24 Things I Did While at Home (or The Bittersweetness of Road Tripping)

Taking this Monday off was a good decision.

Me avoiding work like....
Me avoiding work like….

I just got back from a pseudo “Winter Break”; once you exist in the corporate world, those breaks we took for granted as students now exist only with the furrowed reluctance of a boss, eliciting the half-hearted promise of my checking e-mail intermittently.

I haven’t been blogging because I was beginning to put pressure on myself to deliver a discernible thesis in each blog post. I realize now that I don’t have nearly enough “life lessons” and to offer, and I write with the frequency I desire, most of my content will be my musings, pictures, and lame attempts at humor. So, in order to keep the words flowing, I’m offering you my most broken-down version of my life- the bits and pieces that keep the larger lessons cohesive and provide a context for my thoughts (and for the exceptionally high-quality iPhone pictures I post alongside my words).

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iPhone, I love you, but what are these black blobs?

Last week, Matt and I packed up his old CR-V and headed up to Northern CA, where we’re both from. As much as I adore San Diego (and I still exclaim “oh F*$% yes!” every time I walk outside and encounter perfect weather), NorCal is home and I got increasingly excited as the scenery transitioned while we drove further and further north. We chose to drive because we’re dog parents now (ahhhhh), and there’s not really a better way to haul a 65-lb dog long-distance. So, we braved the holiday traffic and made the best of it. Spotify was a godsend.

Luna did pretty well in the car
Luna pretty much made herself at home in the car

First Stop: Venice, CA

My twin, Chelsea and her puppy Mila.
My twin, Chelsea and her puppy Mila.

Our good friend Chelsea lives in Venice CA (in the most amazing little midcentury apartment), and we decided to stop and have lunch with her so we could give Luna a break and run her around with Chelsea’s dog, Mila. We grabbed juices to balance out the Bloody Marys we’d enjoyed during lunch, and then hopped back on the road.

View from lunch
View from lunch- thanks, Chel!

Next Stop: Santa Clara, CA

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Matt’s parents live in Santa Clara, where we’d be spending the next 4 days. They have a little white, fluffy 8-lb dog (a Coton de Tulear ironically named Bear), and I’m convinced that Luna thought he was a squeaky toy.

Best Friends? Not really.
Best Friends? Not really.

In between running around after the dogs, I managed to get a yoga class in every day that we were at Matt’s parents’ house (shotout to CorePower Yoga, where multiple locations means NO EXCUSES to skip your workouts when you travel). I had the privilege of providing “adjustments” for students during a class at CorePower- super fun, great way to practice teach while on vacation! Matt and I also got a good hike in at Fremont Older (beautiful, hilly course for all you Bay Area hikers out there), where I posed for the obligatory yoga pictures. I know that there’s a really mixed opinion on the whole exhibitionist yoga craze, and I’m hyperaware of how embarrassing I’m being when I make Matt snap the 30th picture of me in Eka Pada Koundinyasana in order to get a better angle (props to my homies who know what I’m talking about). For now, I love sharing the fun parts of my asana practice in hopes that it inspires the people around me to start moving their bodies a little bit more.

Going for that extension
Going for that extension… this is what people do on hikes normally, right?

I also got to experience the greatness that is C.R.E.A.M.- They make customizable cookie and ice cream sandwiches (they have vegan options too, y’all!) and I fell in love that day.

I found love in a hopeless place
I found love in a hopeless place

Road Trip: Santa Clara to Gold River

On the morning of Christmas Eve, Matt and I repacked the car and took off up the Peninsula for a little pre-holiday meandering trip through San Francisco. My excitement piqued as SF skyline came into view, shrouded in a layer of fog as per usual.

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I compelled Matt to stop in the Marina for a cup of coffee, and we people-watched from Chestnut street as people ran their last-minute Christmas errands. We took a café table outside of a small coffee shop, and enjoyed simply being in the city, peripheral to the madness of Christmas with our parents and happy to be off of the road for a few minutes. Matt and I counted approximately 43 Patagonia jackets/vests, 6 Chloe bags, and 51 Giants hats walking by. Luna counted 12 pigeons.

