My week-long vacation from work is coming to a close. I haven't gone anywhere - but I have enjoyed every single minute of this luxurious stretch of time to myself. Here are some highlights:
- No need for office wear, or to have make-up and hair in place as is required by 8am on my typical workweek mornings. Pajamas are the daywear du jour until about 10am. Then, leisurely, I don whatever stretchy, comfy clothing will carry the afternoon and evening.
- My home has been a neat and tidy little model of efficiency and beauty. The bed is made, pillows plumped, each morning. Windows have been opened to the springtime song of birds - doves and mockingbirds, jays, and the haughty, irascible crows that flap and jive along the sidewalk. Dishes are washed, as I use them, and are immediately put away in the cupboards - form finally matching function as the carpenter had originally intended when he built this duplex in 1968. Bathroom faucets sparkle, rugs are fluffed and remain squarely in place. An ovation of orchids has borne jubilant witness to my week of accomplished - yet almost effortless - housekeeping.
- I cleaned and ordered my little patio. I trimmed the rampant jasmine hedge that recently bloomed with a great and perfumed floral flourish - that had passed its prime. Some crafty scissorwork left it lovely, again, sans browned and tattered blooms, ready for its summer debut. I repotted some plants, and swept, and rearranged my little bonsai garden. I put a long floral cloth on the shaded patio table. Ahhh.
- I have walked each day, for at least an hour. I have sauntered down State Street, amid tourists and townsfolk, with no destination or timeclock in mind. I have skimmed along Shoreline Park, and down past the busy harbor, over to the wharf where gulls and flags both played in the breeze. I have rambled through parks and paseos and narrow little hillside paths.
- I have found - finally - an online group of women who write seriously, many of whom seem to be on a quest similar to the one upon which I have embarked this year. What a relief! What a joy! What Luck! Seriously, it's called She Writes. I joined.
- I've had time to spend with a couple of friends. I have had time to call and visit; during our get-togethers, I have had sufficient energy to laugh, commiserate, plan, and reflect with them, in depth.
- I have an idea for a writing project. Although in its incipient form just now, I think it has potential. More about that in the future.
And, like all weeks of the year, the good and wonderful is blended with other things, too. My mom is going back in for surgery this morning - her second bout in an attempt to eradicate the breast cancer that was discovered just this month. She could use your prayers this morning - if you are so inclinded.
I launched this year-long project for change and growth, because I know, from many years of practice, that movement begins with willingness. A huge, whole world of change can begin with just a thought - an acquiescence. It's like entering in to a contract: here are the changes I want, and I am willing to do the footwork and expend the energy.
And I am willing to follow the trail that now begins to glow, more vibrantly with each step through the previously impassable forest of doubt and excuses. My willingness is the magic, alchemical ingredient that vivifies my surroundings, my discoveries.
This week, the way has become clearer. Wonderful things have been revealed. And although next week will bring a descent into the usual domestic anarchy in which I reside during the typically grueling workweek, and my precious mom is facing one hell of a fight (as is my dear old dad), and although I won't have the time or energy to connect with friends and family at such frequent intervals - I will carry a bit of this week with me. I'm refreshed, and stronger, and more resolved than ever to take the next step, and the next, in the special quest I have started, with myself as both leader and follower.