Last evening, I went a half hour out of my way to stop at one of the local state parks on my way home from work.
L was with his dad for the night, my last free night for awhile. That free time comes with so much weight.
It is always a dilemma for a parent – do I use my down time to relax (read, watch tv, etc), to GO TO BED and finally catch up on sleep, to be productive (heck, even how to be productive is a question – do I finish the laundry or do I get groceries?). I think some moms struggle with taking time for themselves, and that is not me. I think I have a healthy balanace of trying to stay on top of things, but also knowing my needs and paying attention to them. It is not easy – it is never easy. I don’t always draw the line correctly. Sometimes I regret having taken an evening to myself, because I know I would have felt so much better and less stressed if I had just got that shit DONE. I often find myself sacrificing sleep as well! I HEAVILY rely on coffee. No shame there – we do what we gotta do.
Anyway. Last night I felt the call to get outside. It was a beautiful day that I had spent inside – I couldn’t walk at lunch. The start of August has a way of making you want to make the most of the summer. I was exhausted. I probably could have gone home and fallen asleep almost immediately at 7pm. I could have gotten groceries and meal prepped. I could have gone home and watch mindless TV. I could have paid the bills and finished the laundry. All valid choices!
I knew it was the right choice as soon as I got out of town. Those back roads, the mountains, the green, the state park signs. The sky was beautiful, the sun shining from behind a large cloud, reflecting on the lake. You could hear kids playing. There were many fishing boats out on the water, and some runners on the trail. I wasn’t the only one trying to soak up the summer.
I was in my work clothes, but I didn’t care. I walked the trail. I sat by the water. I breathed in the forest air and felt the sun on my face. I listened to the sounds of the birds and the bugs. I felt alive. I felt free.