finding oneself content

These are the dog days here in the Midwest U.S.

I find myself constantly perspiring, complaining, and shoveling frozen fruit concoctions into my mouth.  So far, the summer has been a  hodgepodge of these — inconsistent and/or extreme weather, and lots of food.  I try not to get accustomed to air conditioning, but right now I’m escaping in my perfectly chilled bedroom, with a frozen banana and peanut butter smoothie in one hand.

I haven’t done anything exciting this season, to be completely honest, and I think that today I finally came around to appreciating that.  For a long while, I confused stability with monotony, believing that day jobs and long-term plans were equivalent to perpetual boredom.  Somehow in there, I forgot that if you happen to enjoy what you’re doing, time escapes you.  That’s how I happened to let an entire month pass since my last visit here.

And not much has changed!  And I love that right now.  In a few hours, I may feel differently.  But considering how much time I spend writing and talking about change, and how difficult it is, and how it is an unavoidable part of life, it’s rather refreshing to consider how consistency can affect you in new ways.  (One of those ways is occasional boredom, which reminds us that, whether or not we think so, we really do enjoy constantly-changing lives.)

So here are some things that I’m enjoying right now, as some other parts of life float on:

    • The Shakespearean Jazz Show.  They’re performing in Boston tonight and tomorrow!  Be there or be square (if you happen to be in Boston).
    • Outside Magazine.  Let’s pretend I had more time and money for adventures.  This is the kind of life I’d be living.
    • Rock climbing.  I’m jumping on this trend.  Hard.  (And a little bit late, apparently.)
    • The Mask You Live In.  Do yourself a favor and help get this movie made.
    • Miranda July’s We Think Alone.  Surprising profundities in your inbox every week.
    • This American Life celebrates 500 episodes!
    • The Bar Method.  I’ve been lean and mean with The Bar Method for the last 5 months, and I can’t say enough good things about it!  Find a studio near you and take a free trial class ASAP.

And, of course, books (all links lead to excerpts): Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I Leave You.  Liao Yiwu, For A Song and a Hundred Songs.  Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass. (Always, but especially in the summer.)  George Packer, The Unwinding.  Anything by Brian Greene, Peter Singer, Anne Carson, Haruki Murakami.  It’s an eclectic list, but “I am large, I contain multitudes.”  (See what I did there?)

Stay cool, my friends,

– R

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