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Day 76

It’s sunscreen season once again! Today is June 1.

I rolled out of bed this morning at 9:40 a.m. to get ready for my 10 a.m. bike ride with my parents. I tossed on some comfortable exercise clothes, tied my hair in a low braid (to be comfortable with my helmet) and generously applied sunscreen to every uncovered patch of skin on my body. I am pale by nature, so I have to wear plenty of SPF 100 and higher whenever I’m outside, especially during the summer months, or else I’ll turn the color of a lobster, which is not a pleasant experience.

Initially my parents and I had planned on biking together, but for some reason I was in a crabby mood and ended up deciding in a huff to simply ride alone instead of going with them. After they left, I filled up my water, checked the air in my tires, put on my sunglasses and headphones (plus a fun playlist of upbeat music) and headed out. I’d forgotten to make sure my gears were working well, though, and about halfway up the hill that is close to our driveway I tried to switch gears and ended up having issues. I was able to switch fine between one and two, but any time I tried to get into third gear the chain wouldn’t move. I got off my bike for a bit and fiddled around with the chain, but all I ended up accomplishing was covering my hands in grease and grime.

The ride itself was actually really lovely, despite my unpleasant start. I followed a gravel road near our house that loops around in a big circle, which makes for a great trail to follow. I don’t usually bike with headphones in because I find it dangerous, especially if I’m on a road with cars, but because I knew my path isn’t a high-traffic area I felt comfortable listening instead of simply hearing the crunch of gravel under my tires for an hour. By the time I got home an hour later, I’d listened to 21 songs and was feeling exhausted and happy.

The ride itself was actually really lovely, despite my unpleasant start. I followed a gravel road near our house that loops around in a big circle, which makes for a great trail to follow.”

Even though I hadn’t gone biking in about seven months, I didn’t fully realize how out of shape I would be with the activity. I brought water but didn’t drink much, so I was dehydrated when I got home. The whole ride was beautiful, and because I hadn’t waited too long to go the heat wasn’t as intense as it could have been. I enjoyed being able to be out in nature and simply concentrate on the repetitive task of peddling. I could clear my head and simply smile without any other stressors or worry. I didn’t even really feel worried about potential exposure to the coronavirus because the longest interaction I had with anyone lasted about three seconds as we passed one another on the road.

When I got back home I washed the dirt off my legs (which had kicked up off the gravel) and face because I’d rubbed off my sweat with grease covered hands and left dark marks under my eyes. I brought my phone, headphones, sunglasses and water bottle out to our hammock and sat under the trees for about 45 minutes. It was beautiful and utterly relaxing to be able to close my eyes and fade away into the world around me. I know later this week the weather is supposed to get warmer, but for now I’m going to soak up every minute of semi-cool air I can.

My grandpa stopped by the house after his doctors’ appointments a little before 1 p.m. to see if my mom was home, but she and my dad were at the store. We talked for a while, but when my mom called him back on his cellphone he drove away to speak with her. I hope he and his knees are doing well, and I’m sending all my love his way. After he left I decided to head inside to get something to eat. I wasn’t in the mood to cook, so I ended up having a bowl of cheerios and a banana to ease my appetite. I watched Netflix for a while then talked with my mom when she got home. My brother and dad played tennis in the afternoon, but I opted to stay home and relax instead of joining them. I want to get back to playing, but I’m waiting to hear from my brother’s friend about lessons before I commit fully to the sport. I miss volleyball a lot, especially because of the camaraderie it offered, and I’m hoping to fill the void a little with another sport this summer.

“In the afternoon I had the pleasant surprise of being able to connect with and officially meet my suite mates for next year. I already think my roommate and I will get along well. From the limited knowledge I have about my suite mates, I’m pretty sure there are no glaring red flags I need to keep my eyes open for at the moment.”

In the afternoon I had the pleasant surprise of being able to connect with and officially meet my suite mates for next year. I already think my roommate and I will get along well. From the limited knowledge I have about my suite mates, I’m pretty sure there are no glaring red flags I need to keep my eyes open for at the moment. I still don’t know what the plan for college is next year, whether we’ll be on campus or not, but I’m optimistic that if we are I’ll have a few people I’ll click with from the start, which will be a nice introduction to post-secondary education. I’m contemplating taking an online course this summer to get ahead and free up my schedule, but I’m going to need to talk more with my parents, brother and potentially an academic advisor before I make any final decisions.

For much of the evening, my parents and I hung out downstairs and watched Chuck. I love having a show to share with them, especially one that makes me and my mom laugh as much as this one. I’m sure we annoy my dad to no end with how frequently we talk on top of the dialogue, but so far he’s been a good sport and not become too frustrated with us. When we called it quits at long last and went our separate ways, I realized I needed to email a person in college administration about a question I had for a class I’d applied for, so I quickly drafted and sent a message. I hope I’ll hear back soon with the answer I want, but either way one class won’t make or break my college experience. 

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

David Steindl-Rast

Now that I feel like summer has officially started, I don’t want to take any of my free time for granted. I only have about two and a half months before I’m back in school (in whatever form that takes), so I want to make each day count. I’m tired of sleeping in until noon and being unproductive, so from now on I’m resolving to do at least one healthy and beneficial activity a day to see the positive ways my life can change in two months. I might not have the traditional routine of school I enjoy, but I’m going to make my own schedule so I don’t slack off and see how I can grow and flourish with this new mindset.

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ― David Steindl-Rast

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