Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On my list.

I have left you high and dry, have I not, after hinting about a mythical list of things that I want to do in the next year? I had a birthday on Friday and it passed without much fanfare, being a non-milestone year, and I gave you no post about what I have learned and what it's all about. If you're into that sort of thing you might read my sister's post on the topic, since her birthday is the day before mine and she has had eight fewer years to do these types of ruminations, so hers are a little fresher albeit still totally germane to turning 34. And speaking of her birthday, I did no blogular meditation on my sister in honor of her birthday, either. Oh snap.

Here's how our birthday looked, though:
Why so animated, o freakshow?

The thing is, in many ways I'm exactly where I was at this time last year, possibly even literally, except that this year I have biking clothes hanging up to dry in my office (a little bit ew, yes, but no one ever comes in here) and many more personal effects cluttering my desk. I'm also picking up a box of farm vegetables on my bike in a few minutes, which I also wouldn't have been doing last year. My net worth vaulted up by about $13K from last September to this one, which is pretty cool. I did my first road race and while I have not signed up for any additional ones since then (I have to admit that the entry fees and totally random causes can be a deterrent), I'm still running. I may in fact have reached a plateau, which isn't that cool, because it means I have to start trying harder in order to improve, which means I will be hating on the running a little bit more.

I also have a contract to go back to Collegetown Wisco for another sabbatical term this year, which I don't think I've mentioned here yet. I was sort of keeping it on the downlow, even though it's been a done deal for awhile. I am excited about the teaching gig for a variety of reasons--not least of which is the boost it will give my sense of purpose--even though it is happening during the winter term, which is the DEEP DARK DEPTHS, people. On the other hand, it's something concrete to eat up all of my time during the deep dark depths which I would be experiencing in Minneapolis in any case, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

Winter is also the time that I plan to start swimming again, both to keep me sane and active when biking and running are bad ideas and to test, gingerly, the notion of doing a triathlon next summer. I might put that on the list of Things to Do This Year if I ever get around to making that list for realsies. Look forward to reading entries about running into my students at the pool. Horrors.

Anyway, the really crazy thing about this teaching gig is that I'm not giving up my day job. It would make no sense to jeopardize my earning power and benefits for the other 40 weeks of the year in order to take this opportunity, so thanks to the largesse and flexibility of my boss, I'm going to be commuting, telecommuting, teaching a full studio of students, and likely losing my mind a little bit from January through March. Say a little prayer for me. At the end of it I'll undoubtedly be wealthier and wiser.

As for the Buy Nothing era that I mentioned a few posts back, it's not going to happen just yet--it's more likely that I'll do it in the new year, which phrase I cannot believe I am already uttering. I was mentally mapping out the next few months and thinking about things like potentially needing cold-weather gear for biking, and I decided to shelve it. I probably won't buy much in the next few months, but I want to take some time to evaluate what I have, jettison some more of what I don't need, and think about supplies I might lay in before I stop being a "consumer" and content myself with being a human being. When I'm ready to do it I'll talk more about the parameters. If you want to read about someone who is REALLY buying nothing, including almost all food, for 9 whole months, please direct yourselves to These Days in French Life.


  1. This is a fulfilling post. I love the look back and think we should all do it, especially those who've been following each other along a few years now.

    When I see the picture of you and your sisters, I imagine future kids looking back and saying, wow, look how cool and beautiful my mom/aunt were.

  2. By the way, that slow life blog is amazing. I propose that she creates a giant FAQ because I have lots of Qs.

  3. I love that picture of you. And goddamn if we shouldn't all have our own cake for our birthdays.

    I've batted around the non-consumer quest for so long. The thought is SO appealing, but the reality feels so far. I do that Diet Thing where every time I think, Ok, no buying for a month starting Monday, and then I spend the weekend on a shopping spree/binge. I'm lame. I often kick about the idea of being completely free of the car. It such a romantic notion to me and much more of a reality than the non-consumer fantasy, but Julio's always the annoying voice of reason. "You still work 60 miles away. You still have to get there 2x a week, right? Or at least to the train station?" And all that noise. Sigh. We'll work it out, right mama?

  4. Great post.

    Tell me about your cakes, and especially, what are you wearing?

    I can't think of a better time to be extra busy than between Jan. and March.

  5. Wendell, one of the cakes is a yellow cake with caramel frosting, and the other one is a chocolate cake made with oil in deference to my dad's heart health. It had a ganache-y middle layer and a soupy, cinnamon-y frosting. Both made by Molly, who is an excellent baker.

    The part of my outfit you can see is a Marimekko dress from 1962 that I found at Goodwill: basically, one of my thrifting holy grails.

  6. Wow, thanks for pointing out that blog! It's amazing. I'll have to spend more time checking it out soon.

    I've done periods where I've sworn off buying new clothes and accessories, but I haven't yet been able to swear off buying altogether. I'll be curious to see what parameters you decide upon and how it goes when you do begin this project.