The past two weekends, I have made a conscious effort to take some personal time to just kick back and relax. It might sound a bit ridiculous to schedule time to relax, but it sometimes, it just needs to be done. Although I admit to taking plenty of time recently to travel to Maine to visit family, make dinner dates with friends and attending various social outings, a lot of that time is spent with other people.
During one of these recent times home, I had a conversation with my mother where she mentioned that for at least an hour a day on the weekends, she forces herself to stop whatever project she is working on and just kick back for an hour on the porch or in the backyard and just enjoy her surroundings- whether it is with a book, a magazine, a cocktail, a mug of coffee or a snack. Taking this “personal time out” allows you to really pause and appreciate what is around you. This seemingly simple concept and conversation snapped me into the awareness that I rarely take that sort of time, and considering how much solo time I have, it seems ridiculous not to. From last weekend on, I vowed to follow my mother’s advice, and take some time to just stop, breathe and appreciate- televisions, cell phones and distractions aside.
It started during that first weekend back in the treehouse after Ky had gone back to sea. Friday evening was absolutely beautiful- the weather sunny & warm without humidity. I made myself a little tapas plate with olives, hummus, feta and crackers, poured a glass of wine, grabbed my book and headed for the hammock swing on the front porch. Between chapters & nibbles I watched the world pass by out on the sidewalk, let my mind wander, and took in my landlord’s gorgeous flowers. By the time the sun set, I was drenched in a delicious sense of relaxation, and felt completely unwound from my week.
That Sunday, I woke up early to get errands out of the way, and was back home by 11- just in time for brunch! Before scooting back down to the porch I made myself a grilled English muffin topped with sautéed mushrooms, onion, garlic & thyme and a poached egg. I settled into the hammock swing with my brunch and latte (if you are not familiar w/ the Bialetti stovetop cappuccino/espresso maker- I would highly recommend checking out the site & getting one, they’re amazing!!!), and proceeded to spend the next couple of hours just relaxing and enjoying the brunch mentality that seems to escape us all during the week.
It seemed appropriate that the week after implementing her practice, my mother would be down for a visit, and I think we did a damn fine job of keeping up the observance. We got up when we felt like it, had a leisurely late lunch (with wine) and took ourselves out to an extended brunch and walkabout on Sunday. As wonderful as it is to spend some time alone, it’s also just as good to spend it with someone who knows you so well that no explanation is ever needed, and the occasional silence isn’t considered awkward.
Whether alone or with others- linger over that meal, read in bed for that extra 10 minutes in the morning, take the longer drive home, fall asleep in the hammock and treat yourself to a little cocktail hour on Friday afternoon. Life is busy enough as it is, so we might as well take advantage and savor the moments that provide that “Brunch Mentality” when they happen- banking those sentiments comes in handy for the times when life forces you to strap on your big kid pants.