This past weekend, Tara and I did something very unusual.
This wasn’t our initial plan. We had lofty ideas that included pumpkin patches and corn mazes, but a sudden bout of illness (her), a pair of lackadaisical attitudes (Audrey and Rusty), and an abrupt shift in the weather (Mother Nature) all conspired to give us an unexpectedly laid-back weekend. To be fair, we didn’t really not do anything. There was a trip to the movies on Saturday afternoon to see “Looper,” which was excellent. We detailed our cars on Sunday, and went shopping. But for us, that constituted an unusually quiet weekend. In the six months that Tara has lived here, we’ve rarely done so little over the weekend. Usually we’ve got concerts to attend and beaches to visit and trails to hike and farmer’s markets to explore and campgrounds to pitch tents in. Not getting up early in order to rush off somewhere for a change felt weird.
Weird and good. Lounging in bed until 8:00? Cooking a leisurely breakfast? Sipping hot coffee on the patio while thumbing through magazines? Actually clearing shows off the DVR rather than letting them pile up in great unwatched digital heaps? These all felt like little luxuries after months of go-go-go!
Don’t get me wrong. I like go-go-go. (I also like The Go-Go’s. “Our Lips Are Sealed” was one of my favorite songs from the 80s. But I digress). It’s just that, every once in a while, it’s nice to hit the pause button and relax instead.
Our friends are forever making comments about how we’re always doing something fun. I’ll admit, I was the busiest unemployed person in the history of unemployment. I never let a little thing like no money stop me from embarking upon one adventure after another, and when Tara moved here in April, she adopted the same philosophy. We had two and a half months to play together, and play we did. I can’t help that our exploits were plastered all over Facebook, usually accompanied by photographic evidence of all the places we had been. We just like to share snippets of our lives and keep our friends in the loop! Still, once we both landed jobs, more than one person remarked, “Great – now you guys will be too busy working to get out and do amazing things all the time!”
Comments like those made me wonder if we truly are unique in the way we maximize our spare time. I thought everybody went out and did things, taking advantage of the local and regional offerings, but maybe I was wrong. I had one friend who never ventured into Portland because he hated “dealing with the hassle of it all.” The “hassle” involves driving across a single bridge. Portland is literally ten minutes away. I have another friend, and I’m sorry if he’s reading this and recognizes himself, but he is constantly dropping hints about me taking him to Voodoo Doughnut, because he’s never been. First of all, that’s unconscionable. VD is awesome! (Err…you know what I mean). Second, it’s just a quick drive downtown. Why rely on somebody else to do something fun? Go out and make your own happiness! I was on my own for five years, and I never let that stop me from going to the movies or grabbing a bite to eat from a food truck downtown or making a trip to the coast or, hell, driving to DAYTON FREAKIN’ OHIO and back. Would I rather have had somebody wonderful like Tara to share those adventures with? Of course! But I didn’t stop living just because I was alone. Besides, that’s why they invented prostitutes.
Oh, relax. I’m kidding.
When I think of all the things I would have missed out on if I’d decided it was “too much hassle” to leave the house, I cringe. I’d have never experienced the sweet deliciousness of freshly picked huckleberries, or hiked across the pumice plain of an active volcano to get a close-up shot of the waterfall spilling from its crater, or roamed the blue-and-yellow rooms of a museum devoted entirely to canned lunchmeat in a tiny Minnesota town few people have ever heard of. And, I’d have never eaten a maple bacon bar. My life would be far less rich for the lack of experience, that’s for sure.
So, yeah. An occasional relaxing weekend is fine and dandy, but I wouldn’t want to do it all the time. I couldn’t do it all the time. Which is why in the next month we’re planning to conquer the Fruit Loop in Hood River, and spend a weekend next to the ocean, and watch a favorite band play live, and take another trip to Seattle.
Life’s just far too short not to do those things, you know?