Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ending on a Good Note

Kinda Pretty Kinda Scary

Cactus Flower


{A few scenes from my Saturday afternoon bike ride}

Week of April 28, 2013:

Sunday: Bike ride to the lab and Old Navy/Target/HEB for errands

Monday: Evening run (25 minutes)

Tuesday: Evening run (20 minutes)

Wednesday: Off (dinner date!)

Thursday: Bike ride commute to work

Friday: Evening run (25 minutes)

Saturday: Bike ride commute to work + HEB, a slow round-the-neighborhood walk after dinner

Total minutes run this week: 70.

Last week was kinda rough.  Nothing catastrophic, but I bonked a job interview (doh!), effed up Wednesday night’s dinner (I iz a good cook?!), had a meltdown about my life, and felt punished by the brutal winds we’ve had blowing through our region.  Like a lot of people around the country, I am so tired of the cold weather that I’m ready to hibernate until spring arrives.  Like, for real.  On top of that, I’ve been brooding on one of the more negative aspects of being an academic, which is that it can be difficult to make friends and have a life outside of academic circles.  Particularly in a town like mine, in which many (or most) of the non-students are employees of the university, trying to get away from the academic lifestyle can feel downright impossible.  At this point, I’m pretty sure that people who leave the academy are put to death.  I can’t find any evidence that they go on to have happy, productive lives outside of the university*.

Indulging my negative spiral too much seemed like a bad idea, so I took matters into my own hands.  On Friday, I e-mailed Paul and asked him to NOT let me talk about work during our date that evening.  And thank goodness, he held me to that promise.  Before our date, I needed to squeeze a run into the evening, and it was such a blessing because it forced me out and into the sunshine.  If I hadn’t felt that I needed the run because I’m trying to get back into a running groove, then I would have been tempted to putter around the house instead.  All that sunshine and the sweet rhythm of footsteps on the road made me feel so much better about everything—I felt like a new woman by the time we headed out for First Friday.

And then, oh THEN we had the most wonderful evening!  We checked out a fun art exhibit in which first-graders were asked to draw monsters and then artists created a secondary piece using the original monsters as inspiration.  For the exhibit, the two pieces were shown together, and the effect was super cute!  After the art, we got our names on the list at Caffé Capri and then grabbed a drink at Murphy’s Law.  The wait for Caffé Capri was over an hour, but it was so worth it.  Freshly baked bread, some wine, the best eggplant parmigiana I’ve ever had, gnocchi in a creamy sauce…everything was delicious.  For dessert, we split a big square of tiramisu, and I was happily stuffed.  It was an indulgent evening, for sure, and it was perfect.

On Saturday morning, I learned that Paul can make perfect pancakes and that we are an excellent breakfast team.  Later that day, I finally had some time for domestic puttering in the form of dish-washing, laundry, putting away clean clothes, and cooking my new favorite black bean dish.  I also had a pleasure of spilling oats all over my kitchen floor and then learning that my vacuum, rather than sucking up the oats, prefers to spit them out over the rest of the floor.  So the clean-up job was a manual one, and though it took some time, it wasn’t really all that bad.

I had a quiet and peaceful end to the weekend in the form of some new reading: a fun new-to-me style blog (Putting Me Together—I love Audrey’s Building a Remixable Wardrobe series!) and a new book (The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins).  After three social evenings in a row, it was so nice to be alone.  I love Paul, I really do, and it’s hard for me to turn down any chance to see him.  But then I remember how much I like being a hermit, and I feel grateful that I can have the best of both worlds: a happy romance and a contentment that comes from within.  I like to say to Paul that it’s not his job to make me happy, but that his presence in my life makes me happier.  

* Okay, this isn’t really true.  I have at least two local friends who earned graduate degrees from A & M who do not work inside the university system.  But they seem to be the exceptions, not the rule.

How was your weekend, my dears?

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