Friday things + Coming to the End of Summer

Do I look exhausted? I am and it’s because of this book.

Right now I’m reading A Man On The Moon by Andrew Chaikin.

Ever since I visited the Kennedy Space Center with my family last year, I’ve been totally consumed by books about space; the history of our country’s space program, the astronauts and their lives, the teams responsible for building and sending the rockets out of Earth’s atmosphere and into the moon’s 250,000 miles away. I can’t get enough of it, and every night I stay up for God knows how long reading all these books my dad keeps sending me in the mail—he’s a huge fan, too, and the one who got me interested in NASA. My enabler.

So, when my alarm went off a 6 a.m., I wanted nothing to do with it. I could feel the weight of the bags under my eyes as I peeked out from beneath the covers then rolled over to snooze it, I don’t know, four more times.

Somehow, by the strength of all powers in the universe, I dragged myself out of bed, slowly and clumsily got dressed in my running clothes and headed out the door for a run.

When quarantine first began in the middle of March—when we were all asked to start working remotely—I hadn’t gone for a weekday morning run in maybe 6-8 months. We were just barely making our way out of the worst of the winter weather, the mornings were still dark and cold, and I had fallen very far out of the morning run routine.

Then, on March 16, 2020, the first day working remotely, I went for a morning run at 7:43 a.m. It was very slow and I was feeling pretty out of shape, but I did it. And I felt more like me again than I had in awhile.

I ran again the next day, and then again two more days, even in a torrential downpour and even after a full night of snow blanketed the trails and the trees in a sparkling white powder.

The next week, I ran further and rode my bike a couple times in the evening as the sun stayed out longer and the temperatures warmed up. As crazy and selfish and backwards as it sounds, working remotely and adding more movement into my days was a blessing and a gift to my mental health.

Now, more than five months into working remotely, morning runs and occasional bike rides are part of my routine and something I look forward to every day. With so little structure and very few boundaries between work and life, I feel like these hour blocks of movement where I can listen to podcasts, get some fresh air, and see other people from a distance, add some semblance of structure and purpose to my days. And because my work life and home life are in the same space, I know I’ve been working longer hours without even realizing it. I log into my computer sometimes before 8 a.m., don’t block myself off at lunch time, and I find myself answering emails or finishing up just one more thing at 8 p.m. I’m not complaining; I’m so happy to have a job. I guess I’m just trying to see the positive in a situation that feels overrun with negativity, hate, and injustice.

Another piece of positivity? I had a friendly Twitter exchange with a follower and we decided to send each other coffee beans from our favorite shops. I sent him Boxcar Coffee and he sent me a couple bags from BLK & BOLD and this morning I tried this light roast single origin variety. WOW it is so good. It smells and tastes like blueberries in a very delicious and not overpowering way. I feel like I’m going to need to keep ordering this every month.

Are you a morning coffee person and if not, WHY NOT? 😉

Another piece of amazing news: today is a half day for me and one of the last half days of the year since summer is winding down. Bummed about that, but honestly I could go for cooler afternoons. This is only my third summer here, but I don’t remember the previous years being this hot for this long. We’ve had several weeks (months?) in a row with days in the mid-90s and car temps in the 100s. YIKES. My favorite weather ever is long sleeves with shorts running weather. THAT is when you know fall is here.

What’s going on with you? Have you found any positives amidst the chaos that is 2020?

4 Replies to “Friday things + Coming to the End of Summer”

  1. So you’re a space case too? I read the Chaikin book and many others, mostly about the Apollo program. Of course, The Right Stuff is a must read. I watched Apollo 11 on TV knowing that it was destined to be one of the most inspiring moments in my lifetime. I missed out on the Kennedy Space Center on my bike tour to Key West in 2017. A tropical storm with gale force winds was blowing hard across Cape Canaveral. I wasn’t going to ride into that for anything.

    In my running days, I hated morning runs. I felt stiff and sore. I needed a day of movement to free my muscles up. And nothing cures a day’s stresses like a long run on a autumn afternoon.

    Lastly, I am a morning coffee person. The Kona coffee I had in Hawaii on my honeymoon is the gold standard. Just amazing. My wife hated coffee then and now but she still raves about the stuff.

    The heat index in DC was over 100 today. Fall better get here soon.

    1. The Right Stuff was great! So happy to know someone else who loves learning about the space program, too. A trip to KSC is a MUST if you’re in Florida. I can’t wait to visit again now that I know even more about NASA.

      I’ll have to give Kona coffee a try. Sounds delicious!

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