One thing that helps keep me going is thinking of all the fantastic things I will get to do once all of this is over! I will technically still be working after I defend (my appointment ends in June, I believe), but I don’t intend to do anything too complicated because I definitely need a break! It’s so close now, I can almost taste it all…I am so ready.

First of all, I’m finally going to start cooking again. I do still cook as much as I can, but I’m relying heavily on simple, quick-fix meals in my repertoire that I don’t have to think too much about, or ones that DH knows how to cook, as he does a lot of the meal prep for dinner most days. Unfortunately, most of these meals get repetitive and don’t feature as many veggies as I’d prefer to prepare for us. It takes quite a bit of time to be creative and find new recipes that incorporate a variety of foods to keep things exciting. Once you get them down, they become part of the repertoire, but it’s a slow process for me. Plus, with spring and summer coming, new foods and cooking methods abound! Out with the endless soups and casseroles, in with grilled veggies and fresh fruit. Yum, yum!

Related to food, I also plan to tend a veggie garden again this year. The weather is unseasonably nice for March (usually our snowiest month), and while I don’t want to rush things as there’s always a chance for snow through May, it’s already time to get the garden beds ready. Once I am done, I’ll have time to plant veggies, sow in rotation for continuing harvests through the season, and water (or plan some sort of drip system, which I’m very motivated to do this year). I already have some lettuce coming up in a planter, too! I’m super excited for gardening and plan to enjoy it when I’m done.

I also plan to exercise! I am sick of sitting at this desk in this chair for hours on end. I am not the world’s fittest person anyway, but I do try to get out and do some cardio and strength training every week. That’s gone down the tubes the last month, but I will get back into it when my time frees up. With the weather getting nice, I have grandiose plans of becoming a runner, too (I’ve tried at different times, but I always get off track and never can climb back on). Then more strength training and flexibility and stretching. I know I’m so out of shape right now that it’s going to hurt to get started again, but I’m determined!

There are also a ton of craft and home projects I want to get back into, most of which are on my 101 in 1001 list. The top priority is painting most of the trim and baseboards in the house. I’ve been putting this off for three years, ever since we repainted the walls and thought we might get new carpet and didn’t want newly-painted trim to get banged up. I was a little sloppy with the trim thinking it would get done soon…oops. I just bought the paint last weekend, so I am ready to jump on it. My second project will be making a home inventory.This involves going room to room and cataloging what you own and all its value, essentially what it would cost to replace if your whole house burned down or you got robbed. Your normal home owner’s insurance policy covers some percentage of your home value to go toward personal effects, but you typically have absolutely no idea how much it would actually cost to replace everything, especially if you’ve got nice clothes, fancy electronics, expensive instruments, professional tools and the like. We initially wanted to do this out of curiosity, but it is really practical to know in case you need to adjust your insurance coverage, and better to do it now than after your house burns down or blows away. You can’t just assume it will never happen to you.

I am also determined to finish knitting this one blanket I started over a year ago. Maybe closer to two. It’s knit in individual squares that are then seamed together at the end, and I’ve just been so slow finishing it. It’s bright and colorful and just interesting enough without being too complicated; I have no idea why I haven’t gotten into it. I have had exactly 0 % knitting motivation recently, but I intend to get the darned thing done now.

I also want to get out and about! We’d like to take a trip this summer, but we’re just playing that by ear. Even if we don’t go anywhere big, I’m still ready to get out of the house and go explore Colorado or surrounding areas.

Since I still don’t have a plan (i.e. job) after I finish, I really don’t know how the whole summer is going to play out. Are we going to have to move and sell the house? Will we stay here a few more months, or few more years? So I do have to keep that on the radar. However, I think most of my plans I can do regardless of other circumstances. I’m just so darned ready to get some semblance of a real life back. I’d say it can’t come fast enough, but I still have a lot to do in the meantime!!

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