This weekend, however, I just wasn't feeling it. Saturday had begun before dawn, like this...
...looking into a computer screen. I had a freelance article to finish, a test to take and a research paper to complete. This is what predispositioned me to be grumpy - not having those things to do, but having to spend considerable hours on the computer first thing. I'm not a hugely technical person, nor is ours a tech-centered household. I use the computer primarily as a tool for work, so I view using it, in my mind, as work. And I wasn't so keen on beginning my relaxing weekend day with work.
I wrapped it all up around lunchtime, but I still felt my energy was heavy. My son, who had entertained himself most of the morning so I could complete my schoolwork, asked for a cousin to come sleep over and I readily agreed. I wanted to reward him somehow for his patience on these days when I needed space to complete schoolwork. I felt a little drained and wanted him to have some company and fun times, so we hopped in the car.
After driving over to pick up my nephew, I returned home to find Issue 66 of The Mother Magazine waiting in my mailbox. And there, on page 62, was my article, accompanied by my own photos.
My heart leapt and the heaviness that had been surrounding me began to slowly lift. I watched my son's eyes as he scanned the images and responded simply with, "Cool." Later that evening, sitting outside in the Carolina dusk, sipping coffee with neighbors as the children played tag in the fading light, I had the thought that maybe when we push ourselves to do many things, and do them well, there are going to be days like today when we just aren't feeling it. That is why allowing ourselves a bit of space and finding a balance between work (and work related responsibilities) and home life are just so important.
The next day, visiting my parents, I took a solo nature walk in the same places I used to explore as a child. There was all the magic I remembered, hanging out in the same places it's always been...
I've never been a mother who craved time away from her child, but there was something about doing this walk alone - my son had opted not to come - that seemed to rejuvenate me.
I gathered many things along the way. Even the ash bucket was found along the walk, cast aside in an overgrown area.
As I was preparing to go back inside, I heard my son calling. He'd opted to join me after all. I showed him the yellow mushroom, the tiny mushroom villages, the grasshopper on the trumpet vine, and even the old stone fence I played along as a child. Then my father buzzed my cellphone to let us know dinner was ready.
My energy, which had felt so heavy the day before, was fully restored. We headed inside to a great dinner with family. And back at home, we set up the week's bouquet, gatherings from my solo walk in nature!
Have a wonderful week, dear readers. If you find yourself feeling spread too thin or looking too long at technology, escape outside. We'll be there!