Matt was home more than usual during the months surrounding the holidays. In the past month, he’s been making up for it. He’s back in Maryland this week, and weekend, for a sales event. A couple weekends ago it was Pittsburgh…or was it Philadelphia. It’s awful, but after two years, I lose track of where he’s been and where he’s going next.
I know people wonder how we do this…and why. The how part I can answer. For me, it’s having lots of hobbies. This week I was telling my friend Steve that Matt was gone for 7 days. He said, “What’s new?” Trying to help me out, he suggested I needed a hobby. I said, “I have lots of hobbies. I have lots of time to fill up!” My other friend Stephanie told me today, “You have more hobbies than anyone I know.” That may be true. So to illustrate how I manage being the wife of a traveling salesman, I decided to catalogue my list of hobbies.
At this point, I’ve sort of gotten used to Matt being gone during the week. Sort of. It’s not fun, but I manage. The weekends drive me nuts though, particularly when preceded by a week or two on the road. That’s when I have to pull out my mental list of “things to do” (and sometimes actually write them down). In the mental health world, this is called "utilizing coping strategies". Otherwise, I’m just tempted to do lots of shopping which isn’t a good idea. Some day we’ll have kids and a list of things to fill my time up will be a relic of the past. I think that’ll be a good thing, but we’ll see.
1. Reading--A stack of books and magazines to read. All sorts, in case one fails to engage me. This hobby involves regular trips to the library.
2. Knitting--My urge to knit comes and goes but I have lots of projects on standby just in case. This week was a knitting week.
3. Hiking--Thank goodness for the AMC. Since the creepy dudes hanging out at the forest preserve prevent me from hiking by myself, AMC trips have kept me sane. I need to be outside! And it's fun to meet the locals and the transplants like me. This week I got out for the first night of a summer-long series covering every mile (all 145) of the Blue Hills Reservation which is south of Boston near us. This will keep me busy on Thursday nights.
4. Classes--Lori was adventurous and took a pottery class with me a couple months back. It was lots of fun. I should probably take one again, but now I'm thinking about a Spanish class in June. We'll see. Now Lori and I eat dinner together once every week or two instead which is just as fun.
5. Scrapbooking--My urge to scrapbook is on and off too, but lately this is my #1 hobby. Finally got pictures printed, two years after getting a digital camera.
6. Cooking and making a mess in the kitchen. Then grudgingly cleaning it up.
7. Sewing isn't really my favorite hobby, but my mom made sure I knew how. I have a baby quilt waiting in the closet that needs to be put together, and I actually thought about pulling it out this weekend. And I hemmed Matt's pants this week. So domestic of me.
8. Mountain biking--I'm so glad it's almost biking season again. I do bike by myself (even in the woods sometimes). I figure I can always run over a creepy dude if it comes to that.
9. Yoga--That's a back up hobby too, but something I've done a half dozen times in the past few months to keep busy and unwind. I keep the yoga mat out just in case.
10. And I'd be lying if I didn't say #10 is the internet. I definitely use it more than TV when Matt's gone. I'm such an information junkie. Think about BF Skinner's rat experiment if you want to know why people are so addicted to the internet. A couple weeks ago I was online a lot planning our big 5 year anniversary vacation. That's done, so I've cut back. But still, there are knitting blogs and scrapbooking websites. So much to see.
Now that I'm tallying this list, I remember a few hobbies I once had, but have let go by the wayside. Guitar playing. Watercolor painting. Rollerblading. Hmm...
And three things I should be doing with my time, but haven't gotten around to yet...
- Re-writing my master's thesis so I can present and maybe, doubtfully, publish it.
- Our taxes (yeah, I know, April 15th is next Friday)
- The laundry. Usually I overlook that one until Matt gets home and does it all!
What to do next?