1. Am I asking for trouble by stating that I believe spring has arrived in New Jersey? I feel like I may be tempting mother nature into dumping another spattering of snow on us by making such a bold claim. Today was in the 60's, sunny and just the right amount of breeze. Flowers and trees are blooming, we can hear the birds outside our window everyday and Hunter S. Thompson has almost choked himself during our walks trying to go after squirrels three days in a row. Or it may be the same squirrel, playing mind games with the poor old pup. Who can tell one squirrel from another?
2. I went grocery shopping today, as we were out of everything. And I don't mean the normal stuff you run out of like bread, milk, produce, meat. We had no butter, mayo, maple syrup, coffee - the items that typically run out every few months all seemed to disappear this week. That always seems to happen in my sock basket too - I have so many socks I can literally go a month without doing laundry (not that I do, but I could). Then, suddenly, I can't find a pair of matching white socks to wear to the gym, thereby forcing me to resort to donning my Scooby-Doo Christmas socks. In March.
3. Speaking of the gym, I've been going regularly. Saying that I love it would be a gross overstatement. Can't even say that I like it, though some days I can get lost in the tunes on my ipod and the time flies. What I do love is that I walked about 100 blocks in NYC on Monday with a new friend who is a brisk walker, and kept up without too much trouble at all. My breathing is getting better.
4. I've also been swimming semi-regularly. I'm by no means a strong swimmer and sort of "freestyle" it (code for "I don't know how to properly swim one stroke"). Actually, I don't like to get my face wet, so I do the breast stroke with my arms, looking up the whole time with my neck extended like some sort of turtle. But even after showering and a generous lotion application afterward, I always smell like chlorine, even the next day. Any suggestions?
5. My very dear friend Nancy, who is pregnant with her 4th child, has an official due date - April 23rd. Because she is a scheduled C-section, odds are that this will indeed be the wee one's birthday. Nancy has not found out if she is having a girl or a boy (much to my distress, because it would be so much easier to purchase cute baby gifts in NYC if I knew what sex the baby is). I am excited, but a little sad that I wont be there. I remember her first labor, I waited at the hospital all night with her family until Jarod was finally born by C-section. I read "The Pilot's Wife". It seems like yesterday.
6. We had a lovely evening hanging out with Isaac, a classmate of Dean's, and his wife Meg last night. Meg is only in New Jersey until mid-April, then she heads back to work in Ontario. Dean and I have enjoyed our time hanging out with new friends - couple friends. You know, other couples that both spouses like equally. I find that it's hard to make good couple friends - usually one of the pair hits it off with another - perhaps they work together or are friends previously, and the remaining halves of each couple are sort of thrown together. We've been fortunate to have some good couple friends in our life, and have missed that since coming here.
7. The people living upstairs from us are so heavy on their feet that Dean and I have nicknamed them "the pachyderms". They watch their television with it's accompanying wall-shaking surround sound system, even at 8 am (typically war movies, we think, as there seems to be lots of shooting and helicopter sounds in them) and sometimes we hear then fight (usually about money). It makes it a little awkward when I see him smoking on the steps in the morning - do they know we can here them?
8. The sweet Suzanne did a number of blogs posts featuring the book "Shopping for Time". I enjoyed all the suggestions immensely, although I must admit that the "5 am" club has been what Dean would call an "epic fail" for me so far. One thing I have successfully adopted is taking 15 minutes each morning to plan and prioritize my day. I have always used a day planner (the two page per week variety) with weekly "to-do" lists, but sitting in the morning and writing the few most important things I want to accomplish that particular day is so helpful in keeping me on track. I even bought a wee little notebook for my list (to help me resist the temptation to block my day with so many tasks that it will be impossible to complete them all).
9. Looks like I will be heading home to Newfoundland in July and August to work with FIT, my former employer. My goal will be to block in as much work as I can in a 6 to 8 week period, and to save most of it for a possible project that may be in the works...but it is sort of crappy that summer will be filled with work.
10. Earlier this week, my mom asked me if I found it hard to fill my days now that I wasn't working. Honestly, I don't. There always seems to be things to get done. In fact, there are days I feel like I have less down time than when I was working. I'm sure that's not so. Instead, I think I'm more thoughtful about how I spend my days, which somehow makes me feel busier. I'm sure I'll be eating these words come July.