What I’ve Been Up To

Oh boy. So much has happened in my life in the last 2 months. In fact, this past weekend was the first one in five weeks that I was home in Boston! That’s how wild things have been. While I’ve been keeping you guys posted (kind of) on social media, I thought I would spend a post just to recap a bit. I know that it’s sometimes fun to go back to how blogging was in the ye olden days of 2013 and just recap a weekend, and I’m still not operating at full-speed/pain levels, so it seems like a fun excuse.

Breaking down what I've been up to over the last 2 months, from mid-March to late April.

Emily visited – The weekend of March 23rd, my sister came to Boston to visit! She lives in NYC now, so I don’t see her that often. Before this weekend, I hadn’t seen her in months. We hung out, our family went out to dinner at Trillium in the Seaport, and we did a brunch with a family that she used to nanny for. It was a good time!

My grandpa took a turn for the worse and then died – Sadly, literally two days after Emily returned to NYC, we got a call that my grandpa had taken a turn for the worse. I haven’t talked about this much publicly because it’s not just my story like my health is, but he lived the last few years with vascular dementia. This is a form of dementia caused by strokes. He had 2 big strokes (what we think about generally when we hear “stroke”) and an innumerable number of small strokes (TIAs). Those were so small that we wouldn’t notice when they were happening; he wouldn’t even notice, I don’t think. But there’s no cure, and while his medication did reduce the number of big strokes he had, he kept having TIAs. He was in a memory care facility for around a year and a half, and so his turn for the worse wasn’t necessarily unexpected, but it’s not something you’re ever truly prepared for.

So we got the call on Tuesday and went up to Maine to say goodbye. He died on March 31, 2019. I’m very grateful that I am able to work anywhere there is an internet connection, so I only had to take like 2 days off. Working was good for me because it was a distraction. It also felt weird to watch Netflix the day after my grandpa died, you know? Anyway, the wake and funeral weren’t until the first Thursday and Friday of April. We stayed up in Maine until April 7. It was nice to spend a week and a half up there, but obviously not nice given the reason. We had a lot of family time, including a big family movie day on Saturday, and that was nice.

I went to HealtheVoices 2019 – As I said, I got back to Boston on Sunday, April 7, spent 4 days at home, and then left for Dallas to go to HealtheVoices (a trip sponsored by Janssen FYI). I won’t fully recap that trip for you because I wrote a whole post recapping it already, but basically this is a conference for online health advocates put on by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. This was my second year going, and it’s really fun. It’s just also a lot – a solid 12 hours a day for 3 days – and I was really glad that I had a day off between when I got home and when I went back to work!

What I've Been Up To | Kate the (Almost) Great

I went to Maine for Easter – A few days after HealtheVoices, I went back up to Maine for Easter. This had been planned for months, which I was very glad about considering my grandpa’s death. We spent Saturday just hanging out and then on Sunday had a full family day. We did Easter dinner at my grandma’s, along with my mom’s brother and his family. Then, we went to my dad’s sister’s house and spent time with them. It was a very full day, especially because the drive from our house to Orono and Orrington is ~40 minutes.

Met Ayanna Pressley – After getting back from our Easter trip, I had an actually normal week, which was really nice. And then last weekend, I got to meet my congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley. She had an open house at her new Dorchester office, and my dad and I went to that. It was packed! What was really nice was that they had questions all over the office on big sheets of paper to get her constituents’ feedback. For example, one sign asked what was the preferred way to hear from her. It was really cool meeting her, even though I had a major star-struck moment.

What I've Been Up To | Kate the (Almost) Great

When we got to her office, my dad let me out of the car right at her office before he was going to go park. I got out of the car, saw her getting out of her car not that far away, and immediately panicked. I said “Nope!” and got back in the car with my dad. He parked the car (luckily not that far away), I put on lipstick and pulled myself together, and we went in. Later, when I actually met her, I was able to hold it together enough to introduce myself and ask for a picture. But just barely!

What I've Been Up To | Kate the (Almost) Great

I read a lot – Throughout all of this, I did a lot of reading. This is partially because I did a lot of traveling; I listen to audiobooks in car rides because I get motion sickness and I read in airports and on planes. It’s also because I spent a lot of time in Maine and I do a lot of reading there. I read so much that I’m now ahead of schedule to reach my reading goal for the year! (30 books) Since my sister first visited in March, I’ve read 6 books, not counting what I’m currently reading. You can check out what I read in the first quarter of the year here.

What have you been up to?

Like this post? Check out:

My Evening Routine, Fun Things To Do in Boston: A 3-Day Guide, How To Go Back to Work After a Long Break, What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

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