And what, you may be wondering, have I been doing with myself when I'm not worrying about discourse on the experience of oppression?
I'm in an oddly peaceful little pocket of time here. At the end of this month I defend my dissertation, and at the start of the next month I begin my new job. Both of those things produce a certain amount of work, but not an avalanche of it. Certainly nothing on par with the work of actual finishing the dissertation.
My brother compared this moment in my life to waiting lazily on a train platform, watching the surroundings, in no hurry for the train to arrive but also certain that's it's puffing along on its way. It's a good metaphor.
Instead of doing something officially Vacation-Like--since FG, after all, is working hard and will be for a couple more weeks yet--I've instead be living life at a gentler pace. I work most days, but not terribly hard. I take breaks to walk in the park. I eat my way through the half-bushel of peaches FG bought me at a farm stand after I remarked that peaches are my favorite fruit and there are never enough of them. I invite myself over to see friends. (I need to do more of that.) I pester people on gchat. (Hi, Jess!) I find a sunny bench and smoke a small cigar. I take FG to thrift shops and watch her look mad sexy in any number of little dresses and things.
None of it is official Leisure Activity, either. I don't have a pile of summer novels to read or a summer project of painting a table. It's just... taking it slow, taking it all in. And when it works, it's been so, so nice. Walking back from the park the other day I had the sensation that the sunshine was actually soaking into the marrow of my bones.
It occurred to me that this is actually taking care of myself. That's not something I'm terribly good at. Much of my internal life has been structured by shame, guilt, and anxiety over failure. My Summer Vacation is, I hope, another step toward changing and healing that.
Special Bonus Picture: my own thrift-store find. The tragedy is that the pants were missing. But for $25, plus a little more for the tie, I wasn't complaining.