Winter break is amazing


Edith here. I survived another grueling, 10-week quarter at school. Now, it seems less coincidental that my last post was in late August. It was the most difficult academic quarter yet and might have been the most stressful season of my life, with five classes, three jobs, adjusting to living in a house with fifty-plus people, and coping with the transition away from freshman year and its constant programming and support. For the first time in my life, I discovered my limits. There was only so many minutes in each day, and I could not be happy waking up each morning feeling that they had all been stolen from me, whisked away because of how much I had decided to scoop onto my plate.

I am taking winter break to reflect on how extremely privileged I am that ten weeks at a private university was one of the more difficult times in my life… I was/am well-fed, clothed, healthy, independent, free, loved, cared for, in the company of friends, with the opportunity to get secondary education, facing none of the more treacherous obstacles in life. In fact, I have never faced or experienced many of these obstacles. I think that if I had reflected on this more often during the school year, I might have had a better outlook on my classes and problem sets.

It is jarring to settle into this temporary life of idleness. I cannot even come up with the first item on a to-do list for myself. Really, I don’t know whether to feel relieved or constrained by the lack of direction offered by a schedule this empty. For a week now, I have gotten up later than 9am to fill my days with Netflix, Youtube, and in smaller portions, meeting with friends, reading, and spending time with my family. My hope is that during the next two weeks of break, I can swing the balance away from Netflix and Youtube towards walks in the park with my dog, coffees with people from high school that I have been meaning to text, and basketball games with my dad. Here’s to hoping.

Chris and I are still together. And still vegan together! Though, as usual, his passion burns more brightly than mine. It’s okay. It’s nice to have someone keeping me in check.

Is this what bloggers do? Do they ramble on and on while curled up in bed, without any regard for the time or mental fortitude it may take for others to read their words?

So, January 1st is coming up soon. Woo-hoo! This next thing wasn’t inspired by the New Year, but it kind of goes with the theme. I really, really, really want to start a shopping ban. An indefinite shopping ban, with the goal of at least a year to give myself something to work toward. As you may know, I am a sucker for personal finance, and while revisiting some of my personal finance role models this break, I rediscovered Cait Flander’s Year of Less Challenge. The challenge is pretty perfect, incorporating personal finance, environmentalism, and minimalism. I’ve definitely drastically pared down the number of items I purchase since beginning college, but I’d like to stop slip-ups by making it a hard and fast challenge for myself. Hmm, I’m wondering if I could get Chris to embark on this too…

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