|341–270 bc , Greek philosopher, who held that the highest good is pleasure and that the world is a series of fortuitous combinations of atoms
i have dubbed this blog Epicurus since purusit of pleasure is what provides us relief from stress and makes life even more interesting. i have also findly dubbed the blog content ‘i 3 e; what i do for eating (may include libations), exercise, and entertainment enjoyment. As I thought about what to blog about it occurred to me that I do nothing particularly spectacular to tell the world about. Well, perhaps I do upon occasion, but nothing that would provide fairly frequent fodder for blogging. So I retooled and asked myself what I engage in to take myself from the stresses of the world. At this time, that would require almost daily adventures into the 3 e-s. As a friend once said “I don;t think anyone died wishing they had worked more hours.” Having just earned tenure I realize more than ever how the 3 e-s helped me survive the years. And I realize how important they remain to continue to operate within a high stress environment. In addition, I am inspired (sort of) by Eleanor Roosevelt’s proclamation to “do one thing every day that scares you.” I say sort of because for some that could not only be a full-time job to get to scary, but also it could lead to unnecessarily crazy activities. So I prefer to translate that to scary OR new. The philosophy being we should test ourselves daily. This philosophy can be embedded in the activities of the 3 e-s.
So with that in mind, below I will summarize my intended approach to each of the e-s. While I define the parameters of each, I will include a highlight of each for me in the past year and a goal or dream highlight for each.
By nature I am a clean eater. I enjoy whole foods, especially fruit. I am a vegetarian and quasi vegan both out of preference and to some extent due to food intollerances. I prefer to focus on what I CAN eat rather than what I CAN”T. I also have a high metabolism so I tend to eat 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 large meals. I enjoy trying new recipes as well as falling back on old stand-bys. And sometimes I throw a new twist into an old stand-by. I really enjoy exploring new foods when I travel (an overlap with the third e; entertainment).
Flashback Highlight: I adjusted a recipe for pad thai to make it completely vegan. It was a fairly labor-intensive meal prep for me, but it came out to not only be one of the most beautiful meals I prepared, but it was very tasty. How can I order pad thai in a restaurant now!
Goal/Dream Highlight: I want to make a yule log this holiday season. I am not really a baker or dessert maker. I am a cook (thanks to hours of watching my mom in the kitchen while growing up. She taught me cooking is as much an art as it is a science). But a yuile log is something I have always been intrigued by over the years. So, I may take the Roosevelt plunge and try it.
i am an active individual. I grew up swimming on a swim team, rode my bike everywhere, and generally loved to try various sports. That earned me the tomboy label. I love today that girls and women can be athletic and not be negatively dubbed. I lived in Philadelphia a few years back and commuted by train to work. When the trains went on strike I had to find a way to work that did not involve driving. I had not purchased a parking permit at the academic institution where I worked. So I bought a bicycle. I rode it to work. Then I started riding it to the grocery store. Then I started riding it just to ride. Then I had to upgrade because I joined a local bike club and rode, rode, rode. It rekindled my youth and reminded me that the view from a bicycle seat is way more interesting than from the seat of a car. I feel more alive when I ride. I eventually did my first century ride and continue to do so upon occasion. I recently took up running again. I find it a nice alternative when I do short business trips where there is not time or bicycle to ride. Also, my dogs love to run with me. It is great bonding and quells the thirst my youngest husky has for wanting to pull a sled down a trail. About 7 years ago I snapped up the opportunity to learn rowing (crewing/sculling) with the Birmingham Rowing Club. I loved it!!!! The shell was like an extension of my body. A couple of years ago I bought a used Kettler Kadette rowing machine. It is a great alternative to riding and running and serves as my primary exercise when it is too cold outside for me to ride or run (I have severe cold-induced asthma). I used to belong to a gym but when I went quasi-vegan the weight fell off of me. Now I find that my various fun exercise outlets combined with lifting some hand weights and doing push-ups/pull-ups at home is all I need. I really exercise more for stress relief and reduction of ADD symptoms than I do for weight control. Finally, I tried aerial yoga this past winter. What fun!!!!
Flashback Highlight: On a whim, a friend and I tried paddle boarding on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga (a la Eleanor Roosevelt). That was fun! One day I will get a paddle board. I also found that an attachment can be purchased that converts the paddle board to a sculling vessel. That’s a must! Another thing, I did my first organized running event last Saturday (The WIll May 5 K). I really did not know what to expect. What I did learn was to move forward in the pack in the starting line up. I am not as slow of a runner as I had estimated myself to be.
Goal/Dream Highlight: My bucket-list item is to have cycled in every U.S. State, in every country, on every continent. Short term, I want to try bouldering. This is something my brother wants to try too, so it will be fun to do that with him (now that he and my sister-in-law are empty-nesters. And I plan to try my first triathlon (and maybe my last…a mini-tri of course) in Fall 2014. That’s another Eleanor Roosevelt moment. I am not fond of open water swimming, unless it is in crystal clear water.
This is a very broadly inclusive category. It cross-lists with the other two e-s too. It could be traveling, a backyard adventure, watching a TV show or movie, and just about anything that is not work (although work has its entertaining moments to say the least). I have several friends who are retired and travel a lot. They always ask me “What have you done for fun lately?” Compared to them, not much. But sometimes it is the little moments that add the spice to life. Last week I dragged my boxes of stained glass making equipment out of the attic. So I may be cutting up a bit soon. I love to explore the back alley ways of my summer home in Florida looking for errant mangos to be picked. The dogs love it too! And going off of the beaten path for cultural experiences when I travel is so much fun! And there is always the occasional peek under the house crawl space. The dogs and I have encountered glowing animal eyes there lately (Eleanor, are you pleased? The dogs sure are!)
Flashback Highlight: I went on a trip of a lifetime last summer. For my 50th birthday my mom took me on a Hampsten Cycling trip to Tuscany in Italy. It was so much fun and quality time with her. I rode with a great group of newly acquired friends. We learned to cook and ate well. and we had the very best gelato! So many moments I continue to hold as treasures in my mind! Did a side trip to Naples and Capri prior to boarding the train to Tuscany from Rome. The U.S. locales wildly beat their historic sister namesakes though.
Goal/Dream Highlight: My multistate/country/continental cycling goal applies here too. But upcoming I will be traveling with my brother, sister-in-law, and youngest niece to San Francisco and surrounding areas. My niece is shopping UC Berkeley (smart girl)! I am really looking forward to this. Never a dull moment with my brother. Ghirardelli here we come! Probably not on this trip, but someday I will ride my bike over the Golden Gate Bridge and continue on to Sausalito. And rowing in the waters there could be a fun adventure. My long time bucket list place is the Rock of Gibralter. When I was young there were two places I always said I would go to; 1) Death Valley and 2) the Rock. I sometimes thought I would live there. Fourty years later from those thoughts I visited Death Valley for three days of solo cycling (there you go, Eleanor!). It was hauntingly beautiful I want to go back some July and say I went to the hottest place on earth!
So this evening I raise a glass to a future of life pleasures. i 3 e!