if i had the time

By the Huron River
The Huron River is one of my most favorite–and peaceful–places on campus.

Too many things exist in this world that I want to see, do, and experience, and yet, I seem to never have the time. While having to listen to an episode of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour for my Syntax of Sports class, I couldn’t help but think about how I wanted to become a regular listener of the show, as well as sample many of the options on NPR’s site for podcast and others in the iTunes store or online. This caused me to spiral into a thinking storm about everything else I always want to do but can never get around to do them because life gets in the way. Our hours are tied up in school, work, clubs, and engaging with our family and friends. When we stumble upon free time, it usually goes towards catching up on sleep or de-stressing through whatever means necessary.

If I had the time, I would want to frolic in the Arb almost every day, or at least hold frequent picnics and runs in what I like to think as Ann Arbor’s forest. During warmer times, the Arb is a place free from air air pollution, the hustle and bustle of campus and generally, most people. The steps that lead into the Huron River is my favorite place to hang out within city limits. A close second is the meadow area, vast green open space where frisbees fly freely, kids act as kids, and the occasional lovers embrace each other under the shade of a large tree on a hot day. I spent many summer afternoons there last year tanning, reading, and feeling careless on my blanket I always carried around me. I also got used to taking power naps outside, something I never really embraced until last year either.

If I had the time, I would vary the places and topics in which I expanded my mind more. I’ve always wanted to spend an afternoon just reading a novel for pleasure in the Reading Room of the Law Library. I’ve also wanted to re-familiarize myself with the very particular rules of major sports so that when I watch them I know what’s going on at any given time and can speak intelligently about it. Also, I want to watch more sports documentaries and live of the great stories of our time. While I’ve watched over twenty of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, there’s so much more sports history to explore.

If I had the time, I would binge watch successful shows like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, which until today I have not seen a single minute of. Also, I would watch Academy Awards winners of years past and explore the stories of brilliant cinema throughout time. Then I would re-watch my ultimate favorites more, movies that can make me smile no matter how contrary I may be feeling otherwise.

If I had the time, I would practice activities where I lack good skills, like swimming. Swimming at the Bell Pool in the CCRB is something I do more when in the summer where scheduling an hour swim in my day won’t intrude on other obligations. As someone who only learned to swim when I was a freshman in high school, I still can’t do a regular freestyle stroke and opt for a modified side stroke to awkwardly flow through the water. It feels good and gets my heart pumping, even though it takes me about 50 minutes to swim a mile. I always wanted to swim properly, and would put forth the time required to reach that goal—if I had it.

If I had the time, I would also play the piano more and reignite the mastery I had with it when I played for six years in my youth. If I had the time, I would go on bike rides to nowhere more often, intentionally getting lost so that I may find my way back again and just enjoy the ride. I could go on and on about all the things I would do if I had the time. Hopefully these ideas and dreams can turn into stories of using my time how I’ve always wanted to use it. It’s just a matter of when that will be.

So, y’all, what would you do if you had the time?

 

Gabriella Ring

Gabriella is a junior majoring in International Studies. She has traveled abroad extensively and hopes to work in the cruise industry after graduation.

One thought to “if i had the time”

  1. Hey Gabriella,

    I really appreciated this post!
    Lately I’ve noticed that our society is always so caught up on “being busy”. It’s like the cool thing to say, and even when we don’t have a ton of stuff to do, we always feel like we have to. I’ve just been realizing how I only have a year of school left before I’m done with college, and there are a lot of things that I haven’t done that I really want to do. I would want to visit the Michigan theater more, learn how to play that thing at the top of the Bell Tower, and definitely go to the CCRB to work out. I think our mentality of “always being productive” gets in the way for us to “stop and smell the roses”. In the book “The Little Prince”, the little prince visits lots of planets where the adults live, and they’re all too busy caring about getting rich, being more powerful and such while the little prince just cares about doing more, learning more, and caring for his little planet. It kind of makes you wonder, what really matters to me in this life, and am I doing it?

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