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.