About eight years ago, my work schedule changed and for the first time in about 20 years, I had weekends with no work or child care responsibilities.
To celebrate, my then boyfriend took me to his home in a beautiful rural setting and asked me how I wanted to spend my first free weekend. I told him the most decadent things I could think of–I wanted to sleep till noon and have dessert for breakfast. And I did. I slept till 12:15pm to be exact. I didn’t really believe that I could sleep so long, but my exhausted body seemed to know such an opportunity would not occur again soon and made use of every minute. My boyfriend led me, still in my jammies, to a balcony overlooking the Sangamon River, near where a young Abe Lincoln got his flat-boat stuck on a shoal, and fed me a breakfast of triple layer chocolate cake, pound cake with lemon curd and strawberry shortcake. I remember laughing out loud for the wickedness of it.
It was an important lesson for me in learning joyfulness.
Yes, goals are important. Yes, To-Do lists and keeping your word are important. Yes, a life that is self-centered is barren.
But when you are caregiver to multiple other humans, sometimes you have to put care of yourself first.
Last pay period I had 33 hours of overtime. Then I went on a trip to visit my beloved oldest son and daughter-in-law and took three teenagers along for the ride. I got back to work, to a lot of stuff that didn’t get done while I was away (you know how that is…) I was tired.
So despite the fact that my To-Do list is as full as ever, I took the day off. (Well, sorta…I still did three loads of laundry, bought groceries, minor paperwork and some Goodwill organizing.) But, I slept in till 9:30am. (needed as I was at a kid’s activity fundraiser till midnight last night.) I took a nap at noon and another one at 2pm. I read a book from the library and played solitaire on the computer. And it felt really, really good.
If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t change my life a bit….except maybe take a month off to sleep in and eat dessert for breakfast. Oh, and replace the windows in the house.