Bad, Bad Blogger.

Happy July! Yes, I realize that it’s been seven months since I last posted. I’m a bad, bad blogger. But since I do enjoy breaking cardinal rules, I’m just going to go with it. I also have a good excuse in the form of this watertight pseudo-mathematical proof:

marriage
+ grad school
+ work
+ teaching part-time
+ occasionally sleeping
zero time for blogging

So, here’s a quick update post.

The Year of Not Buying Things

The Year is almost over! I have failed on several counts – such as buying myself a lipstick for my birthday (it was so red and so pretty, and I had a terrible moment of weakness – and was also goaded on by my sister-in-law). I also purchased a UV shirt for riding my motorcycle, because skin cancer is really not on my to-do list. I have also had to make a few necessary purchases for work and school (matron of honor dress for my sister’s wedding, whiteboard markers for teaching, and required books that I couldn’t find at the library).

But overall, The Year has helped me to accomplish what I was hoping to do. I was able to take a step back from the habit of buying stuff just because, and to really carefully consider WHY I wanted something, and if I actually needed it. And because I have not been consuming at anything near a frantic pace, I’ve been able to inspect the ethics of my consumption as well. Supporting local businesses is really important to me, as is supporting craftspeople and the overall slow/quality movement. So when I needed a (very specific shade of blue) dress for my sister’s wedding, I was able to pay an extremely talented friend to make it for me, keeping my money in the local economy.

In fact, it’s been such a good year that while I may relax my restrictions a little bit, I think I’m going to keep to the same path. Being able to re-focus on what’s really important to me – my people (you know who you are!), learning stuff, stretching my creativity – has been an incredible gift for the past 11 months.

Summertime, Traveling, and Motorcycles!

I’ve been bouncing around a lot this summer, too. In May, a trip to San Antonio for the Rhetoric Society of America conference…

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And then in June, a trip to Sacramento, where I saw this magnificent piece of artwork and also got to spend some quality time with my (seriously) cool family-in-law…

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    …and to Massachusetts for some beach time and my little sister’s wedding (awww!)…

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…left me pretty wiped out. I was seriously excited to get back home and to my own kitchen! Which I have barely used at all because it’s been near 100 degrees since we got home. (Ick.)

Despite the wretched blistering heat, I really love riding my motorcycle (as you may recall). I haven’t been riding as much this summer because I’m enrolled in two pedagogy classes and totally geeking out over that, and also teaching part-time in addition to my regular full time job. BUT! This weekend I got to go for a little ride with my totally excellent mom.

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Mama’s helmet hair is infinitely cooler than mine. Thank goodness for motorcycles and family. And now, it’s back to homework for me (see item #2 in my watertight pseudo-mathematical proof, above).

Peace, love, and hopefully less than seven months until another post,
Sumiko

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Jumping

This week, I received an email with the schedule for grad school orientation. For some reason an itinerary always makes things seem much more real to me. Up until this point, I’ve been conscious that I’m going to be starting school again, but this email really hammered it home, complete with the realization that I will have zero free time once I start up again. On August 20th, I’m starting work on my PhD. EEEEEK. To say that I’m scared silly and kind of panicking is really an understatement.

But…

There aren’t really many things I regret in my life (only one so far), and that one regret stems from a time that I didn’t take a leap of faith, the one time that I chickened out from something that I wanted to do. When I was in college, I really wanted to study abroad in Costa Rica for six weeks. And I didn’t do it. I was too scared and too comfortable in my silly comfort zone to even fill out the paperwork properly. It’s not really even a huge regret, because I’m pretty sure I’ll still get there someday. But it’s still a regret, and you know what? I’m not going to let that happen anymore.

I’m jumping into grad school in August. I am going to suck all the happiness, motorcycle-riding, sunshine and Sunday afternoon naps out of this last summer before school starts, and then I am going to study the hell out of that doctoral degree. You’re all my witnesses now! Don’t let me back out of this.

I’m pretty firmly convinced that the experiences not had are the ones we regret the most. The “I love you’s” not spoken, the trips not taken, and the times that we had a good retort ready for someone who was being a jerk to someone less fortunate but kept it inside our own heads – these are the things that keep resurfacing in our brains and making us a little bit sad for what might have been.

So even though I have a ridiculously long list of worries about grad school playing on repeat in my mind, and could spend my time thinking of ways that I might fail, I’m choosing to ignore all that.

(Please remind me about this blog post when final papers are due and I’m tearing my hair out by the handful.)

Love, peace, and temporary confidence in myself,
Sumiko

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