Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Goal for 2014: Build Myself a Bigger Habitrail.

This is a Habitrail. It's a colorful series of tubes in which a small rodent lives, traveling endlessly on a closed circuit. I am feeling like that rodent. I've realized that over the last year my world has constricted down to a closed circuit, and most of it takes place within a five mile radius of my home. I work about 4 miles from home, and if I could figure out how to cross one six-lane road's heavy traffic I really could bike to work. I can shop, dine, swim, bike, get the dog groomed, go to a movie or the yarn shop, go to parks and just hang out, all within a few miles of my home.

On the one hand, it's great that I live in an area where all of the conveniences are so...convenient. I am very lucky and I know it. On the other, I do feel a bit like a hamster, never leaving my familiar, comfy tubes. There are things I'd like to do that I don't do, because I don't really want to do them alone, and coordinating schedules is so damn difficult.

This was illustrated for me this week, when a former co-worker tried to assemble a reunion/happy hour for those of us who worked for the same defunct homebuilder. It went under at the end of 2007, but many of us have kept in touch, at least in the "Facebook friends" sense. One ambitious soul sent out a private message to all of the former employees in her Facebook friend list, and proposed a happy hour get-together.

I am not kidding when I say the ensuing schedule discussion made D-Day look like an impromptu potluck. It went ON and ON, and a lot of people dropped out of the discussion. I think they finally settled on a date, but I can't remember when it is, and I'm not sure of the location, either. I might be able to make it, but it appears that the people who are gung-ho on doing it are not the people I worked with most closely, so I will probably pass. And so it goes.

I'm off to a women's social meetup in an hour, and I am going to put this to the group, and see if there are any other hamsters like me, who would like to expand their series of tubes. I'd like to "play tourist" - not at the theme parks, though they are fun, but by visiting some of the small towns around Orlando. The Orlando Sentinel recently ran a contest on "best other downtown" and the winner was DeLand. I've lived here over 30 years and have never even been there! It's always been just an exit on I-4 to me, a sign I drive past while on my way to somewhere else. I want to go check it out, wander, eat lunch, just do something off my very well-trodden path now and then.


Caroline aka FiberTribe said...

See this recent article in the NYT with a listing on St. Pete. New Dali museum? who knew!

Caroline aka FiberTribe said...

Found him! Al Burt was a columnist for the Miami Herald during my growing up years in Miami and later.
He loved off-the-beaten-track Florida and one of his books could be a guidebook to it.
Here's a link to a page about him. I bet you could find one of his books at the library or a good vintage/second hand book store or even online. Even though the info may be dated, you know how slowly small town FLA can change.
Plus, his papers are over in Gainesville and might be tacked on to a visit in that direction.

Brenda said...

Sounds familiar---especially during the winter. The weather here was so bad over the weekend that I didn't leave my house for about three days. I'm getting an extreme case of Cabin Fever and can't wait for Spring---I want to hit the kind of local yarn shops, which are about 60 and 80 miles away from me. (Even though I work in my LYS, I still love to visit other shops.) And quilt stores.

Catherine said...

Gainesville is two hours away, and St. Pete, at least 2.5! My weekends are divided between cleaning up the wreckage of my home that builds during the week, groceries, laundry, and recreation. I'm just planning to get out of my 5 mile radius and see some cute downtowns that are 40 minutes away, tops. And I don't need a guidebook on off-the-beaten-track Florida; I have plenty of "on the beaten track" within an hour that I rarely visit. :-)