It is Sunday and I am exhausted. A lovely exhaustion, the result of healthy fun and sunshine, family and exercise. It was the kind of weekend I have been too busy partying to enjoy. The kind of weekend that reminded me how much I benefit from quality 'me' time.
It started earlier, on Thursday, playing with my co-workers 2 year old daughter, my good buddy Ellie. It was quasi-babysitting and full fledged fun, listening to this adorable little girl ramble about “worms live in da mud” and “birds go tweet tweet” and "go high on da blue swing." Ellie ran through the leaves and pointed out everything she could see and when we had finished getting ravaged by the mosquitoes, we went inside and Ellie began to entertain herself at her little table. Her mom told me that because they keep her so busy at school, sometimes she just needs some private time in the evenings to decompress.
She is one smart two year old and I realized that that was something I almost never allow myself to do.
When Friday finally came around, I was ready for the weekend but this time, a wild and crazy night was the furthest thing from my mind.
I went to yoga and to the ridiculous downtown market and grabbed sushi and a movie. I went home and took the longest shower possible, and even mustered the will to shave my legs, which I hadn't done in god knows how long before collapsing on my couch.
This had not been the plan and my girlfriends were less than pleased. They sent rounds of guilt-inducing text messages.
Them: You bailed! L That is unfortunate.
Me: I failed as a human being.
Them: Clearly. Not friends anymore. You can take you donation boxes and shove em!
I was momentarily tempted to give in but this tiny voice inside me said, "Sit still. Just sit still." And so I did but with an amused gratitude of knowing that I have the kind of friends who would go as far as blackmailing me with charity to get me to go out.
But I sat still. I went to bed early, slept hard and woke up at the crack of dawn to try out a new running group.
It was the perfect day to pretend to be athletic, the cool pre-fall air making it feel more like LA than the typical humid Missouri summers I remember from my youth. I quickly made friends with a group of delightful strangers who made the miles pass by with such ease I almost forgot that it had been months since I last attempted to run.
I spent the afternoon with my family, my grandparents and aunts and uncles in town for my cousin Jack's six birthday. Jack hugged me hello, thank you and goodbye. This is a huge deal. I have barely been able to get a high five in the past. We now have a date to play mouse trap again and I am pretty stoked, since setting that thing up made me realize why my parents always refused to play it with me. I feel like I now deserve an honorary engineering degree!
I rounded out the evening by making dinner with my girlfriends.
They grilled and steamed and baked. I brought the charcoal.
We sat outside enjoying the magnificent weather and munched until the point of explosion. Then we played a rousing game of scrabble. I didn’t win but I did manage to secure the record for the most dirty words played in one game.
“Are you going to deny me my ‘jiz’!?!”
“See now we have sex and romance!”
As we headed out to our cars, I exalted the advantages of this kind of good clean fun to my girlfriend. It felt so nice to relax in pjs with my girlfriends without being elbow to elbow with a room full of Ed Hardy. To have a good time without alcohol or seeing the sun come up. To be able to wake up at a decent hour – not hung over, not exhausted, go to yoga, do some shopping and then come home and relax for the rest of the afternoon without feeling obligated to be doing something productive or ‘necessary’. To be in my newly cleaned apartment with no desire to be anywhere else.
To sit still.
I have had a fantastic summer. I have played like I was in college again but I am excited for a little ‘me’ time. To whined down with the cooling weather and settle in to the stillness of fall, taking in the simple pleasures of nature and quiet, and lessons learned from two year olds.