Saturday, June 30, 2007

Life Looks So Different

It's been interesting to see how differently my daily activities are now that I am back in the United States and not working. Most days begin with a walk, and more days than not include time with my nieces. This morning began with time at the track with my best friend, her children, and my nieces followed by a visit to the playground. It's so hot I had to drag my nieces out of bed at 8:00 to avoid the suffocating heat.

It would seem logical that I would watch more television now that I have more free time, but I actually watch much less. In fact, other than the ocassional late night Sex & the City, I've watched almost no television at all and have skipped CNN almost every morning. I'm sure there is more to it than this, but I wonder if part of the reason I watch less is because when I was working I had too little energy to do the things I do now instead of watching television. My evenings are usually spent walking with my sister, mother, and/or nieces, and then once it's dark I read or work on my long to-do list (my move left much organization to be desired, and I want to get rid of more stuff).

Speaking of reading, it feels soooo wonderful to want to read again. I read books during law school and even during the not-so-fun Bar Exam summer of study I managed to read a book or two a week from the library. Yet shortly after I started practicing law, and my eyes began burning daily from staring at a computer while I read case after case; I lost almost all desire to read, particularly anything more than a magazine or infrequent chick-lit type book. Since reading has been a favorite activity of mine since I figured out that I could hide in my closet and read after bedtime, I missed it a lot. My current read has me all wound up about our FDA and how politized it is--which lead to numerous women's painful deaths from Fen-phen. Anyway, I digress.

I have also been blessed with leisurely time with my family, which I have not really had in years. In the last decade most visits have been a quick weekend deal or holiday, but now I'm doing things like spending a morning with my mother at Barnes & Noble. Or having my nieces over to spend the night and hang out the next day. It's delightful.

I eat more now....It's probably mainly a result of being around so much food that I'm not accustomed to having around (believe it or not, I don't keep sweets and whatnot in my apartment). My mother and sister keep all sorts of goodies around their houses with my mother's all out on a counter, which makes it very hard for me not to have a cookie, Little Debbie type cake, s'more, or other sweet. It's also funny how many invites I've gotten to eat things like Captain D's, Krystals, and whatnot. At least I can turn that down:)

I am also doing my best to adjust to not living alone, not completely having my own space (I am living in a large room at my dad's which is sort of like a studio apartment), and not having my own controlled environment. I am still not very good at sitting still and sort of have to mentally talk myself into sitting down and reading; I find that I jump from activity to activity most days. But I went to the pool the other day with a book and a few magazines and just laid there for an hour, so I'm definitely making progress.

Another upside of this free time is getting to do nice things for people. I finally got to help my best friend out the other day with her young boys; I've hated not being here during the last few years to baby-sit and give her a break from her role as a stay-at-home mom. And my nieces and I went shopping last night for goodies to make packages for a family friend in Iraq along with three guys in his troop; they chose that activity over watching the DVD I rented (and yes that made me so proud:). It's great to see how excited they are about helping others. We've made some beautiful art work for the soldiers too.

And now that I do not work I have no excuse to not go to Sunday school, so I'm attending my dad's class; I'm the youngest by at least two decades.

Oh, I'm also meeting with a trainer now! My mother won 12 visits, and she gave them to me. Maybe this will help me lose my "Europe weight." How come it is so much easier to gain weight than to lose it?!

Happy weekend everybody!!

p.s. I am thankful for the visit from my friend Sarah this week.


Anonymous said...

you should definitely make the most of this time, and it sounds like you're off to a very good start.

angel, jr. said...

Hope you had a good weekend!

And I'm always thankful for visits from my friends!

The Egg said...

Yes, the weekend is lovely! I'm also reading again. I lost this habit along the way. I rediscovered the local library!
Kudos to helping others. Whatever the gesture, it goes a long way.

cdp said...

Love this post! I totally relate to the reading part. I believe the practice of law (and don't get me started on the study) will do that to the best of us.

It sounds to me like you are in a very even, very peaceful, very full place. I enjoyed reading about all the wonderful ways you've been spending your time. And you know, I have two little boys too . . .

Happy weekend back at ya!

ps thinking of you while listening to Jennifer Knapp and blogging this evening!

2xA+r0n said...

Welcome to a life without commitments! (Most of us don't know what that's like.)

And now that you mention it, I'm surprised I didn't even notice your kitchen was void of any sweets! How could I overlook that?

Anyway - I should be introducing you to Sarah now that you're back. I'll have my people call your people. :D

Ryane said...

Hi there! I tagged you...go and see!

brookem said...

hi lady! sounds like you are really enjoying your free time! live it up! glad to hear you're doing so well!

Clearlykels said...

It sounds like you are really enjoying this time and getting the most out of it. I am so proud of yoU!!

B said...

It's nice to have the time to do the simple things- work sucks!:)

I am off to Malta this week - I can't wait

Leiselb said...

Girl you looked uber skinny in all those photos from Europe...what are you TALKING about? I hope this trainer doesn't make you disappear! Your days sound wonderfully relaxing...I hope you enjoy them.

icadle said...

Do you think you might make it back to the midstate in your free time?

ella w. said...

When do you leave for Nashville and how can I donate for it?

Even though I haven't been on it much lately, I miss you on IM!

Ally said...

Ella: I am figuring all of the specifics on the donating this week and hope to know by the end of the week. I leave for Nashville on Sept. 1 and miss you too!

Ivy: I'm headed your way tomorrow for a wedding!

Leiselb: I just want to lose my pastry weight so my jeans aren't so snug:)

B: You're going to have a blast! Can't wait to hear about it.

Aaron: We should meet up at that Mellow Mushroom sometime soon...I've been craving it.

Pam said...

Glad to hear that you are enjoying some free time.

Not that it lokks as if you need one according to the pictures you've posted, but curious, how are you liking the trainer? That awesome that your mom won those sessions.

Ally said...

Pam: I am enjoying being pushed harder than I would push myself, but if this trainer wasn't free, I doubt I'd pay for it. She works out with as many as 8 people at a time, so there is more standing around and waiting than I think is best. So I am often there for well over an hour to just work out two muscle groups (and that does not include my cardio). She has given no instruction about nutrition, cardio, etc. nor has she asked me much about my goals. But again, it's free, and it's better than nothing!

cdp said...

Heard you were in the Mactown this weekend. Can I get a whut whut?

kathrynthomas said...

so what type of books do you enjoy reading? btw, it is indeed difficult to transition back into being a human being, after a routine of working a heck of a lot. stick with it. it gets easier.