my dog ate my computer.
Okay, okay. I don’t have a dog.
I was feeling guilty for not being able to fit in a proper blog for nearly a week, but as I caught up with my blog reading yesterday some of that guilt lessened…it seems everybody is writing a post similar to mine. Unless you are a food blogger about ready to lose your mind over spring asparagus (and this is not meant to be derogatory – I link to some food blogs), my little corner of the blogging world seems pretty quiet, mainly because of franticness elsewhere.
What has been keeping me away from blogging? My novel, partially. Laziness, mainly – or rather, laziness at ten o’clock at night, when I have time to blog. I think I underestimated how demanding this job would be, for one. Also, S.’s graduation from law school arrives next weekend, and the planning and coordinating of friends and family has been time-consuming. The day after his graduation I fly out on another business trip. Then S. moves his stuff down to Pittsburgh, but not his actual self, because he’s going camping with my brother. And then S. moves down properly. And then I have another business trip. This summer overflows with riches – important birthdays, family weddings, graduations – the bar in July for S. (The bar exam. Not the bar-bar. That may come in August, though!)
My lovely friend J. came down to visit last weekend to celebrate our birthdays, which we’ve been doing for six years (hers was the 15th, mine this Saturday) and we spent a lot of time discussing different ways to balance our lives. There never seems to be enough time, ever. And we don’t have children…just jobs and husbands and apartments. I should cook more, I said. I love to cook but I don’t take the time. I should go to the museums in Chicago, said J. But mostly on the weekends I want to have brunch with my girlfriends, said J.
It’s not just blogging I’m ignoring. My photos still aren’t put in albums, my novel moves at a snail’s pace, I can barely keep the apartment clean. Now, I know that in many ways I just need to cut myself some slack…after all, much is happening and I did just take a new job and relocate and all, but I also know that some of it has to do with my relationship to time, and that could use some work. There is – there should be – enough time even after working to have a lovely life. I do not want to be, in fact, I often roll my eyes at – those people who adhere to the Cult of Being Busy, who have to check their planners for breakfast two months from now. But it is up to me to change my habits if I’ going to avoid becoming one of those people.
The first habit I’ve changed since moving here is enjoying a nightly glass of wine. Oh, I’m no teetotaler and if fact am going to a beer garden with co-workers tonight, but I don’t sit down to a glass of wine after a long day anymore, because I noticed that if I do I am worthless for anything else. Just one glass can cause me to fall asleep if I’ve popped in a movie. I’ve taken to drinking organic pomegranate juice cut with sparkling water. This means I’m actually interested in sweeping the floors at 9:00 last night…or, rather, not too tired to do so. My maternal grandmother, she of the four-martinis-a day habit, is frowning up in heaven over this, I have no doubt. I was raised, as it were, on cocktail hours.
The second habit I must change (and certain friends of mine may want to stop reading now) is watching television. I started watching television regularly in graduate school, after long days of reading and writing. I never felt badly about it…it is hard to feel bad about watching Alias when one has spent five hours working T.S. Eliot allusions into her manuscript and another five reading Middlemarch. It’s a hard habit to break – one I did successfully in MI but picked up again after moving to Pittsburgh. Last night as I idly listened to some crime show, I realized if I stopped watching television probably I would go to later evening yoga classes, read, or at least flip through cookbooks. So I’m going to see if I can go without television for a while, with the exception of a couple half hour sitcoms I enjoy – ie, 30 Rock with Tina Fey. I admire Tina Fey – I’m going to see her movie this weekend, too. The other sitcoms I won’t bring up here as I’ve already sullied your thoughts of me enough for one day.
I’m hoping these two changes will help me approach time differently. I have more time now, much more, than I did in MI. And I’m not one to sit around and bitch about how working takes away from my writing time – as J. and I discussed this weekend, despite the demands of work we enjoy being contributors to this world, in doing what we can to make the our corners better places. We just wish the pastries would stop showing up at breakfast meetings. Hmm. I wonder if a food/work post is in order? Because really why the need for gigantic donuts at every breakfast meeting? Why? I HATE food at meetings but really, there is no way around it. People freak if it isn’t there. And yet we are in the middle of a food crisis….okay, I need to stop now and return to this later.
So, a couple of changes. The thing is, I could easily give up blogging and eliminate the guilt but I don’t WANT to. I love blogging. I love bloggers. I love reading blogs. In the NYTimes on Sunday I read one in ten people have blogs and I thought, good for them! Blogging is fabulous! I love how it covers so many different subjects, and I truly believe in it’s cathartic abilities for many people. Stay-at-home moms, frustrated teenagers, struggling writers, voracious readers, cancer patients, immigrants, foodies, fathers – all have blogs. Hurrah!
Before I wrap this up (and for some reason I do have to write these catch up posts once in a while, before I can turn to better content), as I noted, my birthday is on Saturday. Blah blah – I turn 31. It’s no big deal. I am not celebrating until S. moves here – we are celebrating our birthdays over together over Memorial Day. But it is my dad’s 65th birthday as well, which I think is a pretty big damn deal, and I am extraordinarily excited about that. He is not, but what are you going to do? I adore my dad. He doesn’t read this blog – in fact, he thinks that by blogging I am contributing to our naval-gazing, self-indulgent, it’s all about me culture – but happy 65th, dad. No girl could have asked for a better father.
Oh! I’m getting a bike for my birthday. I AM extraordinarily excited about that.
But I can’t end all of this without a bit of a last year wrap up, can I? But then again, not all that much has changed. Let’s see…I’ve given up frappuccinos and straightening my hair in the last year. Since moving to Pittsburgh almost all of my anxiety has dissipated despite the transition and I attribute this to walking a minimum of three miles every day (I took my pedometer with me yesterday) – it is hard to be anxious when you receive that much natural exercise. On a similar note, almost all body aches and pains disappear when one walks, and goes to the gym, and practices yoga. I have never felt better, which is good because otherwise I tire more easily, can’t drink caffeine after noon, and can’t hold my liquor. I have both gray hairs and a colorist I have to book months in advance. I have less tolerance for cable news coverage and more compassion for the people surrounding me. I am developing theories about what it means to work. Every day, I shed more and more of twenties me and embrace this still new decade. Really, I have no choice, and the mere thought of twenties me exhausts me.
So, um, that’s it. Hazaah. Possibly a more interesting post next time. Possibly.