This morning is similar to mornings that we have every couple days. It’s a drive day. I find myself frantically cooking breakfast. The clinging of pots and pans wakes up my kids. “It’s time to go,” I yell. I find myself in familiar territory as I step out of the Melissa costume and into the supermom costume. It’s go time! And then it hits me…. I really have nowhere in particular to be. I have no client to see, no kid to pickup, no meeting to attend. I have no emails to send or calls to return. All I have is campsite waiting for me 5 hours away. A forgiving campsite that doesn’t care whether I show up or not…. a campsite that will welcome me in whatever shape I’m in. I breathe in a sigh of relief.
This isn’t the first time this is has happened in the 2 1/2 weeks and we’ve been gone. I was talking to a random stranger at the laundry mat the other day. The old Melissa, the carefree, I have all the time in world Melissa, loved talking to random strangers. Frantic Melissa lost that though. She always had someone to meet or somewhere to go. The first thing I noticed was my eye contact. As the woman was talking, I found myself scoping out my kids in the pool, looking at the time left on the washing machine and taking inventory of our lunch by the pool chair. Things to do. Things do to! I found myself getting annoyed with the stranger who would have otherwise been interesting. It was like she holding me hostage…. keeping me from all the things I had to do. She was I interrupting my efficiency. Didn’t she know that her meaningless story was going to throw me off for the rest of the day! And then, as if I were waking up from a dream, I realized that I actually didn’t have anything to do. Sure, I had planned on reading my book, but nothing there was nothing that had to be done. A soft, inside smile fell over my heart. I could talk to this stranger. Her story did matter. I had nowhere to be except for right where I was. I settled and I listened…. Realizing that spending time with random strangers was a luxury, a luxury I had long since prioritized out of my life in exchange for the opportunity to check off another line in my never ending to-do list.
The frantic doesn’t just go away once you just decide to live a simpler lifestyle. I picture Forrest Gump running and running and running. And one day…. he stops. And that’s it, he’s done running. I know that moving from the frantic to free will be a process. A process of changing my every thought from “how can I get more done” to “Just breathe. Enjoy. Show up. This is your life and you only get one of them.”
PS-Today we’re taking the scenic route…. even though it adds 45 min into our drive.