Why Back to School Still Means Something To Me
September always brings up back to school vibes. I love a good stationary set, and my heart beats a little faster when I see all the cool school supplies at Staples when I’m in making copies. As a serial list-maker, I love any excuse to list out some goals and resolutions, and look back over what I’ve written on New Years or for past back-to-school seasons. Fall just makes you want to ~start fresh~ for some reason—and that’s something I’ve always loved embracing because who doesn’t love a chance to recommit to goals, rethink what you’re doing, and make a few lists in the process?
Maybe part of my love for this time of year is because, as I’ve said before, as a cyclocross racer, I always had a new season hitting right around the time school was back in session. This year, I won’t be working with Aspire Racing anymore—sadly, that team ended in January—and I won’t be mounting a comeback CX campaign. I have my own whacky goals and resolutions that cyclocross factors into (couldn’t leave altogether!) but for the first fall in almost 10 years, it’s not a priority.
(That’s a weird thing to write.)
But I wasn’t working on this blog to talk about cyclocross. I wanted to talk about back-to-school vibes. I see it as a great chance to look back on New Year’s Resolutions—like my one-word resolution ‘COMMUNITY,’ and to think about how I can end 2018 on a high note, and start 2019 on the right track.
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This year, my one word resolution was community. Now that it’s “back to school” time, I started thinking about how much I’ve taken that to heart so far this year—and how I’ve found a bunch of amazing communities that made me feel so at home! Shredding on @bikereg_sharecoffee with some old and new friends, helping start @collingwood_offroad_ with my new home crew, meeting amazing women runners with @runhardmomhard , and helping @ellenlikesbikes with the #encxquest and so many other rad adventures… I feel more connected than I’ve ever been and I am so damn happy about it. The outdoors community is, as always, making my heart feel full. 🖤 #ridelikeagirl #runlikeagirl #Shredgirls
My COMMUNITY game is running strong, and all I can think of to improve on that is just enjoying it as much as possible. I have a few new communities I’m working on building this fall, including a couple of new yoga classes I’m running on Mondays at Active Life here in Collingwood. I’m also starting to help with coaching high school cross-country here in town (holy crap, I’m actually going back to school!). And there are a few Shred Girls events on the horizon as well—plus, of course, I’ll be catching up with my forever-favorite cyclocross community in Madison for the first World Cup of the season.
But with all of that written out, there are a few other things I want to explore this fall…
(More Concerted) Frugal Living
I’ve thought about this a bunch in the past but haven’t really ever acted in any real way on it. But let’s be honest: the adventuring, outdoorsy life ain’t cheap. Add on top of that a love of fashion (well, my own version of it), and the fact that after a year, we’re finally making the condo more like a home than a compilation of old cheap stuff, it hasn’t been the cheapest existence lately. Add on top of that the fact that I still travel a lot, almost always on my own dime, to be at events that aren’t paying me anything, but that I really believe in and want to support, and it gets tricky. I’d like to be a little more conscious of my spending, and cut out the unnecessary stuff in favor of things like putting more into our mortgage. That means more saying no—to some events that I can’t fiscally justify, to buying the new sweater when it’s on sale, to the shiny new bike… I feel like that’s something I can definitely improve on, as unsexy and dull as that sounds.
Run What You Brung
Sort of a tie-in to the above, but as I looked through years of back to school posts and notebook entries I’d written, so many of them came back to embracing this one specific style (sort of a gothy surfer with buttons). Years that I’ve made a sartorial resolution? 22. Since I was 9 and started this $hit. Years I’ve been able to look back and say, ‘Yeah, I made that happen’? Maybe 2? Years that I’ve bought clothes with that in mind? 22. See the problem here? I have literally decades worth of clothing and a style that’s largely unchanged, and somehow, I keep buying stuff thinking it’s going to make me actually start dressing up. You know what’s going to make me start getting dressed? GETTING F***ING DRESSED. So… that’s a thing.
(The same applies to the fact that I’m trying to convince myself that I *need* more running shorts and tops and a new running watch since I’m starting with the XC team this season. NOPE. I have an Apple Watch and at least 5 pairs of shorts that fit reasonably well. That excuse is NOT going to fly.)
Read More (Real Stuff)
Says the bookworm. But seriously, I have a pile of books that I’ve been hoping to get to—more on the ‘great literature’ or ‘serious reading’ side of things—that don’t get cracked open often enough. I may need to institute a ‘if you don’t read it in a year, you get rid of it’ challenge to myself, because I will go to great lengths to preserve my pretentious literature collection.
(Keep up with the athletic side of that on the Athletic Bookworms page!)
More Date Nights
Did I mention we finally booked a honeymoon, two years after the fact? (It’s been a struggle to find downtime where we weren’t traveling for work or hadn’t just gotten back and needed a break at home.) So that’s booked for December, but before then, I want to make more time for actual dates, not just business-meetings-where-there’s-wine, which is what most of Peter and my evenings tend to look like. Bringing this back to point #2 about style, I’d like to get more dressed up, even for dinner at home, and spend more time on that side of life. (Also, this is leading up to Molly’s Dachshund Resolution for 2019.)
OK, now that I’ve decided I really want to buy a new backpack, I am going to re-read this, avoid going to the store today, and get on with enjoying this first week of school—including actually going back to school with my first XC practice tomorrow! (Eeep, what am I going to wear?!)
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