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We hopped back in the car and elected to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge (singing at the top of our lungs the entire way) and into Sausalito. We strolled by the water, grabbed lunch (with a beautiful view), and finished up right as the sky opened and rain began to fall. We sprinted back to the car, giggling as we bounded through town with our clothes accumulating water. With a wet dog in tow, we made the final leg of the journey for the day- back to Gold River, where my parents live.

Getting saucy in Sausalito... amirite?
Getting saucy in Sausalito… amirite?

We spent the next few days in a constant state of holiday celebration: family rotated through the house, I met up with friends all over town, and Christmas cookies were devoured enthusiastically.

My mom made gingersnap waffles. She is a goddess.
My mom made gingersnap waffles. She is a goddess.

I love being home in the Sacramento area because the American River is so beautiful- Luna loved traipsing around on the dirt trails, and I feel a little guilty that I don’t take her trail running more often.

Luna getting cray on the trails
Luna getting cray on the trails

Last Leg: Gold River to San Diego

Back in the car. We left later than expected, maintaining distance from reentry into our “normal lives”, where there is a dearth of cookies and rivers, where work needs to be done and groceries need to be shopped for. We made a pit stop on the way out of Sacramento to meet up with a good friend of ours while fueling up on slightly burnt coffee from Starbucks, then resumed our march back down south.

ONWARD!
ONWARD!

I still feel like the entire trip was a whirlwind, and I didn’t really do half of the things I wanted to do (isn’t that always the case?). It made me think more seriously about the prospect of eventually owning my day; as I watched my PTO hours slip away like sand in an hourglass, I began to question the amount of money that my time is actually worth. We sell our days to the highest bidder, but what is the cost of selling your energy, your focus, your ability to do what you want throughout the week? It’s something that I’ve been struggling with recently, and I don’t really like to talk about it because I don’t like the perception of not being able to “cut it” in the business world. I see people that reject 8-5 life as “dropouts”, too soft for the hustle. In all honestly, I think most people I know would be much happier living in a yurt with 1/10th of their material posessions and 5x more exercise than they’re getting currently, but to advocate for a huge lifestyle change is to be a “quitter”, right?

Eka Pada Koundinyasana, if you were still wondering.
Eka Pada Koundinyasana, if you were still wondering.

Anyways, in the spirit of being introspective and planning for big changes, I’m using the New Year as a convenient time to ask myself what I really want out of my days. My New Year’s resolution list probably won’t look like the traditional one, in which we strive to lose a certain amount of weight, pick up a hobby, save a certain amount of money. I’ll work on putting some thoughts on paper, and I’ll share a list with you all later this week. I tried to write a list earlier, got distracted, and when I came back to it the only thing I’d written was “Hamstrings”, so there’s that. Let me know what’s on your New Year’s Resolution list (and friends, if I can help you achieve your goals in any way, let me know!).

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6 Comments

  1. Keep blogging! You kill it. You really hit home with the 8-5 pondering. Why is there something so disgraceful about wanting to make a lifestyle change? And why is it so hush-hush to talk about? 15 days of PTO a year is one of the lowest in the world; other countries have holidays cut out solely for travel, and generally embrace the separation of work and life. There’s all the canned responses here like “if it matters you’ll make time” or “if you loved what you did it wouldn’t feel like that,” both of which always sounded more smug to me than helpful. Of course I love what I do! But that doesn’t mean I don’t want free-time, time to wander aimlessly (scandalous, I know), time to think, read, paint, hike, explore, travel, do things I love doing. I mean, at the very least I’d like to not sit on my ass, indoors, 40 hours a week. And then there’s the guilt of how much money and effort went into getting my degree and the implications of tossing it aside when others don’t have those opportunities.
    Obviously I’ve thought about this before. I have no answers. In conclusion, we should move to Europe together and be gypsies.

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  2. YES to the feeling that leaving the 8-5 work means you can’t “cut it” in that world. But do we want to “cut it” at the expense of many of the things that make us whole? I just left my state job and that struggle is real. And it’s hard to talk about it with others. Keep asking yourself that question – what do you want out of your days? And let your answer affect your life!

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