Our weekends are pretty lazy. We often don’t even think about doing anything (including showering) until lunch. I’m okay with that most of the time. We work hard during the week and a lazy weekend is good for the soul. And I’ve seen people who pack so much into the weekend, it’s as stressful as the week. But sometimes I wish the weekends weren’t so lazy. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but now, I’m trying to do something about it, at least for myself. This morning, I was out of the house by 9:30, off to the post office and Staples. I came back and lazed around, but now I’m about to make lunch, do some laundry and make a run to Home Depot for some paint to begin a long put-off project. With Mr. Geeky sick, I don’t expect him to be active this weekend, but I hope the kids will kick into gear a little. They are, at the moment, cleaning the kitchen, but I’m hoping to recruit them to do some more things around the house. I think our balance has tipped in the wrong direction a bit, and I’d like to tip it back.
Sort of. The snow kept the kids out of school. Mr. Geeky got sick. So we’ve been hanging close to home. But I have a list in front of me with things I need to do and I’m slowly crossing them off. I did my taxes this morning. I’ve done laundry and grocery shopping. I wrote some thank you notes. I’ve contacted someone about joining their 3-Day Walk team. I used my cooking school gift certificate to sign up for two classes: one all about chocolate and another about meat. I edited my resume and filled out online profiles for potentially working at an independent school. I even wrote for a little while yesterday.
I still have more to do. I need to get back into a workout routine. The icicles killed the side view mirror on the mini-van, so that needs to be fixed. I’m working on some financial stuff that’s not absolutely necessary, but might be useful. And I’m going to be looking for even more ways to connect with people. I think that what I’ve tried over the last year hasn’t been what I wanted, so I just need to keep trying.
Sometimes what tragic events do is force you to focus on what’s really important. When my sister died, I focused on school and friends. It’s hard to explain, but it almost felt like everything was new again, like I was starting over. Some of that feeling is with me now, though I think I’ve been on this trajectory since I quit my job 18 months ago. What’s become most important to me are personal connections: family first and friends. I’ve known for a long time that keeping those connections is hard work, and hard work is easy to push off to another day, especially when there are no direct consequences. Back at home, I became aware that my dad had plenty of close friends from years of living and working in a fairly tight-knit community. I had escaped my hometown as fast as I could and let my old high school friendships fade. Not all of that is bad. Certainly it’s good to make new friends and life’s circumstances often dictate who one becomes friends with, but it’s a shame I let so many go. I did the same with college. College, however, was different in that I think I didn’t always pick the best of friends and there are only one or two people I can say that I felt close to at the time. In high school, there were plenty of people I felt close to. Many of my college friendships were superficial while I feel that most of my high school friendships weren’t. But like high school, I pretty much left town and didn’t look back.
Perhaps some of my best friendships were formed in graduate school. Some in my first grad school, and many more (for me, at least) my second time through. Again, though, I haven’t been as good at maintaining those relationships as I should. As I said above, it’s easy to put off making the phone call or sending the email for another day, and before you know it, months (or years) have gone by. And I haven’t been terribly successful at establishing new friendships locally. Some of my best friends are scattered around the country. They are mostly people I’ve met online initially, but whom I’ve spent time with face-to-face and to whom I now feel a close connection.
The last few days have made me want to give more attention to building and maintaining connections to people. So that’s the first important thing.
I’m in the airport with about an hour before my flight home. It’s been a long ten days. In a former life, I would never have been able to spend the time I did with my dad. My dad, because he works for himself, also can take time to grieve and recuperate. I’ve thought about this a lot over the last few days. So much focus is on work-life balance as it relates to parents, but my dad spent a week in the hospital with my stepmother before she died. Had he had an average job, he might not have been able to do that. We, as a society, do a pretty crappy job, ironically, of being human (and humane).
I have more to say about the last few days. Thanks so much to everyone who left comments of sympathy on my last post. It was nice to check in once in a while and see some heartfelt comments. I look forward to being back in the blogging community.
I just wanted to write a note here to say that I won’t be around for a while. I am here at my dad’s. My stepmother died yesterday after 8 years of suffering with breast cancer. Though her death wasn’t unexpected, it wasn’t planned for either. And it is still a blow. She died too soon. She will be missed.
Via Scholarly Kitchen, a link to this ReadWriteWeb post that many people confused for Facebook in its new incarnation. That’s right, some people landed there via a Google search and thought they were at Facebook. Because, really, a large majority of people don’t know the difference between an address bar and a search bar, much less how to bookmark something. Sigh. To me, it’s a good argument for teaching people the rudimentary elements of how the web and browsers work at a fairly early age. I fought this (and still do, to some extent) when teaching faculty how to use technology. The crazy ways I saw people getting to Blackboard: first, go home (which was set to the college home page), then to the library, then to “for faculty”, then click Blackboard. Four steps instead of typing in the url. I would often try to show them how to type it in or bookmark it. No, I’ve got this series of steps memorized, it’s easier this way, really. As long as people follow recipes for doing things on the Internet instead of understanding how it works, things like this will happen, and we won’t get people to use or experience the Internet critically. One commenter wondered why all these people still had computers since they must have all fallen victim to a million phishing scams and lost all their possessions.
