June 30, 2011

the summer list

well, I've now been off work for five weeks. five weeks. that is insanity.

in five weeks, I've:
  • had my second bad cold of the season (just three weeks after the first)
  • pimped out my bike with a new front headlight, a rack (which I had to remove and now have to fix), and a $70 new rear tire (highly puncture resistant). plus I've spent like $30 on spare tubes which turned into flat tires FOUR TIMES. I don't even want to talk about it.
  • finished a couple of books
  • knitted a waldo-style hat for scott which turned out to be too small, so I'm working on #2
  • threw a kickass birthday party
  • made a 7 layer cake
  • biked ON THE ROAD! like, for realsies
  • ridden my horse for the first time since march
  • gone, fruitlessly, to physical therapy
  • written marketing copy for the opera
  • done many rounds of dishes, laundry, and grocery shopping
  • hung out with a certain someone
  • gardened.
basically, I've spent a lot of my time reading, a lot of my time poking around on the internet, a fair amount of time in a blanket nest on the couch, and roughly the same amount of time gardening and riding as I would if I were working.

I live in fear that I will go back to work and feel as if I haven't done anything good with this vista of unfilled time. I had grand plans that I'd do something really productive with the time, while resting and reading and sitting by the river at sauvie island. but what? if you'd asked me on may 26 (my first official day off contract), I'd have told you:

learn to ride my bike like a person who knows how to ride bikes
read books sitting by the river
play my clarinet regularly, which I haven't done since ... college (sorry, dr. caravan)
brush up my french, which, tragically, is rusty as hell
cook a new recipe at least once a week
keep the house clean so a certain someone doesn't have to, since he's working and I'm not
go to the beach
sleep
lay around
play video games
watch movies
catch up on random tv shows
ride cookie
make cookie a better "citizen"
stop having back and hip pain
start running again
grow lots of things in the garden, and eat them
learn to pickle and can food
wear cute sundresses
don't go broke

you know, when I write it out like that, maybe I'm not doing so badly after all?

I guess my biggest problem is that I vacillate between wanting this time off to just be restful, since once the season begins it is always a whirlwind, and wanting it to be useful, since I have a swath of time in front of me that is kind of unprecedented as an adult. and as always, I can't decide whether to work or to loaf. and I have a hard time loafing if I feel like I've been unproductive or like there's something I should do.

I hung out with jesse last week, and she suggested that maybe my two big summer goals should be "throw an awesome candy-soaked birthday party" and "have a great time at the beach." I like this idea but my brain is too hard-wired for productivity to settle on it. sad!

honestly, "write a summer list" has been on my list of things to do for five weeks. that is absurd.

OK, here is a stab at fleshing out the Real List. because if I have the Real List I won't feel like I'm floundering. GOALS, people. I have to have goals.

learn to ride my bike like a person who knows how to ride bikes
this means:
feel more comfortable biking on the street
feel more comfortable turning the bike (seriously)
stop feeling like the bike is BETRAYING ME every time something happens to it (which lately has felt like, uh, constantly)
begin some form of regular commuting

read books sitting by the river
the only thing that has kept me from this thus far? the effing weather. let's not talk about it.

play my clarinet regularly
I brought my horn home last night. the keys are tarnished, which kind of makes me die a little inside. I haven't played it in nearly a year, and it had been nearly a year before THAT. the problem with starting up again is twofold:
1. it hurts because I don't have the chops anymore, and sounds awful for the same reason
2. I don't have anywhere to actually play/perform so there's no external reason to practice

that said, I could play 20-30 minutes a day and that would probably make me feel like a better human being.

brush up my french
are we doing any french operas next year? sadly, no. I have an 'advanced french grammar' workbook that I got for christmas (upon request) two years ago and have not touched. can I load some podcasts onto an ipod and start listening to them? any french is better than no french.

cook a new recipe at least once a week
I've actually been pretty good at this, thanks to scott, who maybe once a week says, "maybe could you cook dinner sometime this week?" the big success was a mango slaw I made last week, in conjunction with one of the provenance farm chickens from slaughter day. that mango slaw was AMAAZING. more please. and I managed to avoid triggering my mango allergy.

keep the house clean so a certain someone doesn't have to
check. I even vacuum. (truth: I love the vacuum)

go to the beach
two weeks from today, baby.

sleep
I could definitely do more of this.

lay around
check, dudes. but I'd like to keep it as a goal if only so I feel better about it.

play video games
I miss my xbox 360 :(

watch movies
why have I not done more of this? gotta do more of this. particularly if it keeps being cloudy and 65 all the time.

catch up on random tv shows
ditto to the above.

ride cookie/make cookie a better "citizen"
OK, this one requires fleshing out. here are my sub-goals:
- ride an average of 5 days a week, with no more than 2 days between rides
- work on P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E, which we are both lacking
- training-wise, work primarily on lateral work, working in the correct frame, and going forward - equitation-wise, get my leg strength back (a slow road), work on lengthening the back of my lower leg and correcting my leg position, work on riding as if my arms were side reins
- acclimate cookie to having her ears clipped without needing to be ear twitched, which is how they have always done all ears at my barn, and which I hate and find to be terribly inhumane. cookie will consent to being clipped everywhere but the ears. probably for obvious reasons.

stop having back and hip pain
I honestly don't even know what to do about this anymore. so far physical therapy has just cost me $300 and has done nothing but prevented me from wearing flip flops.

start running again
I'm almost certain it will be the fall, at least, before I am running, let alone without pain. running is something I almost prefer not to think about at this point. so, I'm removing it from the list.

grow lots of things in the garden, and eat them
in progress.

learn to pickle and can food
I bought scott a canning kit for christmas, and he later purchased a pressure canner, so this is totally doable. now I just need something other than peas to grow in the garden :)

wear cute sundresses
step one: wait for warm weather

don't go broke
here's hoping.

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