I have Mondays off. Typically, I guess because it's the official first day of the work week, I use this day for chores & paperwork. Most Mondays I'll sleep in a little bit longer than usual, but that's about it as far as frills are concerned.
Today I had to get up early to take my wife to work, because our other car is in the shop. It was kind of a late night, and normally I would feel a little groggy getting up as early as I did this morning after a night like that, but I felt fantastic this morning. I think it's because I've been lifting weights and doing some minor aerobic stuff lately, have cut out sugary drinks, and am taking vitamins. These are small changes, but they've had an impact.
Anyway, We got my 8 year old on the bus, and my preschooler and I took my wife to work. After we dropped her off and collected our bye-bye kisses, we went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. We ordered our food and sat down at a little road-facing booth.
It was one of the most relaxing experiences I've had in a long time.
I have a hard time unwinding. I'm always moving on to the next thing, always war gaming the next big victory. It's just the kind of guy I am. For the last 8 years the trophy was a bachelor's degree in psychology, and a job in my field. Before that, it was to save up enough money to buy a house. Before that, it was kids, and before that, it was finding a life partner to set up shop with. Along the way, I've had a slew of somewhat quixotic goals to move towards as well. In high school, I was in a rock band, and later tried my hand at stand up comedy. When those things didn't work out, I started writing. Writing hasn't been a money maker, but it's something I enjoy, so I keep doing it. The point is, I'm Wile E. Coyote, and for my entire life up to this point, I've had some kind of roadrunner that I've been chasing after, but no real plan for what to do after I caught the thing.
Well, I've caught my roadrunner (several times over), but I'm still ordering things out of the ACME catalog. It's time for me to shift to maintenance mode. I've found a wonderful partner in my wife. The courtship is over. Now it's time to be a good husband. We had two beautiful kids. Time to be a good father. We bought a house. Time to cut the grass. I've got my degree and a good job. Time to punch the clock.
Relaxing in a Dunkin Donuts with my son was an epiphany for me. There were no homework assignments on my mind, and the anxiety that 'I may not come through!' was nowhere in sight. I was comfortable. Amazing.
Shifting gears from 'go-go-go' to 'keep the ship afloat' might be a challenge, but I think I'll enjoy it. I like being able to read what I want to read and do what I want to do in my spare time, without feeling any anxiety about what other people may think or some looming deadline.
After we left Dunkin, we drove to a hilly, wooded part of the city I'm not very familiar with. The road zig-zags around hills and passes by farms and historic buildings. Instead of taking the route I'm used to, I asked my son which way I should turn at every stop sign. Eventually, my internal compass was totally confused. Along the way we stopped at a playground, and hung out there for awhile. After that, we tried to make our way back home. We were ridiculously lost, and it took us about an hour to find our way back to the interstate, but it was time well spent.
cross posted at Kos.