It's been awhile since I posted! The summer drifted by in a pleasant laze of trips to Grand Haven, learning to kayak both tandem and single, reading in the backyard or at the beach, binge-watching Netflix shows (The West Wing and Doc Martin), reading some more, and of course, job-hunting.

Oh job-hunting. These days I'm perfecting the art of the cover letter, networking like a boss on LinkedIn, and greedily gobbling up Forbes listicles about workplace etiquette, interview do's and don'ts, what you say with your body language, and best jobs for ISFJ personality types. (That's me!)

Here's me in my job-interview-ready fashion in July:

And here's today's interview look:

Oh and here's a picture of me kayaking for good measure:

I aim to start posting a little more frequently now that fall is here. In the meantime, hope you all had a great summer, and good luck to those of you who are starting school or who have kids starting school.

I color in several different coloring books when
I'm feeling anxious. This is one of them.

Last night I watched a new Netflix detective show, "Marcella." It stars one of my favorite BBC actresses, Anna Friel, of "Our Mutual Friend" fame. After two episodes of the show, I was a shaky, anxious mess.

If you don't like scary movies or serial killer plots, don't watch "Marcella."

After the show, I was pacing and jittery. I went for a walk. Only helped somewhat.

So my brilliant husband suggested I whip out one of my three adult coloring books and have at it.

Here's what I colored last night.

If you are anxious or stressed, it's a well-documented fact that coloring has amazing benefits for adults, including better focus and increased mindfulness. In an article for The Washington Post, psychologist Craig Sawchuk at Mayo Clinic said that coloring acts "almost like a volume knob to turn down the sympathetic nervous system, the stress response."

Still not convinced? Maybe a personal testimonial will help. Last night I was sure I would have nightmares because of watching that show, but after an hour of coloring I was calm and relaxed.

I slept like a rock.
The college whose outdoor track I like to use.

This spring, I've rediscovered my love of running or walking on the community college's outdoor track in our neighborhood. It's delightful to get there before the sun gets too warm and feel the breeze on my face and hear the birdsong in the air while I exercise.

I've also been pairing that time with some shameless people-watching. Here are a few things I've noticed about humanity while I pound the pavement:

1. Some people are grouchy. Say hi to them and they will pretend they didn't hear you, even though you know they aren't wearing headphones. I understand that for a lot of people, exercise time is "me time." But still, how hard is it to say hello back when someone says it to you?

2. Some people are toooo friendly. Recently I ran what was probably my best time because there was a guy leaning on the fence who kept staring every lap I'd make, and I didn't want to slow down and risk conversation with him. Now who's the grouchy one?

3. The neighborhood is full of life and beauty. We live in our town's historic homes district, and it is widely known to be one of the largest and prettiest in our state. Right now, there's a construction project going on across the street from the track, so it's fun to watch the crew as I make my way past them each lap. Construction crews are fascinating, the way they all know what to do and how to work together. And the neighborhood is green and full of flower gardens and people walking and biking and skateboarding. Like I said, full of life and beauty.

4. Sometimes people are odd. Yesterday I got to the track early, thinking I'd have it to myself, but there was a yogi with his mat in full downward dog. Right ON the track. I had to think about how I would politely ask him to move, and I had the speech all worked out, but then by the time I got around to him on the track, he had already moved. But as I got closer, I noticed he was only wearing boxer briefs. In public. Yuck!

5. The nurses are fun to watch. Right next door to the track there's a hospital, so a lot of nurses or support personnel like to come out to the track and walk during their breaks. As I pass large groups of them I hear snippets of conversation about what it's like to work in a hospital. It reminds me of stories from my mom, who is a retired nurse.

I could go on, but I'd rather hear your people-watching stories. Leave me a comment and we'll chat to our heart's content.