I had a really good weekend for the first time in a long time. I’d kind of forgotten that weekends were meant to be fun, since this fall and winter were full of not-so-fun weekends. Many of them got spent doing things that just had to be done. Usually errands, including grocery shopping (which I hate), cleaning, cooking (don’t like doing that so much either, although at least I get a sense of accomplishment when a meal comes out well), laundry (ugh), and other assorted drudgery. This past fall was also marked by college visits and interviews for my daughter, which, while infinitely important, are serious time-sucks and can get quite tedious for us parents. There were obligatory parties and gatherings during the weekends during the holiday season. There were weekends when my husband was ‘on service’, meaning that much of both Saturday and Sunday was spent making rounds in the hospital, so I was left to manage the household. If I recall correctly, there were also a lot of weekends this winter when the weather was very bad, so we were either housebound or out shoveling snow. And then just as it looked like we’d made it through the worst of the winter two weeks ago, I spent four days, including the weekend, with the flu. Yes, I did have a flu shot, and of course I wash my hands like a maniac, but nevertheless, I had the fever, cough, and awful body aches that only Influenza can provide. My very kind and loving husband, who insisted it was okay not to avoid me while I was ill, then contracted the same thing, and was sick through last weekend. We canceled social engagements both weekends and barely did anything; clearly the right thing to do, actually the ONLY thing to do, but also not fun.
So this weekend, with everyone back to a modicum of health, and with the possibility of spring in the air, fun was rediscovered. The weekend was kicked off on Friday evening when my daughter and I went to the TLA to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I have to admit that I don’t usually go to rock concerts with my kids, or rather my kids ordinarily wouldn’t go to a rock concert with me. But my daughter, a high school senior, and I do share some of our musical preferences. Not all, but some. I discovered Grace Potter on WXPN a number of years ago and have quite a bit of her music on my ipod. My daughter listens to my ipod in my car, and really liked this music. In fact, it was she who told me when tickets went on sale for this concert, and she asked if I would go with her- a big compliment if you don’t get too suspicious that her motive was getting me to pay for the tickets (which of course I did). Anyway, we went. In case you haven’t been at the TLA, let me describe: small, standing room only, gets hot and crowded, especially during a sold-out show, as this one was. I was a little apprehensive going with a 17-year-old, knowing that her capacity to stand for hours would exceed mine, precluding the idea of leaving early, and knowing that the show would last past midnight, way beyond my usual bedtime. But we had a blast: Grace Potter gave an amazing show, and the place was full of people of all ages, just really enjoying the music. I asked my daughter afterwards if I’d embarassed her, since I, along with everyone else my age, danced and sang along with abandon, but she said no, that I hadn’t, and that really was the ultimate compliment.
I slept late on Saturday, something I never do. I should do it more often.
Larry and I did some errands, but not the objectionable ones, and we moseyed around, stopping to hang out at the Apple Store and play with all the gadgets we imagine some day owning. Or not. The big thing was, we played. We had nowhere we needed to be, and that felt good. Later I re-potted some houseplants and we walked the dogs. No rushing. Then we went out to dinner with new friends at a restaurant we’d never been to before.
Of course, we did have to grocery shop and do the laundry today. Unfortunately, those things just keep needing to be done. Over and over and over. But it wasn’t so much of a burden after spending time doing things we enjoyed, and we still had plenty of time for exercising and reading the New York Times later.
I don’t know how so many weekends got away from me with no quality time or activities over the last months. I do know that I’m going to try not to let that happen anymore. We all need some relaxation and recreation, fun and novelty, and just plain downtime, especially if we expect ourselves to be productive and efficient and creative during our work time. Otherwise, we just start slogging along, and everything becomes an unpleasant chore. I often feel I need to be constantly productive, but that mentality seems to end up thwarting me in the end.
So here’s to having fun and sleeping late. Sounds like what our kids do. Maybe it’s time to be a little more like them.