Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The (Responsibly, Sustainably, Productively) Merrie Month of May

It's May first today, and so of course I'm beginning a new life. It's also the penultimate month of my two blissful years in Indiana. As I think about leaving Indiana toward the end of June, I'm wild to cram this new month's new life as full as I can of Indiana joys, and I already have an impressive list planned, including all the pleasures associated with commencement at DePauw, and attending the 37th annual Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous, a Revolutionary War reenactment in the former territorial capital of Vincennes, Indiana's oldest continuous European settlement (dating from 1732), not to mention evening walks with a friend and her darling little dogs, and a round of farewell breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with friends who will be heading elsewhere for the summer.

But for me a new life can never be built entirely around fun and games. I want to "be intent on the perfection of the present day" (William Law), but it has to be the productive perfection of the present day, or else I'll be consumed with guilt and stress. I need to finish writing my current book project (a middle-grade time travel story set in Indiana - what sweeter place to write it than here?) and to proceed with the editing of my Ethics and Children's Literature volume now that revised submissions from the last round of editing are coming in.  

And of course I don't want to spend inordinate amounts of money or gain inordinate amounts of weight during my productively perfect days, either. I want to have frugal, healthful, productively perfect days.

Luckily, all of those things go together.  I'm happiest when I'm making progress on work I love; I'm happiest when I'm walking everywhere rather than driving anywhere; my happiest non-work activities tend to be those that cost little. E.g., I'm staying with a dear high school friend for the Vincennes Rendezvous; a pre-purchased ticket for the daytime activities is $7; the candlelight evening tour of the historic sites is free.

So right now I'm going to eat a leftover Jimmy John's cinnamon stick waiting for me in the Prindle Institute fridge (free; calories already pre-burned by walking 45 minutes to work in the early morning along Nature Park trails); then I'll scribble for a bit on my book-in-progress. At 4:15, I'll attend the final monthly advisory board meeting for the Prindle Instiute.  Oh, and it's Wednesday, which means half-priced flavored martinis at the Swizzle Stick (a great bargain), and this evening there is an open-to-the-public, end-of-term reading by DePauw creative writing faculty, which should be wonderful. 

Sounds like a productively perfect day to me.

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