This post was written on November 1st
I knew it was just a matter of time before my newfound relaxation was going to turn into boredom, but I was hoping I’d be able to stave it off for a bit. Unfortunately, it’s here. Yesterday was Halloween and it felt very strange for me to not be celebrating. So instead, I spent the day contemplating what I could be doing in various places in my house. Laying in bed, “maybe I should just keep reading”. Laying on the floor after doing sit-ups, “maybe I could watch a movie”. Sitting on the couch after my computer died in the middle of the first episode of ER, “maybe I should cook something, I’ve been meaning to try to make kettle corn”. Standing in my kitchen after deciding to not make kettle corn and instead eat a cookie, “I guess I could write some letters”. And so on and so forth. It got to the point where I couldn’t wait until it was dark and I could go to bed without feeling bad about myself.
Part of it is the heat, when it 99°F outside and my plaster house retains the heat so it’s really like 105°F inside, it’s hard to want to do anything. It’s also that this is more free time than I’ve ever had. When I was a kid, I was always at work with my mom and busy. When I started college, I was taking 20 credits and working four jobs. When I was in grad school, I was taking more than a full time load and working. I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m alone with this much time. There isn’t anywhere in the community I could go either unless I want to be ridiculed for my lack of Setswana at some random persons house because all the people I know are gone on the weekends.
When I’m bored in the states, I eat. I’m trying really hard not to do that here because it’s really not healthy and I don’t want to lose my momentum of losing weight (I’ve lost nearly 40 pounds). I tried filling my time with extra exercise, but there are only so many squats I can do when my legs are already tired from trudging through loose sand all week. I’ve been reading a lot (5.5 books this week alone), but that’s a lot of new information for my mind to assimilate, so I can’t fill all my time with that. I can watch about 2 movies before my computer battery dies, so that doesn’t get too far. And then once it’s dead, I can’t easily work on my community assessment or writing. I’ve been writing Christmas cards, but I get terrible cramps from my shoulder down through my wrist if I do that too long as well. I can write these blog posts, communicate with friends, and play solitaire on my phone, but my phone battery only lasts so long as well. So now I spend a fair amount of time chasing flies around my room trying to kill them and I’ve taken to learning all the solitaire games in the According to Hoyle book. It’s keeping me occupied for now. Maybe I just need to get a little more creative with how I occupy my time. Hey, I’ve got 2 years to figure it out, right?