A 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.
Wild 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.
Daytime 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.