Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

 Dodie Smith

I've been processing. Which, oddly enough, has translated into less blogging. Though there are several posts swimming around in this brain of mine, I simply haven't put fingers to keyboard. If I'm honest, I didn't really want to. And forced posts usually feel, well, decidedly forced

Now that the hubbub of the holidays is behind us, and Kiddo's holiday break has finally come to an end (holy polar vortex!), I'm beginning to settle into life post-academia. Classes aren't starting in the coming weeks for the first time in 5 years. I received word today that my diploma has been ordered and will arrive shortly. Because we are embarking on a 10 day adventure in early February, I'm not actively applying for jobs until we get back. Still, my resume needs polishing and I'm always keeping an eye open for good positions that won't stay open for long. I'm excited to work and earn a paycheck. But I also want a break. A moment to catch my breath and let the last few years sink in. A moment to contemplate the future without the stress of x, y and zed (as my Canadian professor would say) skewing my perspective.

In the meantime I'm attempting to adjust to the new normal.

Having extra time is a luxury. Don't think that fact escapes me. But I'm also not a person that should spend too much time in her own head. So I'm starting my photography eBook. I also bought a new lens. As far as lenses go this one was fairly economical, but forking over $600+ for a nonessential purchase, especially when we are committed to following a budget, was more than a little nerve wracking. And brought some fierce guilt. But photography brings me joy and allows me to tap into a part of my brain that was mostly put on the back burner during college. I'm also reading for pleasure again, another aspect of my life that fell by the wayside for a long time.

I am devoting a few hours today to writing. Posts, to-do lists, ideas, menus; giving myself an opportunity to catch those swirling, rambling thoughts and reel them in. To put them on paper where they can be organized and sorted through. In the meantime, I hope this first full week of the new year has been good to you. Hopefully the cold is lifting for those like us who've been freezing their nibblets off.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to share some unofficial photos from our NYC trip between Christmas and New Year's. It's only unofficial in that they are all iPhone photos... a post full of moments captured with my grownup camera (and my perspective on city life) is one of the aforementioned brain-swimmers about to be netted.

// What a stud. Seriously. (He had to borrow my aviators, a style he dislikes on himself, and will be thrilled I shared. I don't care. He's a hunk.) // Stud's road trip lunch. I get that sausage, sauerkraut and horseradish sandwiches are reminiscent of his childhood and Ukrainian heritage, but let's be honest: who wants to sit in a car with someone whose just eaten that? // The GW. So lovely... especially at sunset. // A winter storm hit right as we were leaving the house. I drove the first leg and, although I'm a very proficient winter driver, it was a bit white-knuckle. The storm passed and the roads began to clear, so I handed the keys over to The Man and had a coffee break. //

// My favorite professor is a cyclist and always aspires to ride these rental bikes when she visits a town that has them. It has now become a tradition to photograph them in her honor. It's one of those things. // The quintessential NYC at Christmastime photo. There was even a proposal on the rink in the few minutes we were there. // We're subway riders. I often wonder if we could pass for natives. // There is hardly anything better than a NYC firetruck. Especially with a wreath on the grill. //

// Our hotel room from one perspective. After looking at a couple apartments for rent, I concluded this would probably be the size of our living quarters should we ever move there. // Looking up. // What our mortgage cost right now would get us an apartment this size. Seriously. // The Empire State Building was just two blocks away from our hotel (and looked much closer than this photo suggests). I spent many a moment gazing upon it from our hotel windowsill.

// This kid. I tell you. // The morning we left we had breakfast at a local diner then ventured to the flea market in Hell's Kitchen just down the street. We were a little obsessed with this hilarious painting of Kenny Rogers. Upon further contemplation, I decided it could look fun and quirky in a home library. (Like how a college library lines the walls with portraits of past deans and professors.) We don't have a library, obviously, so we passed. // We went to our favorite grocery store, Stew Leonard's, in Connecticut. Every grocery store should have singing and dancing dairy. I could spend all day in there. They had pecan snowballs, my favorite cookie. My mom used to make them, but she called them Mexican Wedding Bells. Whatever they're called, I could eat them all day, every day. //

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