Category Archives: The Dog

Sunday With Bay

Today didn’t start out as the most delightful day.

First of all, it’s Sunday, and Sundays are always tough because I’ve finally realized* that regardless of age, whether 17 or 30-something, Sundays are a school night. Which is a disappointment, because in all your youthful naivety as a child, dreaming about the wonderful world of adulthood, you think you’ll be able to leave some of your responsibilities behind when you leave school and leave the nest, only to discover that you trade book reports for quarterly reports and at some point, when true responsibility smacks you in the face you realize that being an adult is not all that dissimilar to being a child, except that you can buy as much soda as you want without asking permission and in some cases, your parents’ advice might not have been so lame after all. Adult Sundays, much like childhood Sundays, are full of responsibility. The respite of the weekend is over, and the rat race of the real world looms ahead.

*Accepted.

Sundays, in short, can be stressful.

This Sunday in particular started off on the wrong foot entirely, as I woke up later than I’d intended* with a laundry list of to-do’s in mind, including getting out of the house since I’d spent Friday (luxuriously) relaxing at home and Saturday (miserably) lying around , fighting off either some manner of mild flu or food poisoning** and basically wasting a perfectly gorgeous California summer day feeling sick. Today (recuperated) I was STIR CRAZY but didn’t feel like I had quite enough time to take a long drive to the ocean as I wanted to***.

*God forbid I allow myself to sleep in for no good reason other than…to sleep.
**Friday night’s fish tacos may have been the culprit, although they were totally, totally worth it at the time.
**Not with a checklist running through my head like a bomb: do laundry, wash dishes, pay bills, work, walk dog, clean car, read news, return clothes, tick tick tick tick tick…

In lieu of the coast – an hour+ drive away in any direction – I opted to find a local park for both Bay and I, something I’ve done a handful of times at most since I’ve lived here in the past year (because, when the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean could be right in front of you, why would you settle for a slough?).

After some quick Internet research (thank you, Yelpers) I found a park that was close enough to not take the whole day, allowed dogs and seemed to have some kind of water views, so we ended up at Bedwell Bayfront Park in Menlo Park, bordering the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the unique salt evaporation ponds.

The park doesn’t look like much, except that when you arrive, you might see egrets stalking quietly in the marsh, or any of over 160 other species of birds. And hiking to the top of the rolling hills, you might be surprised at the expansive views of the park, the wetlands and the salt ponds, and upon descending down into the center of the park, with the hills creating a barrier from the freeway, even more surprised at the quiet and serenity.

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My old dog couldn’t make it very far, but it was far enough for us to have finally enjoyed simply being OUT this weekend, exploring new terrain and discovering another place in the Bay to call ours.

So, as with many things that start poorly, my Sunday ended up being delightful instead of stressful, and – even in this small adventure – wonderfully memorable. In 5 years I’ll never remember how much laundry I completed on this Sunday, but I’ll certainly remember a happy little hike with my happy little dog.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what life is all about?

The Benefits of Being Unproductive

Sometimes nothing gets done.

Sometimes you run around like crazy trying to multitask 17 things at once and after an hour you look around to discover you’ve created more piles of papers and a longer to do list than when you started whatever project kicked off this frenzy of “productivity”. Dishes are half emptied in the dishwasher and half washed in the sink and laundry is to be both folded and dried, since you so “efficiently” started both the washer and the dryer at the same time, not thinking ahead to when they would both be DONE at the same time. Sometimes you look around and all of a sudden it’s two hours later than you wanted it to be before you got back to work for the second time for the day and you realize you didn’t send the one personal email you meant to send today – the one that would have taken you 30 seconds to send but you just.didn’t.do it. – but that you DID manage to unsubscribe yourself from some of the clutter of email subscriptions you always swore you’d read because surely they would be educational/inspirational/helpful but that you’ve never once opened*. You lament that you’ve neither worked out (there’s always tomorrow, right?) nor eaten a proper dinner and in your overwhelmed assessment of all these things you wonder just how early you can reasonably go to bed and put it all off until tomorrow, since clearly there’s just no point in continuing in this way tonight** because nothing is going to get done.

*Much like the magazine subscriptions that pile up on your coffee table and taunt you with their pristine covers that you’ve yet to touch because despite their glossy appeal you simply can’t find time to read them cover to cover like you want so you don’t read them at all.
**Except that if you go to bed, you’ll just start all over tomorrow, and you’d really rather not.

But you don’t go to bed, because there’s work to be done – actual work, the kind that pays your bills – so you sit down, in despair (just for a minute), and your dog promptly climbs into your lap, as he is wont to do when you sit down (because you never do) and you realize that while you took him for a walk, which was good for his health, and fed him, which was a requirement, you didn’t LOVE him properly today, which he needed. And then you are pinned to the floor by your little being who loves you unconditionally and doesn’t care that your dishes are undone and who is just happy to occupy your human space for a while, and have a revelation about your busyness, which you’ve been pondering for some time. And in that brief moment of quiet, you are madly inspired to write, which you’ve been wanting to do since your last post and somehow just haven’t found the time or the inspiration to, and you realize that it’s difficult to write when your hands are constantly plunged into the sink full of dishwater, or folding endless loads of self-created laundry, or weighted with groceries from errand-running or occupied by your phone and that every now and again, stopping being busy with what you think you should do and allowing yourself to be busy with what you love to do is actually a very good use of time indeed.

Sometimes nothing gets done because you are sitting down for a while, and that is exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

Relaxing with Baylor