What I’m into (May edition)

IMG_3231A few things on my mind right now…

Book editing. I’ve got much of my draft of Off the Clock (my next book) written. I’ve been incorporating the results of the time perception survey. I love this stage, where a lot of the hard work is done, and yet the book is still getting better as I edit it. Progress! One thing I could use: a few more stories from men. This is definitely a book for men and women, and I know if I’m reading a book and there are not many female examples, I start to wonder. So… I’d love to find some men who are willing to chat with me about their time discoveries. For instance: have you learned something cool, or changed something as a result of time tracking? Have you consciously decided to plan more adventures into your life? Do you have a good system for making time for the people who are important to you (or made any changes in your life to make that happen)? As always, feel free to email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

IMG_3214Wild columbines. They’re one of my favorite wildflowers. I learned their name and their distinctive look during a “May term” botany class my junior year of high school. That ran for 2 weeks 21 years ago, when the columbines were in bloom then. The linear red and yellow flowers make me want to grab my crayons.

Speaking of 21 years… I realized that the time since then (spring 1996) could be divided into 3 even chunks of 7 years, each bounded by something fairly important to my current life. I met my husband in 2003. My first book on time, 168 Hours, came out in 2010. Yet in my mind, the distance between 1996-2003 is much longer than between 2003-2010. But it’s not just nostalgia for teenage years; 2010-now also seems longer than 2003-2010. Time perception is funny.

IMG_3220Daytime adventures. Especially as the weather turns nicer, I’m trying to take advantage of my work flexibility to do some trips on my own during the day. Today I went to the Brandywine River Art Museum, which has a huge collection of Andrew Wyeth paintings. I think of him as painting a while ago, but some of the paintings were from the early 1990s. I love the starkness, and I leaned in close to see the intricate brush strokes, and the very muted use of color — but always in just the right place. One slightly more colorful painting: Skunk cabbage. That’s another plant I learned about in that botany class 21 years ago. Apparently Wyeth was intrigued by it too. I also stopped by Longwood Gardens, which are right near by (see selfie).

Bill Bryson. He’d been on my list of people to read, and I just hadn’t, except for his memoir of growing up in the 1950s. I’m making my way through his most recent book on the UK, and then will probably read In a Sunburned Country. It’s a bit of a break from Hemingway.

South of Forgiveness. Also on the To Be Read list. Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger gave a very powerful TED talk in October about sexual assault and its aftermath. Thordis recently emailed me to let me know that the book is going to be out in the US shortly (it was already out in Europe). I’ve got a copy and I’m really looking forward to reading something I know will be challenging and probably like nothing I have read before.

Vacation anticipation. I spent a lot of time yesterday on the Xanterra website, trying to book a room in Yellowstone National Park for summer 2018. (Yes, 2018). The website kept crashing, because they open up for booking on May 1 for the next summer, but finally I was successful! We have a room in the Old Faithful Inn in August for four nights, and will build a western United States trip around that. It should be fun. Our littlest will be 3.5 years old then, which feels doable.

Not training for races. I’m still on my daily running streak (yep) and have had a few breakthroughs: I did my fastest 5k ever on the treadmill not long ago. I thought about signing up for the Oddyssey Half Marathon in mid-June. It’s relatively small and low key, but then I realized I’m happy just doing my runs without any crowds and parking lots and start times.

Camping. On the docket for next weekend with the Cub Scouts. Wish me luck. I just purchased an extra tarp.

3 thoughts on “What I’m into (May edition)

  1. Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors.
    I hope you enjoy his other books. If your western adventure takes you to Denver, there are a lot of kid friendly activities there.

  2. We are going “out West” next summer. I played with the idea of renting an RV, but will have to check out the Inn. I’m not big into camping of any kind. I’ve been a Scout mom for 8 years and have managed to not go camping once.
    As for man’s perspective on time, I asked my husband and he said, “I don’t really think about it. I get done what I get done and don’t worry about the rest.” When I asked him how he tries to fit everything in he said, “I don’t. I don’t worry about what doesn’t get done. If it’s important, it will get done.”
    Words of wisdom right there.

  3. Wow, Summer plan for 2018! Your interests are so diverse and you’re such a planner! I shall think over too. Then you’re an expert for time tracking and productivity so I shouldn’t be surprised. Btw, vacation anticipation cheers us up and sometimes better than real vacation. Regarding Philly Oddyssey half, I remember your complains about last year’s race due to hot weather. I ran it too and exhausted. One of worst race records but I signed it again on spot when race director informed about opening. Well, your time 7 year time block makes me to think my own journey too.

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