Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventure. ~Lewis Carroll- Alice in Wonderland
There are days when I chase the white rabbit, dodging in and out of the rabbit holes and following him wherever he may go. Those days seem to be fewer as of late. I’m all work and no play, and it’s starting to take its toll. I work too much, I know. It’s how I’m wired. I’m a single mom with two kids in college and two in high school and so I work. Currently, I have three jobs. One full time, one part time and one that is completely flexible and part time. I really can’t give any of them up. It’s what I have to do right now, and that’s ok. It’s temporary, but I need to remember that I also have other important things in my life, like kids at home. And my time with them is quickly slipping away.
The Best Gift Is All About Perspective
Friday, I worked a double and Saturday, what started out as a short morning shift turned into a 12 hour day. Sunday, my plan was to get up early, head into the office and knock out a few hours of work. I’d planned on being done by noon and would spend the afternoon with the boys at home doing whatever.
When I woke up Sunday morning, it was gorgeous. The wind was perfect, the sky was clear, the temperature was ideal. I sat on my porch sipping my coffee and wishing I could skip work and go hiking with my boys, they both had to work in the evening. And I thought, ‘Oh well, we’ll do it another weekend.” Ugh. I can’t just skip work, but, I only have a few more weekends left with them under my roof. I sat there with my keys in my hand for a full five minutes contemplating my options. Skip work and wake the boys for a morning hike or go into work, alone, and meet deadlines. I was leaning toward work.
Then I called my best friend, she balances me. I am so practical and I plan out every minute. I have lists and spreadsheets and am organized almost to a fault. I like structure and plans in my everyday life and being spontaneous is not something I ever consider. My best friend is more like a butterfly, flitting from flower to flower and sampling every good thing there is in life. We balance each other out, and that’s why we’re friends.
She scolded me right out when I said I was thinking about going into work instead of taking the boys hiking. “Are you insane?! What is the point of a flexible schedule if you’re not flexible? Go to work tonight? Wake those babies up and go and Carpe the heck out of this Diem!”
Living In The Now
So I did. I woke the boys up and we threw together some snacks, our walking sticks, machetes, tomahawks, and the dog, and we left. Adventure awaits!
We climbed rocks and trees, we jumped from rock to rock, we laughed and played and did headstands and had adventures. My boys, teaching the Momma how to shimmy down big rocks when I got stuck. Climbing up was the easy part, coming down seemed easy until we all realized that my legs are a good 4-6 inches shorter than everyone else’s and reaching the footholds on the other rocks was challenging. It was a great morning full of joy and togetherness.
We made it home in time for the boys and I to all make it into work that afternoon and guess what? It wasn’t the end of the world. I managed to get my work done even though it wasn’t on the schedule.
Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is time and a little adventure. And some kick ass advice to stop being so hung up on the schedule and live a little.