“There is no shortage of good days.
It is good lives that are hard to come by.
A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough.
The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more.
The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet.
Who would call a day spent reading a good day?
But a life spent reading — that is a good life. ”
– Annie Dillard
How have you been spending your days? I keep getting this question so I might as well clarify. Bryan has been working 9-6 for a law firm while I’ve been … twiddling my thumbs?
Surely those who know my personality understand I have to be constantly doing, doing, doing. But all the jobs I’ve inquired about (namely, let’s be honest, dog-walking jobs) want a minimum 3-month commitment.
So I’ve been biding my time. I’ve explored in and around The District (I’ve checked off quite a few items from The DC List), joined two different public libraries (Library of Congress and the MLK, Jr DC Regional Library), and caught up on some fiction (Goldfinch, Frances & Bernard, What Alice Forgot, The Orphan Master’s Son). On a spontaneous library whim, I’ve also taken to reading dog books (My gracious! There are so many. I finished Animals Make Us Human and Chaser. Don’t worry, Dog Sense and Inside of a Dog are next).
I’ve decided that if I can accomplish the following, then being in this city for 9 weeks will not have been in vain:
- Educate Myself On Owning a Dog (specifically raising and training Australian Shepherds/herding breeds) and Decide When/If to Get One.
- Refresh Myself on Auditory-Verbal Therapy Techniques and Principles and clean out my old binders to create an easy way to access resources.
- Read Good, Solid Fiction (which I’ve been craving). Thanks to those who responded to my frantic texts yesterday: “Tell me what book I should read RIGHT NOW?”
- Support Bryan.
- Find an Apartment for the fall.
- Decide on a Church Home.
- Run 6 Miles Easily.
- Finish The DC List.
So, there you have it: A bunch of non-paid, non-work activities for which I’m really so thankful for the fact that I have the time to accomplish them.
I won’t lie that today I already feel quite restless. I feel purposeless. I’m hopeful that one of my dog-walking volunteer inquiries will come through. Even if not, I’m thankful for social company. My good friend Alli spent Memorial Day with us – we saw a festive concert and parade together. On Friday, we celebrated and learned about Ghanaian culture from my grad school friend Golda’s wedding in College Park. I’m thankful for all the good friends Bryan and I already have in the city (Kelsey, Jon, Hannah, Marissa, Golda).
Even with the list I’ve made of “accomplishments” I want to have completed by the end of the summer, I fully recognize that it’s the time I’ve spent with Bryan and our friends that continues to make life worth living (and worth living in DC), after all.