Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer, Owning a Home, and Trying to Relax

I've been on the school schedule my whole life.  Work September through May, vacation June to August.  Really the transition is shocking.  Between school and coaching I've spent 14-16 hour days.  Free time comes early in the morning or after 5:00 or 8:00 PM.  

With so little spare time, good intentions fall by the wayside quickly.  Working out?   Sometimes.  Writing daily?  More like monthly.  Calling my mother?  Yeah, I usually do that still.  It's go-go-go until all of a sudden, one June day... it stops.  Summer stretches before you lazy and warm, 11 glorious weeks of free time and nothing to do.  

Oddly though, a lot of this summer I've still felt busy.  "Busy" is a trap that I impose on myself, and am trying to escape.  It comes from good intentions.  With time I want to work out every day.  Read.  Write.  I wanted to take some classes this summer and ended up taking 20 credits.  I want to learn to fly so I started taking flying lessons (few and far between at $150 a pop).

Lately I've been finding things I need to do, but didn't know it until things slowed down I started looking around.  For me it's been my house.  Owning a house is cool.  It really is.  But maintenance needs never sleep.  Ever.  This summer I've:
  • Repainted my deck (which my dog has rechewed in some areas)
  • Replaced rotten decking boards.
  • Rigged a water filter for my sink.
  • Had my gas fireplace fixed.
  • Replace two light switches.
  • Replace an in-sink hot water heater that went bad.
  • Fixed a leaky pipe (got to hammer through dry wall in the garage, very fun)
I've made endless "to do" lists, finished them, only to find, realize or remember something else that needs to be done.  Right now a faulty outdoor electrical socket is staring me in the face.  Part of this owes to the fact my house was a foreclosure, and not in great shape when I bought it.  Part of this owes to the fact that things break. This list doesn't include routine maintenance or yard work which is its own daily burden.

While I love my home and believe it to be a solid long term investment, I do sometimes long for the days when I shared a two bedroom apartment with some dude off of Craigslist and only paid $200 a month rent.  If something broke then, the landlord fixed it.

Even though I'm not working, I don't feel like I have a lot of free time.  This is my fault.  Somewhere my wiring went screwing and I can't just relax.  That electrical socket I mentioned earlier will grind on me until it's fixed.  I've never used it before, but now that it's come to my attention again, I will turn over heaven and earth to make it right.  I've paused typing twice to watch a Youtube video on how to replace it, and searched for parts on Amazon. Endless summer might not be as great for me as the Beach Boys claim.  I need to be doing something so I'm not obsessing over dumb stuff like this.

The time off does have one good consequence.   By August I look forward to going back to school.   I love the start of the school year and all the hope and anticipation it brings.  I love fall. I love college football.  I love fall days.  Apple cider, Thanksgiving, all that jazz.  

As for today, all my to-do's are done.  And I've got an hour before my girlfriend gets off work, so I think I'll take my puppy up to the lake.  The socket can wait!

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