Bra-less and Unpaid


My Work Photo (Before)

Friday was my last day of work. And I’m supposed to be happy about this…right? I mean, anyone that’s ever had a full-time job understands there are moments when you’d rather pull your eyelashes out one-by-one than go to work. Maybe your job is in the eyelash business and you’d rather not think about eyelashes all together. But that’s beside the point.  What I’m trying to say is…on my last day of work, I was sad.

Like, really sad.

Maybe if I were quitting to travel the world, that would be one thing. And I may or may not have already done that.  But, there’s something about quitting because you’re sick and it’s time to stay home and chill out because you have LUNG DISEASE! that makes it a real bummer.

But seriously, working had been so great for me through all of this. I loved my job. I loved my coworkers. I’d get up in the morning. Put pants on. Put lipstick on. And get my butt out the door. It was nice staying busy without having to think about lungs or needing new ones. Not to mention, Henry and I would carpool together to Salt Lake and that usually involved 45 minutes each way of Beyonce lip sync battles, NPR podcasts, and how-many-chicken-nuggets-can-you-fit-into-your-mouth-at-once competitions. You  know, “quality time” (we’re going on a diet).

Day one of kept-woman status, was spent with my sister on her birthday. One part, the funnest day ever, another part anxious ball of nerves.  I was in charge of keeping her surprise party a secret. A feat, that if you knew me, was a sheer miracle in and of itself. I used five tanks of oxygen that day…Five! (Picture scuba-diving on land).

Day two, I was a cleaning machine. Pick up clothes. nap. Laundry. nap. Fold clothes. Lay down. Put clothes away. sit. Organize book collection. sit.  Make bed. Lay in made bed. Not to mention I got winded doing the dumbest things.  I picked up a bundle of bobby pins off the floor, which were the last four to my 5,000 piece collection (where the others have gone, I’ll never know), and I had to compose myself for a few moments afterwards. All in a days work.



I’m currently in the middle of day 3. I’m still in my jammies and bra-less, drinking orange cream soda. I think I spent a good 40 minutes sitting on the couch, staring out the window. I did manage to curl my hair. It’s 2 in the afternoon. I guess I’m still trying to get the hang of this.

I know what some of you are thinking…this all sounds like a dream.  And maybe it is. But I’ve learned from experience that time off is fun for about the first couple weeks; then the cabin fever sets in and the little voices start talking. So I just need to stay productive, or else I have too much time to, well, not be.  I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I plan on doing while at home. Just a few things to keep me motivated. P.S. They can’t involve a lot of breathing.

Here it goes:

  1. Crochet socks for my feet and hands…this house is freezing!
  2. Eat & Cook healthy (who am I kidding)/ semi-healthy foods
  3. Exercise: AKA Slow walks around the block (Note to Mackenzie: spending your morning watching Instagram yoga pose videos doesn’t count. How do they bend that way?!? HOW!?)
  4. Learn the romantic languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Pig Latin, Klingon
  5. Master different Pinterest hairstyles: The Double-Dutch Braided Bun and Braided Side Pony, The Half-Up faux hawk, the I’m-trying-but-I’m-not-trying sporty looks for girls who can’t even, and everything in the “40 Adorable Hippie Hairstyles to Make You Look Cool” and “Deeply sensuous hairstyles” tutorials.
  6. Improve piano skills and give Lang Lang a run for his Yuan.
  7. Color code Henry’s sock drawer and organize his chambray shirt collection
  8. Decode the Voynich Manuscript
  9. I’m gonna read so many books that, in a few weeks, John Travolta in Phenomenon, will have nothing on me. I’ll be growing bus-sized cucumbers, turning pig manuer into fuel and moving pencils with my mind!

Just you wait.  This period of my life will prove to be transformative. Where I once dreamed of taking time for myself, I now have that time in abundance. I get to go to work…on myself. Improve. Grow. Learn. And maybe finally finish the remaining seasons of Gilmore Girls. Cuz that’s important…right?

7 Responses
  • Lindsay
    March 18, 2016

    Kenz, I am appalled that you have not yet finished “Gilmore Girls” (especially after living with me for two years watching them every weekday at lunch). Please call me so we can get together and watch them or “Drop Dead Gorgeous” or paint our nails. No breathing required.

  • Matt
    March 18, 2016

    Your amazing! You are just like my wife Christine Plank-Meeusen. She had a great sense of humor throughout her entire battle with non-smoking lung cancer. You two are kindred souls.

  • Marilyn
    March 19, 2016

    Picked your blog up when a friend shared it on Facebook. Started reading and ended up going back and reading all posts. So impressed. First you are such a good candid writer and you are so dang beautiful I mean that sincerely, just stunningly pretty.
    You said two things that brought back some heartfelt memories to me. First God has a plan for us and our chore is to support his plan. Such a testimony in and of itself. Second was that we should live until we die. When I was a hospice nurse this was the most important thing I would help my patients to learn and you have grasped this concept right from the beginning of your diagnosis. What I witnessed is a total change in people as they set out to do their revised bucket list and learned to live again.
    I can’t comprehend the thoughts and feelings you must be going through as you do the wait and see game of life but you are really on a great track of coping with life as it is.
    I find my self cheering you on, thanking you for sharing ( and keep doing these wonderful posts), laughing and crying with you, and really admiring your ability to acknowledge the negative parts of your life and balancing them with the beauty of your life. Such a healthy attitude.
    This reply is way to long but you really touched my heart as I read your posts and you are accomplishing your goal of not asking for a pity party. I have quit reading those endless blogs but I truly am finding your words inspiring and fun to read. Keep up the great blog. I am a follower.

  • Trevor Holms Petersen
    March 19, 2016

    My I add another couple items to your list?

    1- Write a story
    2- Write a script

    Because you are amazing and talented and funny as heck!

  • Cassie
    March 21, 2016

    I hope day 5 was a little interesting for you!!! ☺️ I love your list. I love you. ❤️

  • Allison (Pugh) Jensen
    March 22, 2016

    Why hello my Girls Camp friend and fellow camper! I just figured it out it must have been fifteen years ago I was your YCL- whoa! Found your website via someone on FB from Spokane, can’t remember who. Just wanted to add a “i”m cheering for you and Praying for you” and tell you I sure enjoy how you write- wow I could easily read a whole book just because I like listening to you, even about hars stuff. You are amazing!

  • Sydney
    April 3, 2016

    First language lesson in Italian, “Ciao Bella” – pronounced “Chow bel-la”. Meaning “Hello Beautiful”.
    This phrase describes you perfectly.
    I wish I were nearer to see you. I think about you all the time. I am going to say it, ” Really, did this have to be your lot in life?”
    You are a survivor because regardless of life’s challenges you maintain your wit and focus on what you can control.
    My prayers include you daily.
    Love…..Aunt Sydney
    ( Sydne with a “y” on the end because I found out my mother forgot to teach me to spell my name as printed on my birth certificate. Which would have saved me a lot of mispronounced moments, and I would not have to acknowledge my aliases on legal documents.)

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