Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Stuff of Life

This is really a post that belongs on both The
Dilettante Traveler and I Thought I Was Done With This. I've been thinking a lot recently about the things that I like to do with my time, with my life. I like the horses, of course. My 20-year high school reunion was just last weekend and people I haven't seen in 20 years asked what I was up to and I said horseback riding and they nodded knowingly. "You always were into horses," they said. Which is a little weird, I suppose, since my being "into" horses has never involved the insane show circuit . . . it was, I have thought, a much more low-key "into horses" . . . but nevertheless, it's true. I am and I have been, into horses.

I like the fiber arts, if you will. Knitting hats and sweaters, most recently getting myself into the Fair Isle designs—which take a lot more time than the simple hats I've been doing for the past several years. I've also been sewing a lot—glitter bags for everyone I can think of (if I haven't thought of you and you'd like one, drop me a line)—and recently, crazy-patterned pillowcases because we've started using more than two pillows on our bed—hence, more than the number of cases that came with our sheet sets. Also, we like to have our pillowcases hold our down pillows together a bit—and so we only want them to be 18 inches wide. I've already had to alter most of our existing cases. I also bought some fabric just the other day to make some scrub-like lounge pants—much prettier, of course, than scrubs (particularly Dr Jason's black, Grim Reaper ones), but the same basic, loose-fitting drawstring design.

I've been finding it satisfying to keep the yard moderately tidy as well; it's been quite the season for lawn growth—particularly if your lawn consists primarily of dandelions—and twice I've had to do an entire sweep with the weedwacker before I could even begin to make any headway with our rotary mower.

As for the less domestic pleasures, well, travel. What can I say—I find it exhilarating to visit new cultures and new locations. The ability to fly around the world, observing people in all their natural habitats, and immersing myself in those habitats—I love that. And so, while I've been reveling in domesticity, I've also been making plans for World Domination. To that end, friend MS and I (you may remember her from the most recent day of lostness in Jerome Creek) are going to be taking an Equitours trip in Australia in November—horseback riding (with guides!) for a week from inn to inn along the Sunshine Coast. We're then going to pop over to New Zealand's South Island and add some more rides—in this case following in the footsteps of Strider and the Hobbits— and visit my friend C in Wellington (and, in fact, actually get to visit the place where I "moved" in 2007 when Ian and I sold our cars and rented our house and left town for several months). And I can't help being excited about this part: it will be my 6th continent within a year. I love my life.

And then, in April, KENYA! Ian and I have been wanting to go back to Africa for years—well, East Africa, since Cabo Verde last January certainly counts as Africa—and we've managed to finagle an unbelievable plane trip: two BA tickets in Club World, Seattle to Nairobi and back, for the price of only one set of airline miles. I tell you, if you can figure out how to work the system, the system REALLY works for you.

So . . . I'm happy. I'm still feeling a little anxiety associated with things that I commit to doing for other people . . . or even mention I may be interested in thinking about doing for other people (the problem seems to be my personal definition of "commitment," rather than any external expectations). I'm slowly, as well, figuring out the benefits of a life of scheduled days off (I have chosen to "work through" my day off this week, in the interests of, well, horses), and I'm learning to stop feeling guilty about enjoying the path I am so fortunate to have been given.

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