you come home 6 pounds heavier, your freckles are out in full force, you have wonderful memories of not one but two trips to Cape Cod, and there's sand in your suitcase. I used to work at a nonprofit that dealt with issues of class and class divisions and we used to joke that you know you're rich when you use summer as a verb, as in, "We summer on the coast of Maine." Well folks, I summered this summer.
Being in grad school does not make me rich financially (exact opposite in fact), but it does make me rich in time, and so I spent this summer in New England, based in my hometown in Massachusetts, taking many trips to New Hampshire, two to Wellfleet, Cape Cod, and one to Blue Hill, Maine, where in fact, my friends were summering.
When you are summering, I discovered, you eat a lot of potato chips. Bags and bags of them. Everywhere I went we ate potato chips and dip and all other manner of salty and fatty things. It was terrific fun. But you know what's not fun? These 6 pounds. Which are really like 10 pounds because before I even left for my bougie summer of summering I packed on an extra 4 at the end of my semester (the only food source in my building is a vending machine, okay?).
So I came back to Oakland with a determination I have rarely felt - I am going to get this bloaty, make-me-hate-wearing-pants-of-any-kind fat off of my body with a vengeance. Since I landed a week ago I've exercised every day. Now, I know, some of you do this naturally, good for you, but we've already established that I am an incredibly lazy person, and so it is almost unbelievable to me the amount of energy I have put into my body in the last 8 days. Sincerely, who am I?
In addition to Skyping into my Pilates classes 3 days a week, I've been doing the 7 Minute workout (2 or 3 times), and walking around the lake that we live next to (it's about a 3 and a half mile route). Yes, I live next to a lake. Yes, it's amazing. What I love most about it is what a perfect mix between urban and rural it is. It has a park, a bird sanctuary (the birds, oh the birds, there are so many birds!), fountains, a botanical garden, and narrow trails surrounding it, but it's also in the middle of the city, with high rises and highways along it's perimeter.
Just like in my walks to the grocery store, I am trying to notice all the beauty Oakland has to offer. It's not hard to do. I mean, geez:
Oh yeah, did I mention that the weather is always perfect here? It makes it incredibly easy to go outside and incredibly hard to come up with excuses not to.