So, I just completed the first full week of my new life and I’m a little bit in love with it (ok, a lot in love with it). After 6 years of working full-time and 1 year of working full-time from home with an infant, the ability to leave the house at my leisure is a radical concept. Honestly, I feel like I’m back in undergrad, only this time around, I fully appreciate what a luxury a flexible schedule is. My buddy Meg and I nostalgically talk about how we used to lay out by the pool in between classes and go to the gym for a ridiculous number of hours (because to our 19 year old brains, being tan without being fit would have been a complete travesty). And guess what I’m doing now…going to the pool between jobs and hitting the gym/road for ridiculously long hours – does life get any better than this??
This month has been full of new beginnings. Let’s review:
1. Parker started “school” (this is what elitists call daycare) and he just completed his first week. Parker is having a blast there and quite frankly, doesn’t want to come home. Every day when I show up to get him I ask, “Parker, do you want to go home?” He consistently replies with a resounding, “No.” No response could possibly make me happier. His classroom nickname is “busy bee” because he is constantly in motion (but in a non-ADD way). The icing on the cake is that he’s so tired from daycare, he’s actually sleeping for 4-5 hour stretches! (Ok, so this is a small victory, but when you’re chronically sleep-deprived, you’ll take anything you can get). He’s such an easy kid and couldn’t possibly be more lovable. For all of our respective flaws, the Irishman and I are both mightily impressed with how wonderful Parker turned out.
2. I started a new job. My new position is seriously a dream. I work 20 hours a week and I have an office if I choose to use it, but working from home is perfectly ok as well. Did I mention that I can work those 20 hours at my leisure? I keep feeling like I won the life lottery, but the truth is that a PhD should count for something and in my world, that something is total flexibility. I recall a conversation that I had with my brother a couple of years ago when he was up to his eyeballs in Corporate America working crazy hours and making good money. We were talking about the different directions that our lives had gone and I recall telling him that, “Bro, in twenty years, you’ll be driving a 6-Series BMW with a bank full of cash, but you’ll work so many hours that you’ll never get a chance to spend it. In 20 years, I’ll be driving a Honda and have just a little padding in the bank, but I’ll be teaching one class a semester and spending three months a year in Greece. I think you should take it easy before you retire at 60 and have a heart attack the next day.” Well, big brother has now joined “the other side” and works his own hours and for himself. And you know what, in twenty years, he’ll have the Beamer and the money in the bank and the time to spend it. Hmmm, maybe I should be a life coach? (Don’t you love how I take all the credit for everything? I’m good like that.)
3. Running and swimming and cycling, oh my! If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to work out…a lot. It’s not so much the exercise itself or the physical results, it’s the fact that I feel so damn productive. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing a really good workout. Pushing yourself beyond your normal limits, challenging yourself to go farther, longer, faster. Knowing that when push comes to shove, you are in total control. Plus, you’re doing something good for yourself. Honestly, I work out solely for myself. An introvert like me is insanely happy with quiet time in my own head. I also like feeling strong and motivated. Plus, talk about a stress reliever. I challenge you to try to think about anything remotely stressful while you’re trying desperately to get air and put one foot in front of the other mile after mile. You just can’t and when you’re done with your workout, you’re too tired to care. I might add that running (or whatever your exercise drug of choice is) is much cheaper than therapy.
4. I’ve gone out with friends twice in the last week, and stayed out past midnight. I had a blast! This, more than anything else, is an indication of my liberation from my former life. My new life motto: Carpe diem!
Ok folks, that’s our week in review. I should be posting another recipe in the next day or two, so stay tuned!