Last summer I maintained a good workout routine for most of the break. I got into the habit of running, and felt all around healthy. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep up with working out over the course of the semester. My time management left me with no space in my schedule for following my old running and conditioning routine.
Now that I temporarily have more time on my hands over winter break, I’ve been itching to move around by working out. Our treadmill is bust, so I had to find another way to get a work out in. I ended up cleaning out a room in the basement, and completed the conditioning routine I followed in the summer. I quickly found how out of shape I am, and was disappointed when my body gave out on me at times. Nonetheless, I was proud for at least starting up my routine again. I plan on running a 5K the weekend of the Boston Marathon, and I know I’ll have to get into a solid routine early in order to do well.
Activity #10 that a grad student on break can do: relearn how to pick Christmas songs on the guitar. It’d make Sr. Mary Kevin Ryan, the little retired nun I took $5 half-hour lessons from for a couple of years, proud.
I easily absorb other people’s bad moods and let them bring me down. This often happens at home when my mom’s tired and upset, and ends up saying harsh things that put me on edge. While I end up retreating to my room or responding in the same manner if I interact with my mom, my brother stands up for himself and pokes fun at the situation. While I feel like I need to hold my breath or tiptoe in these moments, my brother acts as the comic relief. Through his actions and responses, he shows that the situation isn’t as bad as I make it out to be. I am grateful for his sense of humor.
I took a break from lounging at home by running a quick errand. On my way back, I took my time with my walk and followed a longer route. It felt nice to move my legs and to be out in the fresh air. I’m usually not a fan of the cold, but I do enjoy the crisp, wintry air when I’m sufficiently bundled up as I did today. Sometimes I like to be a homebody, but time to time I do need a nice quick break outside.
I had most of the day, and the family apartment, to myself today with my parents working and my brother just getting back into town. Except for getting up at one point to make breakfast and watch a little bit of Frasier, I allowed myself to stay in bed until a little past noon. I consider myself someone who’s always on the go, so I needed a few hours during which I could just lay comfortably in bed, letting it sink in that I don’t have any immediate responsibilities to attend to for the next few weeks. In addition, I kept my phone off for the most of the day, wanting to eliminate distractions so that I could enjoy some time to myself.
At some point I finally did get myself out of bed and started finding things to do, since I like to keep busy. I ended up assembling and decorating a plastic Christmas tree for my room and catching up on posts in this blog. The apartment got livelier for a bit once my brother got home. My dad recruited him to help bring in the live Christmas tree for the living room, and I was then asked to clean up the needles that were dropped all over the stairs. I ended up having more of the day to myself once my brother went to take a nap for a few hours. I spent the rest of the night with a nice simple dinner, watching Singin’ in the Rain, and chatting with a friend on Facebook.
Having a slower-paced, lazy day to myself helped me settle down at home for the break, reflect a little about the past semester, and reset back to the relaxed, and more pleasant, version of myself.
I always look forward to flying in to the American terminal in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, especially during the holidays. The terminal’s globe in its main hallway is transformed into a festive view with doves, ribbons, and plenty of lights. It’s a warm welcome back into the city and a reminder of the holiday cheer that I am soon to enjoy with my family.
For part of my celebration of finishing the semester, I headed to the Prudential Center, one of the malls in Boston. I felt that I needed time out in the city as I wrapped up the semester before I headed home. As I spent some time reflecting on the semester and sending thank you’s to people who had really helped me out this semester, I realized how much of a craving my sweet tooth had. My roommate and I had originally planned to bake cookies that night, but upon texting her we both decided to meet up at the mall’s Cheesecake Factory instead. I treated myself to some nice Moscato wine, chicken lettuce tacos, and the Godiva cheesecake. I’m usually someone who’s always on her feet running errands or getting to class or a meeting, so I very much appreciated being able to sit back and relax a little bit with some good food before having to finish up all final responsibilities before heading home for break.