Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guilty Pleasures

April is always a busy month for me.  It’s a sort of moment of truth month in a Texas teacher’s life.  It is the month we give the high stakes, state-mandated test called the STAAR.  I was on overdrive for months leading up to it, tutoring before and after school and taking paperwork home in the evenings.  I spent any spare time I had preparing manuscripts for a children’s writer’s conference that I attended the weekend right after the test. 
When under stress, whether good or bad, a short (or not so short) time out can make all of the difference, so I started  pondering the little things that make me happy.  The following is a list of the top ten guilty pleasures that keep me going during times of stress and/or just make life much more fun the rest of the time:
1.  Superhero movies, especially X-men.  I love the slickness and the suits, the witty retorts the nonsensical implausibility of it all.
2.   Coffee creamer: I like a little coffee with my cream (only the powdered kind).  It’s an addiction.   What can I say?

3.   Smarties.  I can eat these until I lapse into a sugar coma.  Which is why I normally only eat them on Halloween.

4.   Audio books.  I was introduced to the audio book with Game of Thrones and I fell in love with listening to Roy Dotrice read the book to me using a different voice for each character.  All in a British accent of course, which is the best part.  I have a long commute.  Listening to books makes it blink by.

5.   Reading hellomagazine.com.  I apparently need to know what European royalty are up to.  Every morning, I turn on my computer, check my email, get an update on William, Kate, George, and Mary, and then start my day.

6.   Binge watching 5 years worth of a TV show.  This is actually the only way I watch TV shows (except The Big Bang Theory).  This takes a lot of time of course and can only really be done post crunch time.

7.   Cat videos.  Is there a better stress reliever than watching the talking cat on YouTube?  No, there isn’t, but if you don’t like that one there are about 1 billion other ones to choose from.

8.   Daydreaming about which superpower I would like to have — super strength, precognition, freezing time, invisibility.  Nope. I want none of these.  I want to be able to read as fast as Eve in the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. 

9.  The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Ellen is a light-hearted, positive spot in the near constant stream of negativity that TV watching can be.  Her show is like bff therapy everyday at 3 o’clock. 

10.  Sleep.  This one is self explanatory.  Can there be anyone in the world who doesn’t appreciate a good nap?

Now that testing is behind me and summer is beckoning, I think I'll indulge in one or two or three of these, maybe all at the same time.