Do you ever had one of those moments in your life when you realize you’ve gotten stale? Like the world in turning around and around, and you’re…stuck. You’re sooo busy working and surviving that you don’t have time to do anything, you don’t have time to even THINK.
Yeah…that’s where I’m at. I just feel like I’m going nowhere in a HUGE hurry and it’s wearing on me. There needs to be balance in my life, and right now, I’m allowing my work life to take too much of my time. It’s not even that I’m THERE physically for too many hours. The problem is, even when I’m home, a part of me is still at work. That’s not really like me. Normally, I’m able to switch gears faster. Home is usually my sanctuary. But lately, I’ve been worrying over things that are out of my control, which is silly. In my head, I know that I can only control so much. But…I see things I want to do, things I want to change. And, being in management, I do have some power to make changes happen, but…I’m also only one of the cogs in the system. I can’t control EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. I just have to keep reminding myself, “Baby-steps, Juli. Just keep taking those baby-steps.”
In the meantime, hubby took me out for GOOD coffee last week. Sometimes he knows what I need before I do. If you’re ever in the Ann Arbor area, you NEED to try Roos Roast Coffee, free trade organic coffee. OMG! They roast the beans RIGHT THERE. The place smells like heaven. They have the BEST coffee I have ever tasted, and I drink a LOT of coffee. If you’re NOT in the area, they “ship all over.”
(Roos Roast Coffee • 1155 Rosewood Street Suite B, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 • (734) 222 9202 • Open Monday-Saturday, 7:30-6:00 Sunday 9:00-6:00)
*In all fairness, there’s a TON of great places to drink coffee in Ann Arbor, and I haven’t tried them all.
Ann Arbor has been a college town since 1837. There’s GORGEOUS Victorian architecture and sleek, modern high rise buildings sitting right next to each other, and it all seems to work together. And the local coffee shops? They’re entertainment unto themselves. I swear, you can go into one of these places and instantly feel both smarter and dumber all at the same time. I like to people watch. I also listen in on conversations. I’m used to being included in conversations about the price of gasoline, potty training advice, and potato chips. Meanwhile, the folks in Ann Arbor are talking about poetry, world events, and climate change. There’s a garden of some sort tucked into EVERY alley, crevice, and spare space. Everyday objects are turned into works of art. Recycling stations are as common as trash cans. Creativity is the norm.
I love Ann Arbor, MI. When I’m there, I feel like the creative part of me gets recharged, like I get an artistic infusion just being around the place. I can’t explain it. The culture there is SO different than it is living in suburbia, like around where I work, or in a rural area, like the area where I live.
Spend an afternoon walking around Ann Arbor, and you’ll go home and want to make something useful out of your trash. You’ll want to plant an herb garden inside an old boot. You’ll want to give Marcel Proust another try. Maybe eat some Indian food or Moroccan. Make your own artwork. Learn a foreign language. Create a bracelet out of grandma’s cutlery. I don’t know. Results may vary.
Anyway, I don’t like feeling “stale” and my hubby’s little outing reminded me of stuff I already knew, but haven’t been putting into practice. I started thinking, when did my own conversations become so…mundane? When was the last time I took a class of ANY kind? For that matter, when was the last time I bought a book for learning and studying purposes, not JUST for entertainment? I read for pleasure all the time. I enjoy learning new things. But sometimes, I don’t feel as though I push myself hard enough to learn new concepts. I’m NOT going to admit I’m getting older exactly, but I do know that as the calendar moves forward, it gets easier and easier to become complacent. I don’t WANT to BE complacent.
And…I don’t have to be complacent!!! I’m fighting it. Even with my work schedule, I know there are things I can do to improve my mind. For example, did you know MIT offers Open Courses? Yeah. FLIPPING MIT. You can click on over to their site, and FREE of charge, you can take a class…sort of. So the catch is, you WON’T earn a degree this way. (At least I don’t think you can.) You won’t be working with a teacher. You’re on your own. But the good news is, the information is all there. Homework assignments. Lectures. EVERYTHING. For my purposes, this is PERFECT. I think I might try a few of their writing courses or maybe something science related. I really enjoyed learning about molecular biology back in college. Weird as that is, there was a time in my life where I played around with the idea of being a scientist or going into a field that was science related. Yeah. I was such a nerd. Still am! 😉
I just started one of these freebie courses a couple of days ago through NC State University: Introduction to Permaculture. There are 38 podcasts. I’ve only gotten through the first one and I’m slowly working through the homework assignment. Never even HEARD of the word Permaculture before last week, but a FB friend recommended the class. Gotta love FB. It’s more than JUST a place to play games. 😉
I’m thinking I might post my fakey assignments here. ANY writing is better than NO writing I suppose. Maybe posting them here will keep me motivated, so there’s some feedback. I don’t know. I’ve got to try something. Feeling stuck is not working for me.
Take care and have a great day!