When my weekends are so fun and full of life, it’s hard to come back into the office and slog away. But slog I must, and so I do.
Yesterday, I spent time with a friend who is happily and successfully working in his chosen field, and has been for several years now. I know so few people living that life, and was both infinitely glad for and insanely jealous of my friend at the same time, hearing the details of what he has been doing. Making it work can be hard and often involves a lot of sacrifice. You might work in the way that makes you happy, but have to be a very long way away from friends and family for months at a time. Or sacrifice other personal goals like marriage and/or children. And many people, too many I know, are on the other side of the coin – maybe they got the family or the spouse, but professionally are completely unhappy. Too often, it seems to be a trade off; one or the other, but not both. I wish it weren’t like that. Perhaps you can have one for awhile, and then trade it for the other, and eventually look back and feel like you came out even? Who knows.
I spent most of this weekend on Put-in-Bay, a tiny (REALLY tiny) island just a short ferry ride across Lake Erie. Most Northeast Ohioans are familiar with PIB as one of the more party-filled, touristy islands in the series of small islands that dot the area just north of Sandusky, Ohio. A lot of young people go to the islands for weekend partying, but there are older people there too. I never went when I was young. I don’t recall if I just wasn’t asked to go or if the type of people I hung out with just weren’t the island-drinking type, but it was just never my thing and I don’t remember anyone else I know going up there. I finally started going up a couple of years ago when I found out an old friend of mine lives and works there as a year-round resident. It’s not my thing, being trapped on an island for any length of time. There’s no 24-hour drugstore and no hospital for starters, which makes me very nervous, and the food pretty much everywhere is mediocre at best, but I did it for the weekend because a friend of mine was participating in her first 5K, and invited me and another gal to come up and join her and her husband in the event, as well as to lend support. We also participated in the 5K, and in the looong post-race drinking festivities. It was exhausting, crazy and a lot of fun. I wish I’d done it 20 years ago when I had more energy, but I surprised myself and was able to run (well, jog really – I am super slow) the entire distance without stopping. With all the injuries I’ve been battling, it may not have been wise, but I’ve been trying to be diligent about my physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises, and figured I’d go all in since I probably won’t do anything like this again for awhile. I think I’ve discovered some gait-related problems that have been playing into my injuries lasting as long as they have, and though I’d only worked for a week on targeting things that would address that problem, I hoped it would be enough to get me through. I paid particular attention to my gait and form as I was running, since I don’t have speed. I kept mentally correcting the gait and carriage problems I believe I have, and tried to take things as easy as possible. I wasn’t out to win any awards, just get through it without too much injury.
I can’t remember the last time I ran a 5K, it was so long ago. It was at least six or seven years ago, probably more. So I was pretty proud of myself for doing it, though I was more proud of my friend, for completing her first one ever.
Despite everyone in our group being a lot older than the typical late teen/early twenties island vistor, we quickly turned our hotel room into an appropriate mess; part dormitory, part frat house, with plastic cups and beer cans and clothing strewn everywhere, earplugs for snoring, buckets for puking, very late night pizza and lots of junk food. Honestly it was a blast. And when I came home, my little boy ran to me and presented me with two drawings he made for me to put up in my office. I fed him lunch and then took a nap with him, his small, bony body sleeping next to mine a blissful and happy reconnection for my soul.
Yesterday, I also had the privilege of attending a house concert at a friend’s place, which was an amazing experience, reconnecting me with my mainland home and seeing a lot of food-loving friends, as well as having an opportunity to socialize with old and new friends, which is something that makes me very happy. With flowing champagne, amazing food and the hugs and kisses of friends, it would have already been an amazing event in a beautiful setting, but the singer, Callaghan, really elevated the entire evening. Her easy, fun covers of Dylan, Cash, Stealer’s Wheel and others were superb, but some of her own songs hit me so quickly and unexpectedly that I found myself staring into the beautiful sunset with tears streaming down my face. It’s hard to explain how crying can make you happy, as it wasn’t technically happy crying, but it was a great release after the extreme highs and lows I experienced all weekend long, and sort of capped me off and gently reseated me back into my life.
The best thing I can say about Monday today is that I really feel like I had a full and wonderful weekend.