Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feed Your Soul

Everyone has their "happy place"....that one place that you just love to go to, where you feel most at home, and where you long to be when you aren't there. For me, that is the Outer Cape, specifically Truro and Wellfleet. There is nothing better to me than driving out in the Jeep to Race Point, lounging in my beach chair all day on the pristine beach, then celebrating the sunset with a nice glass of wine. I try to go there several times throughout the summer to get my "fix". Someday I would love to have a little rustic cottage there - nothing fancy - but close to the beach so I could walk along the shore every day. After growing up on the Cape all my life, the gravitational pull the ocean has on me is unmistakeable. I could never live someplace that was landlocked. I think I would constantly feel on edge...that something wasn't quite right. I need the good old Cape Cod sea air coursing through my veins to feel like myself.

The other day, Tim made an interesting observation. He said, not only do people have their happy places but they have their "happy people". It was a bit of an "aha" moment for me when I realized that is certainly true. These are people that you can't wait to see, that you feel most like yourself when you are with them (regardless of how often you see them), and that you never tire of spending time with. Timmy's "happy people" is Adam, otherwise known in our house as "Daddy's other wife". Tim starts each day talking to Adam...usually about jeeps and jeep parts. He usually talks to him multiple times a day...again, mostly about jeeps and parts. There was a time when Adam was referred to as "Adam-Lina" by our kids. I'm not sure how we ever got on this topic but the kids said one night at dinner that if I ever died, I wouldn't have to worry about Tim...he would just marry Adam and they would call him Adam-Lina. Nevermind the fact that Adam is happily married to his wife Ann.

On Christmas Eve morning I got a text from Adam asking if I needed some extra presents to give to Tim...he said he had bought too many things for him and felt like it was overkill. Yes, take a minute and re-read that. As we headed out to church for Christmas Eve service, we opened the door to find a pile of crudely wrapped jeep parts. There were wires and pipes protroding from crinkled paper that was being held together with at least a whole dispenser of tape. These were Adam-Lina's "gifts"...old jeep parts for one of Tim's jeeps. Timmy was giddy. Only Adam could give him jeep parts and make him so happy. He is definitely Timmy's Happy People.

As I thought more about it, I realized I not only have a happy place and a happy person, but I also have a "happy day"....a dream day that I constantly dream of being able to fit in. For me, it's a day of pure indulgence, to do whatever I want, when I want to do it, and completely by myself. It's like a gift to myself. And, I think anyone who reads this can understand how difficult it is to find that kind of time but I do try to fit it in one day a year.

Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to indulge in my happy day the week between Christmas and New Year's. My sister and I try to "swap" kids for a few days around the holidays and/or vacations. This gives the kids an opportunity to see each other and it gives us a little break. After having her kids for a few days, I drove them all down to the Cape and came back in complete silence. Aaaahhhh. It was so nice. The next day, I knew it was my one chance to have my one happy day in 2011. So, the next morning, I slept in, shuffled to the couch in my pj's, and snuggled under a blanket. I read for a bit, then caught up on some shows on DVD, and then had lunch...eating on a tray on the couch. That's totally against the rules in our house. I have to admit, I had to keep fighting back feelings of guilt. I found myself thinking "I shouldn't have slept so long..." even though I only slept until 9:15. I read magazines, watched more tv, and then finally I got all my supplies out and painted. I don't think I have painted more than two times last year. It felt really good! At this point I was still in my pj's...hadn't even brushed my bed head. I took a quick shower, got into some comfy clothes and curled up on the couch again. I had to fight back thoughts again of "wasting the day away" and mentally making a list of all the things I "should" have been doing but I was committed to myself for the day and I wasn't going to let those feelings ruin this once a year opportunity.

Now as a general rule, I don't like watching movies or tv shows more than once. I also don't like re-reading books. I already know what is going to happen so the show or book immediately loses my attention. However, it struck me on my Happy Day that I wanted to watch Dan In Real Life with Steve Carell again. I'm not sure why I like this movie so much but it is really one of the only movies I have sat through all over again, with my complete attention focused on it. When Tim got home, I was completely wrapped up in it and I don't even think I looked up. Without saying a word, he joined me on the couch and got lost in it too.

Afterwards Tim offered to get us take out and we shared a bottle of wine. Well, I should say he suggested we go out to dinner but there was no way I was going out of the house on My Happy Day. The entire day was so relaxing!. I love my kids tremendously, but having a day without kids, a day where I don't even speak all day long, to just be Kelly again, to not be responsible for doing anything or having to be anywhere, is truly a dream for me. No matter what your Happy Day looks like, you should make a promise to yourself to at least find one day to indulge in your Happy Day. It's just one day. Surely you can make time for that.

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