It's been a long and not particularly good spring. The cold weather lasted longer than usual, then it was wet... okay, it's still wetter than usual. The gardens like all the rain, but I'm still using a light box for my seasonal depression in the, supposedly, most sun-drenched month of the year. I had two months of exhaustion trying to get used to the CPAP, and the spring was unusually busy with graduation and other things.
The way our homeschool schedule has gone, for the last 18 years, is that we take our long break in the spring when the weather is beautiful (starting the day the dogwoods start blooming in our yard, which was about two weeks late this year), and we start homeschooling again when the weather regularly starts hitting 90 degrees (again, usually about two weeks ago, but you need more sun for that to happen). During that time we go camping, go on picnics, hike, go to gardens, and I putter around the house get some projects done, and relax a bit. By the time we start again, I'm usually rejuvenated and feeling a lot more creative.
This year, I spent the first few months of that time with my nose to the grindstone because of the CPAP. I had to force myself to do absolutely everything. I'm still not back to normal, but I have more good days than bad. During that time I didn't do any evening Zumba classes because I was too tired to drive safely in the evening, much less exercise. There were days when, even at the 9 am Zumba class, all I wanted to do was lie down on the Zumba floor and go to sleep. Taking walks worked much better with dear husband because the conversation kept me going - even then, when the conversation faltered, I just wanted to lie down on the road. I drove on back roads because the speed limit is lower than on the highway. Even when I got enough energy back to do Zumba, I didn't do Broadway Dance because I wasn't focused enough to learn choreography without possibley injuring myself.
I just dragged myself through my days. Unfortunately, that's become a habit, so now, even on days when I feel better, I still pile more on myself because dragging myself through is what I do. I feel like I have no creativity left, and I'm close to closing all my blogs. I'm certainly not ready to go back to homeschooling yet, and it wouldn't be good for younger son if I did. Fortunately, all this feeling lousy started at the same time we started our break so it didn't impact our homeschooling. I don't want homeschooling younger son for high school to start with a nose-to-the-grindstone attitude devoid of any creativity, energy, or enthusiasm.
Wow. When the sun comes out, my hair, reflected in the netbook screen while I type outside on the back deck of this house in Asheville looks really blond.
Back in April, I started playing with the idea of taking a break - a week off - whenever I started (hopefully) feeling better. I set aside a few possible weeks. The rest of my family thought it was a great idea, even though I thought it was a very selfish thing to do. Spend all that time on just me?!
Not totally on me, though - I get to spend time with my daughter.* She rents a room in a house north of UNC-A, and the other spare room isn't being rented right now so I'm renting it for a week.
Last Friday, I took the bus here from Durham, NC. It was a wonderful way to start. For five hours, I didn't have to respond to anyone. After I got here and unpacked, daughter and I went to try a new restaurant for dinner, and then we went to Zumba in da Club - three hours of Zumba at Scandals Nightclub taught by a variety of instructors. It's hard to stop doing Zumba when it's not a class that ends after an hour, but I finally stopped after two hours.
After being so exhausted this spring, it was wonderful to be able to do Zumba for two hours!!! Not quite two hours straight because I had to stop to drink lots of water. I wasn't even sore the next day!
Over the weekend, we did lots of hiking, ate at wonderful places, got rained on (of course), and did lots of talking. During the week, though, although we'll do things together in the evening, I have the days all to myself - whole days to do what just I feel like doing - no deadlines, expectations, trying to arrange everything so that it works well for everyone...
It's strange. How do I even figure out what to do without the usual structure?!
That's part of what I want to do in Asheville. I want to do some of the things that I've thought would be neat to do but which everybody else didn't want to do - try new restaurants, drive down unfamiliar roads just because they look interesting, browse in stores that nobody else has been interested in, take all the photos I want to without worrying about boring anyone,** etc. But I'm not making that an absolute because I'm trying to do things without following arbitrary rules that I make for myself (on top of everything else).
The forecast for this morning was rain, but it was sunny when I woke up. I headed over to Biltmore (where the photos are from), and just wandered where I felt like wandering. It was good that I brought an umbrella because the rain did start - just as I was at the furthest place in the gardens from the house. It was all uphill on the way back - I met a couple that was lost. I pointed them in the right direction and told them that they just keep going uphill to get back to the mansion.
Monday is 2/3 over, and, all of a sudden, it feels like this will be over in a blink.
* Actually, she's the one being unselfish. :)
** This is often part of our vacations, though we're not usually in Asheville long enough for me to take the time. When we were in Boston and Charleston, I usually took an afternoon to wander and take photos. Sometimes, older son would join me.