Taking a break

Published 9:31 pm Friday, May 17, 2019


Coffee with Mimi

One of the things about being an adult is being responsible. No matter how much a person loves his or her job, it is responsibility. People count on your attendance, your participation, your organization, your contribution. It can be co-workers, customers, professional peers — all expect your attention to the details at hand.  You signed on for the task and it is your responsibility to honor that commitment using all the tools and assets at your disposal. 

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And, that’s a good thing.  A project well done is satisfying.  Once the immediate job is put to bed, the dust has settled and you have filed all the bits and pieces so you won’t forget in the next go around, you begin the next project.  In reality, the next has already been nudging at the edges, demanding attention.  You know, you can’t let the little flickers burn out while fanning the flames of the current bonfire.  It’s hard to rekindle sometimes when a brief glow fades.  Responsibility is a continuous circle.

But sometimes, you have just reached a point.  And, that point in time needs to be acknowledged with action.

Just such a time developed this past week.  A nearly forgotten natural phenomenon occurred.  The sun was out in glorious fashion for three days in a row.  Four, if you count the second half of the day before the first day of the three in a row. It may be more, but I must file this column before the fourth day can play out.  It doesn’t look promising according to weather.gov.

This time of year is a juggling act for nearly every person I know.  Every organization, school and professional activity is determined to complete major projects before the end of the school year.  There are year-end concerts, plays, awards ceremonies, graduations, social functions, deadlines for proposals and calendars for management of activities during the next school year.  Many of the items on the to- be- done list have nothing at all to do with school.  Yet, we have a built in desire to be free for the summer.

My life is no different from anyone else’s.  I have a zillion things to do on my “to do” list.  But, the sun was shining on the day in question. 

A while ago I set out on a personal mission to experience new things, take some chances, and challenge myself. I pulled open some emails with activities I wanted to try and printed off the lists. I circled the dates of the specific outings I thought would be useful to this mission. Then I got out my own calendar.  The month of May, in particular this past week, already had every line filled in and arrows from the dates to activities listed in the margin because there was no room to write them in on the appropriate date.

So, Monday was the first date for an activity I had circled on a printed out email. This is where the rubber would meet the road. I could either be practical and go to the office where the calendar was screaming, or I could throw caution to the wind along with the “to do” list and stick to the circles. 

Did I mention that the circles represent outdoor activities?  It could, after all be pouring down rain, or at least too crummy for enjoyment, in which case I was let off the hook for the challenging activity but had the opportunity to untangle my regular calendar and live for another day.

Monday dawned with a promising weather forecast. I packed my supplies and a folding chair and headed to the office for a couple last minute tasks. That could have been a bad decision.  But, I stuck to the plan.  To the country I went. I had a plan which involved some preliminary design work, lots of photographs and some trial and error laying out of the first bits of fabric.

Being responsible, I knew I could only give the adventure to the morning hours.  There was much to consider at the office.  I packed up and headed back to town.  On the way, I passed an ice cream shop with lots of benches arranged around the parking area.  I love soft serve ice cream.  I have no problem eating it at lunch, as lunch.  And, I did.  I sat out in the sun on a bench with a large cup of soft serve ice cream, my first of the summer.  I ate it for lunch, as lunch, and dawdled as long as I could, soaking up the whole experience.

The ice cream shop would seem to be in the middle of nowhere.  There are no other businesses, restaurants or activities up and down the road.  But, obviously it has a reputation, and a well-deserved one.  The ice cream is just what it should be. There is lunch available, should you need something other than sugar in the middle of the day. 

The rule of summer is in effect.  Take it easy.  Say hello to everyone who drives up.  Work can wait for a few more minutes.