This past week-end, I was alone.
Just me and my thought from Thursday night until Sunday afternoon.
I know, right?!
And just how did I pull off this feat of unparalled awesomeness? It involved planetary alignment, a boiling cauldron filled with eye of newt and the tears of unicorn. Oh, and bacon because. . .duh. But, that’s not really the point.
The point is, I had all of this free time and wanted to make the best use of it. Usually, when I’ve been gifted with an empty house, I whirl around cleaning the kitchen and stripping the beds, while simultaneously changing out one set of seasonal clothes for another, defrosting the freezer and dust-busting the car. Then I fill up my social calender to the point of double booking myself, as well as squeeze in a manicure, a trip to Starbucks, and of course, the gym. My days of solitude pass, I haven’t done nearly half of what I’ve set out to do, and I’m more tired than before everyone cleared out.
Not this time, though. Oh, no. I got hip to my downfall and decided early on that I wasn’t going to succumb to the trap of busyness. I chose a few things to do and that was it. I wanted to clean up my office and the playroom. I wanted to hang out with my buddy and her hubby at an Oyster and Wine Fest in Afton. I wanted to binge-watch homeland while eating Chipotle. There were more things that I wanted to do, of course, but by picking only a handful and doing them thoughtfully and slowly, I enjoyed myself much more.
I’m trying to carry this concept over into my everyday life, not just these pockets of alone time. I think the whole family might be better served if I’m a little bit slower. Ever since my accident, I have tried to take my time with things. I definitely go back and close the pantry door if it hasn’t closed all the way or I’ll take my make up bag out of the drawer, re-arrange a few things and then put it back in when I see how I’ve shoved it in there. These are baby steps, but they’re worth making.
As a result, I’m keenly aware when someone around me is going full tilt through their daily routine. Case in point, this lady at the Y. Now, let me preface this by saying, I was observing this. I’m not a locker room peeper. This lady was letting it all hang out and was using the locker next to mine, so I couldn’t not see it. I feel like it was fated that she behaved that way so I could share it with you. . .because I’m a giver. You’re welcome.
I had just finished my workout and was getting my shower stuff out of my locker when I noticed this woman come up next to me. She was wearing her bathing suit and goggles, sopping wet. And she was barefoot (blerg). You know how I feel about no shoes in the locker room.
Anyway, I’m taking out my stuff and this lady is spinning her locker combination like she’s trying to crack a safe. When it opens, she wrenches it off and tosses open the door — bang! then starts pulling out her stuff, tossing it over her shoulder without a care as to where it lands – fwip! fwip! fwip!
I know there are a limited number of shower stalls, but they were all empty. No need to race me over there! Besides, barefeet and wet linoleum are a nasty combo. I take care of my toilette and head back to my little piece of locker room real estate. She is hot on my heels, this electric blue microfiber towel slung over her shoulder. Hello! Soaking wet, totally naked, not using the towel, standing right next to me.
She pulls out this enormous, Jolly Green Giant green Le Sac and heaves it onto the community bench — thwump!
She starts digging around in it and whips out her underwear – fwoosh!
Puts them on — snap!
Puts on her bra – thwap!
Keep in mind, she has not used the towel, at least not that I’ve observed, so her first layer of clothes is wet. Okay . . .
She takes the towel and proceeds to wrap her hair in it – twist, twist, twist!
Then she rubs her head so vigorously, in what I can only assume to be the most thorough towel dry of all time, that I’m actually shocked when the hair is still on her head and not in the towel.
She drops the towel on the bench – splat!
She grabs some lotion out of that big bag and slaps it onto her legs and arms – slap! slap! slap!
Back into the bag and out come her clothes into which she literally fights her way into.
This isn’t a woman who needs to lay across the bed in order to zip up her jeans. I think she was in such a rush, she couldn’t get into her clothes fast enough. Still, she was abusing herself in order to do it. Her face was flushed. She was breathing bovine style out of her nose. Her mouth was set in such a hard line, her lips were white. Once she got herself dressed, she grabbed one of the ocmmunity hair dryers like she was going to choke it into operation and proceeded to claw at her hair as she dried it. King Tut has more pliable hands than she did during that hair care routine.
And then there’s me. I dried the spaces between my toes, behind my ears and everywhere in between. I applied my lotion and put my unmentionables on without leaving welts on my extremities. I put my pants on one leg at a time, then my shirt, and then I pulled out my iPad and took notes on what I had just witnessed.
There was no way I was going to capture the intensity of what I had just seen if I waited until I got home. And, in keeping with my personal challenge to take it slow, I wrote complete sentences AND spell-checked instead of just banging off snippets of observations. Made for a richer re-telling, don’t you think?