First weekend back

Westchester County, NY

It’s been a week now since I came back from my trip to Sweden, and I already feel like I miss it. It went by way too quickly, partly because it was actually only a short amount of time (6 full days), but mostly because the week was absolutely packed and filled to the brim with seeing people, doing fun things, and just enjoying being home. (I will write a post about the trip soon, as well as one about my friends’ visit earlier in June!) But being able to spend the weekend in New York at my grandparents’ place definitely alleviated some of that back-to-work-after-vacation dread.

On Friday, after spending a few hours in the morning at work, I drove up to New York and stopped to have lunch with my boyfriend on the way. As always when I visit my grandparents’, the weekend was wonderful and spent relaxing, cooking and eating great food, and having a fun time with family and friends.

One of my absolute favorite things is going for a run or brisk walk around the lake in the morning, when the heat isn’t yet too overwhelming, and the community is just starting to wake up. It’s something I do very rarely as I usually only have time to work out in the afternoons after work, but starting the day off with some alone time and exercise really puts me in a balanced state of mind for the rest of the day. Maybe “balanced” is the wrong word, but more at peace? Grounded? Even listening to music or a podcast (love listening to Swedish podcasts, it makes me feel like I’m at home!) and getting some exercise makes me so relaxed for the rest of the day.

I’m starting to feel a little anxious about my research project for the summer. It’s baffling that it’s July already (where did the first third of summer go?!), and I know my to-do list is still heavy and filled with stuff that I really should get done before school starts again in September — even things that are unrelated to my research.

How did I think I would have so much time to work over the summer, when I now find myself struggling to find time to even feel fully relaxed or do the social/fun things I want to do? Shouldn’t there be enough time in a normal week to go to work, exercise, rest, be social, AND work on my academic projects? Or did I just entirely overestimate how much time I would have (time during which I feel enough energy to work, at least) over the summer, not taking into account the fact that I almost have a full time job? I’m pretty sure I tend to overestimate those kinds of things, to be fair.

I think I just need to sit down and make an actual plan for the remaining weeks of the summer, and most of all start making use of the time I have at home after work on weekdays. And I need to be honest with myself; no expectations, routines, or due dates that I know I won’t keep. Although coming home from work at about 5PM and doing nothing for the rest of the night besides watch TV shows isn’t really the key to productivity, that’s still an important part of relaxing, too. I think I probably need at least some of that to have enough energy come fall.

I worry that this is going to be what the rest of my life will look like if I do decide to have an academic career; always feeling like there’s work I could be (and SHOULD be) doing outside of my scheduled hours, and never feeling like anything is enough. After all, if your work is basically doing research and writing, it’s not something you can leave at the office door at the end of the day. It comes home with you. Particularly over the summer, when there’s hardly any structure at all and you’re constantly feeling like you could be writing, instead of doing whatever else you might be doing. How do you even begin to balance that?

As far as I can tell, most accomplished academics are still trying to figure that out. So maybe it’s ok if I haven’t yet, either.

nyc

Guess who woke up with a severe wine-headache this morning?

I suppose the days of being able to drink for an entire evening with 0 consequences have passed. However, I’m not even upset about the headache, because it just attests to the incredibly fun time I had last night.

After an entire day of doing stuff around the apartment (mostly cleaning, since I want the place to be spotless ahead of my friends’ arrival), I took the train into the city to meet up with my aunt, uncle, and some family from Sweden that happened to be there on vacation. I hadn’t seen this side of the family in FOREVER, and it we had such a nice time catching up and just chatting over lots and lots of good food and wine. There’s just something special about hanging out with family members (biological or not, who cares!), and I feel so lucky to have all these interesting and fun people in my family.

Walking around in the city is one of my all-time favorite things. The fast pace, the people watching, the tall buildings; overall, the atmosphere of a big city really invigorates me. Days like these make me wish I lived in the city, and just commuted to school whenever I had to. But then again, considering my budget, living in New York would likely mean living in a cockroach-ridden, closet-sized apartment far out in one of the boroughs with 5 other people… So, there’s that. For now, at least, I’m happy in my apartment and just being able to commute into the city whenever I feel like it. Definitely planning on taking many more day trips like this during the summer!

Thursday

Hi there!

Today was my last day of work before the week-long vacation I’m taking for my friends’ visit. And I’m so excited!!!

It was a pretty stressful day at the office, with lots to get done before I left and just overall a busy time for HR. I must say — it’s a weird feeling to leave work before time off and feel like I’m worried about how certain things will go when I’m not there. Is this a sign of caring, maybe too much? Feeling this way is a little confusing, especially since the reason I took the job in the first place was just to have a side-gig to make more money while I’m in school (not to have another thing to care and worry about). It’s a strange place to be; somewhere in between being a full-time student and a full-time employee. But as far as I can tell, a pretty good place nonetheless. And I’m happy with the setup, at least for now.

In spite of being a busy day, I managed to leave at 4:45PM sharp and drive home. It’s kind of a great feeling to get home around 5-ish and have an evening to just relax and get things done around the house. And tonight, this was exactly what I needed, since I got a very important package delivered yesterday that needed installing.

A bar cart.

I need to be honest and say that my level of obsession with getting a bar cart for my apartment has been a little over the top. And it’s been going on for the past year, or so. But also, now that it’s here, I’ve built it, and I’ve decorated it, I can see why I was obsessing over it — I am SO happy with it. Most importantly, I am excited to finally have a way to display all the pretty glassware I’ve collected over the past few years; most of it from Sweden, which makes seeing it displayed every time I walk into my apartment kind of sentimental, too.

So long story short, this bar cart made my week. Other than that, I just finished a lovely dinner with my boyfriend who came over after work. Tomorrow, I’m going to start deep cleaning the apartment and then I’m headed into NYC for dinner!

Have a good night!