Aaah…I just had the most perfect weekend ever! Friday night, I went with my sister and her boyfriend to go see our grandparents. I hadn’t seen them in a while, so that was really nice. Then Elske came back with me to my room, and we proceeded to sleep really late the next morning, play a game, eat mac and cheese and then headed to the sauna. I had given her two sauna tickets for her 19th birthday, and it was time to cash them in. Man, did that feel good! We went back and forth between all sorts of relaxing baths and the sauna itself. At ten-thirty, Elske caught the bus back home and I went home to sleep, totally relaxed. On Sunday, two friends drove up to see me, and we spent the day talking, playing Monopoly, and cooking. They had to leave around six PM, to drive back to Groningen, so I had a nice evening to myself. I watched Daddy Daycare, a movie I had seen before, but it made me laugh anyway.
I love weekends in which I don’t have to do any classwork at all. Sure, I’m paying for it now, by studying twice as hard, but as the relaxing effects from Saturday night haven’t worn off yet, I’ll be fine.
I don’t really like hurrying in the morning, but it’s something I end up doing almost every morning anyway. I always start off great, by allowing myself enough time to get up, shower, dress, pack my bag and eat breakfast. But somewhere between getting up and getting dressed, I manage to sidetrack myself enough to be late. (Not that I’m ever really late: I can bike really fast and I always allow myself extra time to get somewhere anyway). Usually, the diversion is in the form of my computer. Every morning, I read 16 blogs. Or, at least, I check 16 blogs to see if they’ve posted anything.Some of them or from people I know, some of them people I have never met but I’ve stumbled upon their blogs accidentally and feel connected to them now, even though they don’t know I exist, some of them are half professional/celebrity bloggers (I like reading the blog of singer Christine Kane and writer Joshilyn Jackson). The rest are an odd assortment of advice columns (Dan Savage, Dear Margo, Dear Prudence, Dear Abby). Oh, and I like reading The Sandbox, a military blog (run by Slate – I highly recommend it. If you like Doonesbury, you’ll like it).
And when I’m not reading a blog, I’m listening to a podcast. I absolutely love This American Life, but I also listen to Bread and Circus, This I Believe, NPR Religion and Savage Love Podcast. And while I like having something to listen to while I brush my teeth and attempt to style my hair and do everything else, I can’t pretend it’s not slowing me down.
Anyway, I tell myself every morning that I shouldn’t switch on my computer, but I manage to find a reason why I really need to check something on the internet (the weather, my schedule, my e-mail) and before I know it I’m reading someone’s blog, someone I don’t know, and something I don’t have time for! My ability to procrastinate never fails to amaze me…
One of the things I love most about Sunday mornings is my bike ride to church. It’s only like 15 minutes, but the half of those fifteen minutes are spent on the bike path next to the canal (the Maas-Waal canal, for those who like details). Today, it was really beautiful. There were a lot of leaves on the ground, the sun was shining, and no one was around for miles. Well, except for some guys fishing, and they don’t count, because they don’t make any noise. It was almost too bad when I had to turn off that bike path into a deserted residential area – no one around, but so much less beautiful.
I’m taking advantage of the beautiful weather and going outside for some fresh air before I start cooking dinner. I’ve earned it after the hours I spent at my desk today, working on my research paper. I’m ready to catch some of the last rays of sun before fall really sets in!
I’m totally on my own this weekend. This makes me happy, as I am desperately in need of some quality time with myself. Once in a while, I like to hole up in my room, watch TV, read books, and write. I love my friends, I love my large social circle and all the time I spend on that, but sometimes I need to just be with myself. Yesterday night I ate Chinese food, put on my pajama’s, crawled into bed and proceeded to watch TV and read my book. Not a really exciting Friday night, that’s for sure, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
Another thing a solitary weekend is good for is catching up on my coursework. I have five courses this semester, and while none of them, save one, is actually insanely difficult, I do have to do a lot of reading. And since exams are coming up, I need to get cracking. I’m actually enjoying studying – when I have the time, I like exercising my intellectual capabilities. I just hate rushing through my work so I’m done just in time for class. Leisurely studying is more my thing, with music in the background and regular coffee breaks. College is about friends and fun, that’s for sure, but using your brain is also a prerequisite.
Tuesday I did something I found extremely scary. No, I did not skydive or anything extreme like that. I stood on a stage for about an hour, talking about ethics and leading the debate that followed.
I know, seems pretty lame. But as I hate talking in front of groups, it was pretty big for me. And it went well. Sure, I talked too fast, but I managed to slow myself down a little, and be coherent. I got a lot of compliments afterwards. Now I’m not as freaked out about giving presentations as I used to be.
Becoming a better person, one step at a time..
I guess I finally have to face the fact that summer is over. Mind you, we didn’t have much of a summer (the Netherlands is renowned for its rain and bad weather in general), so it’s not like I’m missing a lot, but still. The days that I could wear only a t shirt (I’ve been doing that since March) are now over. And I have to grab at least a rain coat when I head out the door..I didn’t do that today, and I got soaked (twice!!) on my bike. And I should wear socks in my shoes. And maybe think about getting a winter coat, since I don’t have one anymore. Oh, the burdens of winter…
I think I’ll move back to California.