Today was a day of firsts. My first time out biking this year and the first time I’ve touched my yard. . . ever.
The bike ride was a semi-pleasant experience. I under-dressed (as I’ve been doing all day today) because 1) I am sick of winter – and am presently convinced that anything above 60 degrees is summer weather – and 2) because I have this ridiculous “Goldilocks” complex, in which I can’t stand being too hot nor too cold, and especially flip out if I overheat. (I’m terrified of wearing sweaters unless I have an undershirt on underneath that I can whip off in case of overheating emergencies.) So, although I was not uncomfortably hot, I was a little unpleasantly cold. And I was completely swamped by gnats. Seriously. I have NEVER experienced so many gnats IN MY LIFE. And it was only a 10 mile bike ride. It got so Brian and I were reluctant to talk, or sometimes even breathe.
“Why do people complain about mosquitoes and what purpose they serve?” I demanded. “Gnats are smaller! They’re even less of a satisfying food option! . . . Although, I guess they could be considered an easy snack – open your mouth, and you can get a mouthful!”
Although I enjoyed the exercise, fresh air, and view – I began musing that a winter forest really does make a lovely scene, kind of a like a classic black-and-white photo style – I was also bemoaning the loss of my weekend. My weekend has been a weekend of “should”s, meaning I did a lot of things because I needed to, not because I wanted to. And that makes me a cranky, burnt-out woman. It began with helping my friend move, continued with my determination to get my taxes done, all in one sitting (always takes me forever, even with TurboTax because I decide to donate to a variety of charities during the year, and then I have to go back through e-mails and credit card statements to find the exact dates and donation amounts for the IRS). And that was my yesterday. Today I was bound and determined to begin attacking our sideyard (which is pretty much our only yard for our townhome), and we spent a few hours of the day driving to and from Brian’s parents’ and grandparents’ to borrow supplies check in, which was important. . . And then we biked. . . which was also good exercise, also important. . .
Yes, these activities were all well and good, but I wanted some time do something just for me. Just in pure selfishness. Just to be. Watching a movie without working/typing or reading my book at a time — other than squeezing it in right before bed. (Even first thing this morning I was reading back issues of my union newspaper The Labor Record, hoping to get through them all and drop them off for my politically active colleague.) I just can’t let myself have fun.
But working on the garden felt great. We didn’t really get that far – at least not as far as we’d imagined – but it felt fantastic, digging up old plants, dead plants and weeds; removing forlorn-looking buried and half-emerged stones and transplanting them to a nearby walkway; and just raking and digging up the dirt. I felt like a natural worker, just me and the Earth. And I was happy.
So, I had a great end to a busy weekend with plenty more Earth-bonding opportunities to look forward to. Plus. . . I’m going to spoil myself a little bit right now – settling down with a good book and some oh-so-yummy chocolate and caramel ice cream.
Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net