, given that Nara lives six blocks away — we could totally see each other all the time, if we weren’t so scheduled. Ah well.
I think I may have convinced Nara to try blocking out one day a week for no meetings — that was a suggestion someone gave me on here this summer, and I’ve been LOVING it this fall. Making me feel much more sane, having one day a week that isn’t all chopped up.
And when we were getting ready to leave, I started running down the things I wanted to remember to do this afternoon, and she grabbed an extra receipt and just wrote them down for me. I love a woman who appreciates the value of a good to-do list. And now I will go work through that list for a bit.

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