I’ve been out of grad school for almost two years*, but time and distance haven’t desensitized me to the anxiety caused by work left undone. You know, the lurch you feel deep in your gut when you go out Saturday night, despite the pile of ungraded student essays sitting in your tote (which is slumped against your dresser: i.e., the exact place you flung it on Friday afternoon). Homework-avoidance anxiety is keener than generalized anxiety: both the source and the consequences thereof are apparent.
I’ve avoided blogging for the last two weeks; this avoidance has been both freeing and anxiety-producing. Freeing in the sense that it’s nice (sometimes) to give yourself the chance to skirt obligations,** to feel like you’re playing hooky from your life. Anxiety-producing because skirting obligations makes me feel like a deadbeat. This is a thought pattern I can’t escape: I yearn to be spontaneous, devil-may-care, FUN!, &c, but my temporary abandonment of my routine(s) produces the opposite reaction. I freak out, spending my “spontaneous” time thinking of what I should be doing.
So, what have I been doing for the past two weeks? I will tell you. My telling will take the form of this list:
1) Running. The weather has been beautiful and I got a new pair of shoes. The last two weekends, I’ve taken long runs through GG park, starting at my house, reaching the ocean, then wending back through the park. I’ve done shorter runs, too, pre-dawn in the Panhandle. Running outside is making me love running again; I’m flirting with the idea of doing a half marathon in July. By “flirting with,” I mean I’ve found a training plan and have stuck with it (mostly, with the exception of a missed run this week: more on that later). These past few weeks, I’ve run farther than I thought I was capable of. That experience — surpassing milestones that seemed insurmountable — is nothing less than transcendent.
2) But you know what’s not transcendent? Getting into a bike accident. This week, en route to work, I wiped out. On Market. Intersection of Market & Powell, right in front of Marshall’s. Luckily, I didn’t sustain any major injuries. My hipbone and knee are bruised, and my neck is pretty sore, but nothing is broken! Nothing fell off. My bike is OK, my legs are OK, and I’ve learned my lesson: no more biking in the rain.
Hook and I are scheduled to run a 5K this weekend (Run for Recess in GG Park — SF peeps should JOIN US), and I was worried that this biking snafu + related injuries would sideline me. My left ankle is a little wonky, but I think I’m cool to run. We’ll see. I’ll be pretty freaking annoyed if I can’t run on Sunday, but I don’t want to truly injure myself and have to spend weeks recovering. I’ve already missed one run this week — a wise decision, I know, but not a fun one. Sigh.
3) Also, I have been obsessing over this picture:
For real. This shit is haunting my dreams, y’all. After days of being skeeved out by this example of taxidermy gone awry, I undertook to explain why, exactly I hate looking but I can’t look away. The answer? The Uncanny. This creature looks enough like a lion to register in our lion-schemata, but strange enough to produce stark unease: the recognition that something here is undeniably, morbidly wrong.
Also, that tongue! I know that taxidermy don’t last forever, but that tongue looks like a parched liver.
(Note: if you’d like further creeping yourself by viewing more hideous taxidermy, go here.)
What I haven’t been doing much of is cooking. These past weeks, I’ve eaten lots of salads, lots of easy pasta dishes. A fair amount of Whole Foods salad bar. Two weekends ago, Hook and I handcrafted some junk foods (tortilla chips, ice cream), but the recap of our [non] junk food adventure is the topic of another post. (Another soon to be published post, I should say. I’m like the boy calling wolf over here, I know, but trust me on this one!)
Until then, enjoy that lion picture and treat yourself to something nice: it’s the freaking weekend, after all.
*EEEEK. It’s hard for me to process that it’s been so long. Like, really?
**Even if those so-called obligations are hella self-imposed. Nobody is making me blog! Or asking me to! Or offering me monetary compensation! So I guess “obligation” is a bit of an overstatement. Self-determined obligation?