I woke early this morning from a refreshing night’s sleep with a list of things I wanted to do, needed to do and planned to do on this chilly, Alabama Saturday. With full intent on accomplishing those things something happened mid-way between me adding an extra coat of barely black polish to my nails, enjoying my two slices of honey wheat toast and jam and where I am now which is snuggled up in my California King bed popping black, seedless grapes, sipping Publix purified water and blog posting while listening to the serenade of raindrops against the fallen autumn leaves and Tyrese from an available Spotify account. Something happened and that something just so happened to be nothing.
I put it off long enough, but today I decided to say “I Do” to a do-nothing day. This day has been chasing me, seeking me, and courting me like a gentleman one day soon worthy of my heart. Its pursuit has been relentless, teasing me with days which start off slow and speed up or tempting me with days which are busy in the beginning then wane in the end, but not in a very long time have I accepted the request of good sense to do nothing. That was until today.
My standard, chill day red Polo shirt with the permanent stain making its presence known just below the V-neck and grey leopard print tights will likely be the in-house attire of the day, all day. The pile of floral fresh clothes I washed Wednesday night and dried Thursday morning will remain on my taupe colored couch possibly until I feel like folding them next week (Shhhhh…don’t tell Angie (my Mama) that I’m leaving unfolded clothes out without a care.) The three light bulbs which need replacing over various parts of my house will remain dim. The luggage for a coming trip will remain empty at least for today. The clothes for the week will stay wrinkled until I iron them at another time. The $10 today only ponchos from Old Navy that I truly need will remain a need. The crumbled remnants of leaves on the carpet left by my last visitor will remain unvacuumed. The list of so many other things will remain a list. And I’m okay with that.
I’ve known the other side of busy where, because of life’s challenges, I’ve been bound to the bed, or unable to do what I wanted to, when I wanted to or how I wanted to. That was not a good look for your girl, but I learned so much from it about myself and others. I wholeheartedly believe that time of involuntary do-nothingness has been the fuel to my inner fire within the last several years to stay active and on the go because I’m simply grateful to be able to. BUT…now, I’m grateful also to be able to choose to do nothing free of guilt, free of worry, free of feeling/appearing lazy or even free of concern of how all my “it” will get done. As a single woman I’ve learned that “it” always happens and “it” always gets done. Somehow it just does. In the midst of all my “it”, taking time to rest, revive, pop grapes, peruse social media, talk on the phone like a teenager from the 80s, nap off and on like a newborn and swirl around my house singing my heart out to tracks number 4-5, 7-9, 12-14 on Tyrese’s Black Rose is about as productive as any day can be.
The wonderfully talented and sassy Nell Carter belted out the following lyrics on her hit television show in the 80s: Gimme a Break Theme Song
Gimme a breakI sure deserve itIt’s time I made it to the topGimme a breakI’m looking forwardGet behind mePull out every stop
Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it shall be received”. James 4:2 says “You have not because you ask not”. So taking a cue from God and Ms. Carter (RIP) I’m asking for this simple request….”Gimme a Break”.
You know it’s time for a vacation, a respite or reprieve when your two-year-old niece interrupts her own car seat serenade with Justin Timberlake to yell out emphatically and with authority, “Sweet Tee (that’s what she calls me), WE need a vacation!” I humbly agreed as if she were the adult and I were the toddler. Not that anything has to go on or wrong in life to need a break or a breather, but simply by default of living we all need a healthy escape. Being human requires rest, fun, adventure, and new memories. I’m talking about the kind of break that doesn’t have to cost a lot (unless you can afford it) but that’s so good, and so relaxing, and so invigorating, and so exciting and fantastically whatever you need it to be that you talk about it and thrive from it for years after it’s over. People often comment on how “nice” I am. And for the most part I am (or try my best to be), but that’s due in LARGE part to me being able to get myself in check and keep myself in check through regularly scheduled rest and relaxation, otherwise I’d be…well, I won’t even give my doubters or the devil any room there. So, I’m waiting on, praying for, looking forward to, and receiving any ways God desires for me to catch a break (meaning I’m very selective about who I share my spare time with, what I do and where:). But if the Lord prefers I enjoy a gift of a Groupon vacation. I’ll take it! A free trip from some contest I’ve entered? I’ll be present and accounted for! A trip to the spa or several spas? I’ll go! Some serious outlet shopping? Yes, ma’am or sir, I’m available! A girlfriend getaway? Pass my new luggage please! A four or five-day escape with money to spare? Count me in! A rainy Saturday with all day Food Network “Chopped”, “Restaurant Impossible”, ” The Pioneer Woman” and “Barefoot Contessa”? Remote, pizza and popcorn please! A daycation or quick retreat? Yep, I’m down. I’ve learned that knowing what it takes to keep you going is just as important as the act of keeping going. For me, that’s a break (or two or three or more) each year. I need breaks. I depend on breaks. I like breaks. I expect breaks and I don’t feel bad at all by admitting any of the above. So for now, I’ll enjoy some photos of breaks-of-old, hum along to Nell’s sweet song and make myself ready for the adventures ahead. And when it happens new posts and pics will follow!!!!
I typed this blog post on the heels of a much-needed, weekend getaway in March of 2013. In the throes of some personal and professional life changes, I found myself nestled in the middle of the celebration of my 41st birthday, while also being surrounded by a bit of “March madness” from many different sides. Having not had a great escape since October of 2012 I was blessed to be able to cruise down I-20 for a brief reprieve.
While the trip wasn’t to a far away destination and while it was definitely the definition of frugal it was FUN and that’s what I needed. Posing for pictures in the ATL sun, soaking up the rays and the scenery, sipping delicious Coca-Colas (which I’m sure taste better in Atlanta than anywhere else I’ve been) being thankful for an opportunity to simply see a sea of different license plates, experiencing new cuisine and doing a little shopping on a budget made me think about the plight of the person that doesn’t take time to breathe. “Waiting to Exhale” was only a movie!
So I offer this humble recommendation, “You better catch your breath before you lose it”. People often say, “life is short.” I’d like to suggest that life is as long as you live it. Please know, that by nature of being life, life is going to bring some things that will try to take you out or keep you under. It’s up to no one but you to do what you have to do to carry on, especially in the midst of chaos. The days of the woman or man not taking time to focus on personal help and personal rest/relaxation are over.
I’d rather spend $60 to relax with a hotel Groupon than $300 to recuperate with a hospital co-pay.
I’d rather save to go to a spa than pay to see a doctor for stress.
I’d rather share a fancy or frugal meal with a friend than sit in silence dining alone.
I’d rather sacrifice to have a hair or nail appointment from time-to-time than splurge for prescription drugs to help them grow through whatever I’m going through.
I’d simply rather live life than merely exist.
The bottom line is, the life you have is yours to live. Live it! Do whatever you have to do (in a healthy, productive, refreshing, and relaxing way) to live. Plan if you have to. Save if you have to. Prepare if you have to. Share if you have to. Be creative. Be crafty and be sure you catch your breath before you lose it. Now breathe:)