Having a big city at your disposal full of just about every opportunity you can think of is simultaneously energizing and draining. I love knowing that on any given day I can find world class arts and entertainment, get connected with some of the most interesting people in the world, learn about any topic I can think of through a class, workshop, talk, lecture, museum....you get the point. Big cities can be a treasure trove for curious types and there's seems to be something and somewhere for every interest and personality. The possibilities are endless.
With that great potential can come a tremendous amount of pressure. Pressure to see it all. Do it all. Be it all. Pressure to keep going and to not slow down and miss out on any of your "glory days" of when you lived in New York. Or Chicago. Or fill in the blank of whatever bustling and vibrant place you live in. A much needed recharge weekend inside can feel great for the introverted spirit but many times comes with a side of guilt and fear around what was missed. What awesome thing did I miss out on this weekend? What amazing things will I find my friends did with their time when I open up social media? What connections did I miss out on? WHY DO I PAY SO MUCH MONEY TO LIVE IN THIS EXPENSIVE ASS PLACE IF I'M NOT TAKING ALL OF ITS GREATNESS IN EVERY DAMN MINUTE? Ok, maybe you all don't let yourself down the rabbit hole quite as much. But, I think you can still relate.
This weekend I was reminded of the third amazing option available to me - one that doesn't involve me being a hermit all weekend and then feeling like I missed out on life. The third option is also one that didn't leave me more exhausted after the weekend ended - like the weekends I jam pack with back to back "living it up in the city" activities sometimes do.
As my Sunday plans got an unplanned makeover, I found myself having an old fashioned, real simple Sunday - focused on food and conversation and nothing to write home about. It was a throwback to my simpler days growing up in a small midwestern town. I even felt a sense of nostalgia - but without the slight heartache that usually accompanies the nostalgia for something that is gone and never can be exactly the same way again. Instead my heart was full. My heart was full when I parked my car out front of my friend's family home and was invited in to come meet her folks. It was full as I sat down with them at the table while they finished up their home cooked dinner together. My heart was full when her Mama, knowing my friend and I would be leaving to go out to eat together soon, brought me a homemade dessert. My heart was full as I took my sweet time to finish it. There was no schedule to adhere to and nothing more important than enjoying the dish and exchanging small talk with this friendly family.
When my friend and I did finally leave, we took our time at the restaurant. I appreciated every bite of the food. We listened to each other. We let our iPhones have a nice long nap. I let myself be comforted by the sleepiness of the restaurant and the simple decor (I love a restaurant with fantastic energy and high style ambiance, but there's something so comforting about the low key place that hasn't made any changes for at least 10 years). After our Sunday dinner, we walked the tree lined neighborhood and admired the beautiful houses. A few giant trees that looked to be hundreds of years old stopped me in my tracks and begged for a picture. We took in each sight and pointed out things we liked about each house in between our ongoing conversation about everything going on in our lives. We imagined what it would be like to own one of those homes and to be neighbors. We were still in no rush to get anywhere and took the long way back just to admire more houses. No agenda, no rushing, nothing to brag about at work the next day...just a couple of women acting 10-20 years older than their age, doing nothing specific or special to living in this part of the country.
As the weekend wraps up, I have no regrets. I also have no regrets knowing I'll likely fill next weekend with big Instagramable adventures or that, really, I will just do whatever it is my soul asks for next weekend. Big or small, simple or glamorous...I'm learning to live my best life with both and everything in between.