- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2006

I’m having guilt issues.

The problem with living in a city with 1,000 different things to do is that you feel like you have to be doing them. All the time. No matter how grumpy, no matter how tired, no matter how comfortable your couch looks after a long day.

Come hell or high water (most recently, the latter), you, Washington intern, should be out there soaking up the city. You should be touring the Smithsonian and going to performances at the Kennedy Center and trying new restaurants around Dupont Circle and meeting new people in Georgetown because you’re here for only eight weeks, durn it, and you better take advantage of it.

I’m trying, really I am, but I don’t know if I can keep up the pace. And every time I pause to take a breather, I’m plagued by the nagging feeling that every still moment is a moment wasted.

My guilt is compounded by the fact that various friends and relatives are living vicariously through me.

“What did you do today?” my mom asks on the phone, and I know she expects to be entertained with stories of me seeing and doing the things you can only see and do in Washington.

I can’t disappoint.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this city. I love that you can’t turn a corner without running into a museum you haven’t toured or a restaurant you haven’t tried. I try to do or see something new every day, and I spend as few waking hours as possible at my apartment.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to live and work in Washington. But just once, I wish I could sleep past 9 a.m. on a Saturday and not feel guilty. No matter where I am, sometimes slumber is the only place I want to be.

Anne Malinee, from Kansas, is in the Class of ‘07 at Vanderbilt University.

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