One of the reasons I was so excited about 40 Days of Writing is that I have discovered that I am a girl that needs to have a project going on at all times. I also love to be challenged. This hasn’t always been the case with me. Not that I lived my life lazily prior to discovering this about myself, and of course there are times when I can sit and become brain dead in front of the TV, but the past few years have been anything but lazy. Those closest to me have watched this happen and it sometimes gets me into trouble. For example, my parents tell me I don’t visit often enough because I am too busy.
This all started when my ex-husband and I separated. I wasn’t working at the time, and was sort of a mess. Well, not sort of. I was a mess. I remember telling a friend that I needed a project and that I was going to lose my mind if I didn’t find something to do. I needed a job as well, but that wasn’t happening fast enough. I was renting a small house at the time and the front yard was in dire need of new landscaping. I made a deal with the landlord. If he would pay for materials, I would redo the yard. This involved renting a rototiller and getting rid of the lawn (weeds), removing the crabgrass by hand, moving the dirt around to level and make mounds, putting in a drip system and then planting new plants and flowers. Gone was the lawn, I finished it with pea gravel. I worked daily for almost a month.
A few months prior to this I had started running. Obviously a marriage falling apart doesn’t happen overnight and running became my drug of choice. I joined Team in Training which benefits the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and ran the Nike Half Marathon. Since then, I have run a couple more half marathons and numerous 10K races. I have friends I run and train with and we do these events together. We have a blast. The summer before last, on a whim, I went for a bike ride, which led to a bug for cycling. I didn’t even have my own bike, but kind people stepped up and provided me with what I needed until I could get my own bike and gear. Again I joined Team in Training, though this time with the cycling team, and last October completed Levi Leipheimer’s King Ridge Gran Fondo. I trained for six months and rode 103 difficult miles, which most of you reading this probably already know, so I apologize for repeating myself. I look at these endurance events as projects as well.
More recently, I moved from my previous house into a smaller cottage. My friend, Sarah, bought a home with a granny unit, though now I refuse to let her call it that. We call it “The Cottage.” The place was in dire need of a renovation. She had the floors and counter tops replaced and bought new appliances, but together we refinished the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and painted the interior. She also replaced the electrical outlets herself, including drywall and texturing. I replaced the light fixtures, including a ceiling fan. We also removed the interior doors and closets, and painted and re-hung new ones. This was a one-month project that turned into two and I was thankful for it.
In between all of this, I started back to school full-time with the intent of working toward a degree. I did eventually find a great job and had to cut back on classes but I have consistently taken at least one class per semester. The past two, Creative Writing with the intent to improve my writing skills. I started my blog as well, though up until this project, was a bit neglected.
My next project, which I am looking forward to is the landscaping at my new house. Sarah and I have big plans for her backyard as well as mine and seeing that neither one of us is afraid of manual labor, this spring and summer will be full of hard work and getting dirty. Excellent. I can’t wait. Also, I plan to do the Fondo again and already have registered for several running events.
My projects tend to overlap, which is fine by me. Whether it is manual labor, physical exercise or keeping my brain stimulated, I am convinced that the alternative might be medication and I have a very strong aversion to putting pharmaceuticals into my body.
The other alternative might be a boyfriend. I think I need someone to tell me to settle my ass down.