Geeky Girl has spent the last two days making animations at GoAnimate. She loves it! Here’s just one of her many creations. Clicking on her username will take you to more. Given that we have another snow day tomorrow, I’m guessing these will multiply accordingly.
We (actually the boys) shoveled the driveway and the sidewalk and stairs. Geeky Girl and I built a snowman and a fort. Then we had a snowball fight. I think Geeky Girl and I lost. Part of our fort collapsed in on us. We’re wet, but not too cold, safely ensconced inside now with hot chocolate. It’s a gorgeous day outside, which feels really at odds with the weather from the last couple of days.
We haven’t had a lot of snow since we’ve lived here, and the snow we have had hasn’t been good snowball/snowman snow. I have fond memories of playing in the snow as a kid. We built forts and snow people and once, I remember, a fairly sizeable snow maze. The largest fort we built was a neighborhood effort. It was as tall as the tallest boy, about 5’8″, and a complete circle. We topped it with plywood. We built a doorway into it and we just hung out in there. They didn’t really plow and scrape the streets the way they do now, and they almost always closed off a couple of roads and designated them for sledding. These were large hills and going down them was a true Calvin and Hobbes level adventure. They would never do that around here. We have very few hills and where we do, the roads are main thoroughfares. The other thing we did when I was a kid was to ski and sled behind the car. We tied a rope to the car and then we held onto the rope to get pulled around the neighborhood. We did this at night when there wasn’t much traffic and the cars drove at probably 10 mph max. We never went down hills that way, just around the flat parts of the neighborhood. And then we’d all end up at our house usually, drinking hot chocolate and the grownups drank wine or mixed drinks.
I also skied when I was younger, but I haven’t skied since my late teens. I think I was a junior in college the last time I skied. It’s an expensive hobby, though it was less so when I was growing up. We eventually purchased skis for the whole family. Tickets at the nearest ski resort were fairly cheap, and my parents regularly pulled us out on a Friday or Monday so that we could ski when it was less crowded. Even on the weekends, though, it wasn’t too bad. It just hadn’t quite caught on where we lived. The last time I went skiing, I remember being disappointed at the ratio between waiting and skiing. I waited in line for 1/2 hour or more and then made it down the slope in 5 minutes. I can remember plenty of times earlier when you’d ski down right into the next chair lift. So skiing isn’t something we’ve taken up with the family, though Geeky Boy went with his school last year and really liked it.
We’re pretty moderate outdoor people. We like being outside, but we don’t have to be outside. And we’re pretty happy being inside. We live in an area where outside, quite frankly, isn’t that exciting. We are surrounded by houses and yards and the city, not by trees and ponds and shrubs. We’ve lived in places like that, and when we do, we tend to be outside more. The snow made the outside more interesting for a while, so it was good to spend some time in it.
My priest finally hit 80 a couple of days ago and so I’ve ventured into my first heroics. They’ve gone relatively well, although most people doing heroics are way better geared than I am at this point. The irony. You have to do heroics to get the gear, but then people make fun of your gear when you’re in one. I’m also grinding reputation points, which will allow me to get some good gear and enchants. It’s pretty hard to manage both actually. Grinding for rep takes a pretty long time, running long quest chains with each quest giving about 350 points in rep. When you need 6000 or 12000 to get to where you want, that’s a long grind. I can buy rep with emblems of triumph earned from running heroics, but it seems a waste when I should use those for gear. I did shell out a couple to get my Wyrmrest rep up to honored and that netted me some new gear.
Because my gear isn’t quite up to par, running a dungeon right now can take longer than it would with a geared priest. Which annoys some people. But whatever. I prefer running with my guildies, which I’ve done a little of. Now, though, I’m taking a break for hot chocolate, a hot bath, and a good book. Even on a day when one could play WoW all day, sometimes a break is good. Still, I hope to be geared enough to run them more quickly and/or run a raid by the weekend. I have goals, after all.
After 28.5 inches of snow over the weekend, they’re predicting another foot or more overnight. School has already been canceled. I’ve already posted an online assignment for my students. I have to trek in no matter what on Thursday because it’s the last day of class. The kids are happy because it’s the first snow during the week. Both heavy snows this year occurred over the weekend and were cleared away in time for school on Monday.
What am I going to do with my snow day? Probably play online, play some board games, drink hot chocolate, maybe even go outside and build a snowman. What do you do on snow days?