The anatomy of a good day

Today was a good day.

I’ve been fighting a chest infection this week, and last night’s round of relentless coughing lasted until about 3:00 a.m. So when my alarm started going off at 7:00 a.m., I made an executive decision: today was a day to sleep in. Getting up early and having a routine is good, but I’m learning that rest is good, too. When I finally rolled out of bed around 10:00 a.m., I actually felt ready to start the day.

Fast-forward two hours, and my day was actually beginning. I stopped by the office in my department to pick up the key to my supervisor’s office. Yes, a key. To an office. That I get to use when I’m working. Oh, right, I might have failed to mention a bit of news: I have a job! I’m working as a research assistant with two faculty members in my department, and I get to do all kinds of fun things, including (but not limited to): sitting in an office for several hours sending emails and playing internet detective. It’s great.

After a few hours of work I ran a few errands. Stopped by the post office, picked up some prescriptions, got a few notebooks, then headed to the postgrad common room to get some reading done. After a bit of reading I made my way to my only lecture of the day: a text analytics course I’m auditing in the computer science department.

Two hours later and it was time to walk home. One of my friends is taking the class as well, so we planned on walking home together. As we left the building and walked out into the now dark and windy evening, I looked up at one of the lampposts and smiled. It was snowing.

Friends and family from home have been sending me pictures of the snow that now covers the ground in Michigan, and for the first time in a long time I have been missing the white and fluffy stuff. From the safety of the building overhang, it looked like proper snow tonight. My friend noticed as well, and I realised this was the first time she had ever seen snow. For a few moments I was so happy: this is winter.

Then we stepped out into the lovely stuff, and immediately I realised something was off. This was not snow. Was it sleet? No. Freezing rain? Kind of, but not quite. All I know is the wind was howling, I was freezing, and this stuff was not the snow I was longing for.

As we stumbled in to our flat, a bit windblown and wet, we both made our way to the kitchen. Another friend and flatmate was already there, and we spent the next hour or so talking, drinking hot tea, and eating our varied attempts at dinner. One by one we left the kitchen and wandered back to our rooms.

I got back to my room and propped my door open, a habit I’ve developed since moving here. I remember being told that keeping your door open invites friends and conversations. While this is true to an extent, I find it’s also a really great motivator to keep my room tidy.

I checked the time, realising it was almost 7:00 p.m. I had some reading to do, but I decided to first spend some time cleaning. A new development in my life is that I find cleaning relaxing. I know, strange. I’ve also found that I work a lot better with a clean desk (which, quite honestly, is probably one of the motivating factors for writing this tonight – clean desk, clean mind).

After cleaning up a bit, I spent a bit of time editing an essay for someone else, also a task I kind of love doing. As I was getting ready to send the edited file, one of my flatmates was getting home from playing football. Outside. In the imposter snow.

After assuring me that she wasn’t completely frozen, she excitedly told me she was given tickets to a football match in town this Saturday. She was meant to only have one ticket, but when she told the person handing them out that her friend’s birthday was this Saturday (that friend being me) they gave her extra tickets! So after a slightly entertaining round of knocking on doors and accidentally waking up one of our flatmates, we determined who was going to the match. I spent the rest of the evening talking to my mom on Facebook and writing this strange little post.

I’m not sure why today felt like such a good day. The extra sleep was helpful. I started my workday a bit late, but it was still productive. Nothing terribly exciting happened, unless you count the snow and the football tickets. I suppose my accidental discovery that pesto plus rice equals freaking delicious was a bit exciting.

I think I liked today because it felt normal. There was time for rest and time for work. I ran a few boring but necessary errands. I spent some time with the people that have slowly gone from flatmates to friends. Nothing spectacular, but in its own way kind of wonderful.

Today I was home. I was in Colchester. At the University where I study and work. In the flat where I sleep, read, cook, write, hang out, live.

It’s temporary, and I know this. Give me a few hours (or a few minutes) and again I will be thinking about where home is meant to be a year from now (answer: no freaking clue). But for now this is home, and I’m so glad that this is where I am right now.



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