Friday, April 26, 2013

My Week in a Word: Enjoyable

I was busy this week--both at school (a given) and after school (not so much--on purpose). I had shower gifts to buy, old friends to reconnect with, other friends to catch up with, a new restaurant to try, more news and politics to alternately avoid and devour, and sunny and warm weather to enjoy after a winter-like start to the week...

Late afternoon sun was perhaps the most delicious ingredient in this simple, midweek, impromptu, al fresco dinner at a local favorite place.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Week in a Word: Intense

When I look back on this week, I will remember the events, and I will remember how and what I felt as I watched them unfold on television. From shock and horror and worry to relief and profound sadness, to anxiety and relief again, followed by jubilation and gratitude and intense pride, this was an intensely emotional week.

And now I am happy it is over.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just for Fun

Last weekend, I received a text from a friend that said "enjoy your nine days off!" Okay, I thought, that's one way to look at. I was more inclined to see it as five days off because weekends don't really count, and was also on the verge of a little pity party because I wasn't going away, but I was willing to change my mindset. After K's unwitting pep talk I decided to embrace the Nine Day Philosophy. I could get a lot done; I could feel good about my vacation. I opened my iPad notes and started a list: Nine Days, Nine Projects.

The next day I decided to finish writing that list (one day had passed; I hadn't even finished writing the project list), but realized I needed to write another list as well: Nine Days, Nine Fun Things To Do. It was my vacation after all.

Needless to say, this week hasn't been a whole lot of fun. My project list is untouched (yes, it's Thursday), and although I have done some fun things--lunch with Amy, an afternoon with Lindsay, a mani-pedi this morning--it hasn't been a fun week for me.

I have been shocked, and worried, relieved and grief stricken. I have been sad and I have been preoccupied. Incredulous. Heartbroken. Distracted.

Earlier this afternoon, while I watched more news and enjoyed some Chinese takeout--a plate on my lap, a pile of unread magazines and books at my side, and my newly painted feet on the coffee table in front of me--I decided it was time to scrap my project list. Delete. There will be rainy days and weekends ahead. For the next few days, these last three days of my vacation, I am going to focus on trying to have a little more fun.

Despite my sadness.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[Heart] Note... to Boston

Today we are all heartbroken. As Americans our hearts are heavy for those who were injured and for the families of those injured and killed at the Boston Marathon. Those of us who love Boston grieve for the city too, no matter how or when we came to know her.

I met her in 1983. I must admit I am one of those former college  students whose mailing address actually read "Boston,"--not Waltham or Chestnut Hill--and who secretly scoffs when those in the latter groups claim to have gone to college with those of us in the former group. We make the distinction between Boston and the Boston area or greater Boston because we didn't need to take the T to get there; we stepped outside our dorms and were there. We not only could see the Pru from campus, but could make out every letter on that iconic building. The CITGO sign actually led us home.

I am also an adult who makes the distinction between going to college in Boston and living there as a grown-up, working person. I know the difference because I did both. First I was a student at Simmons College, who could hear Red Sox games from outside my window on Brookline Avenue. I became a Bostonian when I filed taxes and voted there. I got on the green line every day and changed to the red line and got off in Fields Corner, where most college students fear to tread. I struggled to pay rent even though the pho I ate regularly from the Vietnamese restaurant across the street from the clinic in Dorchester cost next to nothing.

I spent a lot of free time--I had no exams to study for or lab reports to write anymore, after all-- walking around, finding ethnic restaurants, lingering over bowls of au lait with a good book at my favorite book store cafes. When I really lived there I discovered things I hadn't, I couldn't as a student.

Recently I had lunch with an old high school friend, Allison, who has made Boston her home since graduating from college. Not Malden or Waltham, Beverly or North Andover. Boston. She lives in the North End and works in the Back Bay. She is a Bostonian. She understands the difference. (I am happy to report, incidentally, that she is okay. Thank goodness.)

So that distinction, smug as it may seem, matters to me. I usually say nothing when a Boston area alum talks of going to school in Boston. It is more difficult to remain silent, however, when I hear a former college student say they lived in Boston. When I tell my story I usually make the distinction. "I went to college in Boston and then I lived there," I will say. Sometimes I even note that I was born and raised in Connecticut but grew up in Boston. Going to college in Boston introduced me to the city I called home through my twenties. Visiting on weekends during college made Allison fall in love with the city she still calls home. 

There was a time I thought I'd never leave. And now, more and more, I realize I want to go back. Not just for weekends.

I love Boston. And I miss her dearly.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Week in a Word: Enlightening

Another long week--as always, not in the length of time but amount of stress--is done. I've learned some things about myself and some others this week, and because I'm on vacation with no travel plans (you notice I did not use the word staycation....because I loathe it) I am ready to process the events of the last week or two.

I have been more observant and a bit more introspective lately. I see the stress of school  (I would saying teaching but I think it has a little less to do with our profession and more to do with where we are doing it) eating away at my friends and me, and I am ready to be in another place. Not another school, but another place in my life.

I am a big, bubbling cauldron of emotions about to boil over. When I do I need it to be transformative. Not just for me. And I trust it will be.

I guess it's time to turn up the heat.

Monday, April 1, 2013

[Heart] Beef Carpaccio...

 and to Peppercorn's Grill in Hartford for getting it right.


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