gratitude, health and wellness, travel, working mom

The Astro Friday

I like to think that the Instagram posts of date nights with my husband are largely sponsored by my mom and the kindness of her heart and free childcare. I apparently missed the train on monetizing my social media presence, but the gift of time is a real thing. I’m just as accepting and grateful to enjoy opportunities for “extra time” to have fun and reset the soul. 

My husband and I took a quick overnight getaway to Santa Rosa one weekend, an hour away from where we live. The place where we chose to rest our head was called The Astro Motel. It’s a gem that was recently renovated into a beautiful mid century modern themed roadside inn. We were in vintage aesthetic design heaven during our entire stay. All of the interior and exterior color, decor, and authentic pieces from the 1950’s and1960s made my heart happy. 

Our little trip also included an unnecessary 4 minute Uber ride to a brewery that was pretty much just around the corner. We enjoyed live music, beer, a food truck dinner, Saturday brunch, and an unplanned couple of hours of antiquing.  I was inspired by creative people, small businesses, and a part of the Bay Area I know very little about. I’m glad that I could enjoy it exclusively with my husband because it’s nice to have a break from having conversations in the presence of little ears.     

 The weekend getaway brought on the same type of renewed energy that our precious phones or devices obtain when they’re left plugged in overnight to achieve the coveted 100% charge. 

Sometimes the bonus minutes that are gifted to us in life allow us to focus on less things all at once. Those moments hold so much value. Maybe it’s seven extra minutes of awake time in the morning that was traded out for another round of snooze, allowing less of a rush out the door. Other times, it’s a rare random half hour when the house is empty or quiet and there’s time to actually gather thoughts, read, write, or do something creative. Twenty four hours or so of uninterrupted one on one time with your spouse is also a pretty nice token of time to treasure. 

So this is another thank you to anyone who has ever helped others or helped yourself with the gift of time, the extra minutes, an extended stay, or even more time with a beloved borrowed library book by means of a renewal. The truth is, the time we have has an unknown limit, but when we feel like we have some to spare, we should enjoy it.

https://www.visitsantarosa.com/

balance, family, gratitude

Ten Day Hero

Recently I learned that a lot can happen in the span of nine or ten days. In March, I traveled to the other side of the world. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, but it taught me that I can take on challenges and gain some life changing perspectives in less than two weeks. 

On Memorial Day, my father died unexpectedly. The initial stage of raw grief went on for over a week until the final formal farewell. It just so happened that his funeral and burial fell on the ninth day after his death. The nine days that led up to it were the toughest days of my life, just waiting to say that final goodbye, ready to transition to the gone but not forgotten state of mind. It was more proof that you can do anything in nine or ten days.

Since then, I’ve been living life nine days at a time. Mentally, it’s a manageable increment. I can set goals and appreciate the good in life. I can do what needs to be done while acknowledging that the new void isn’t going to go away or ever be filled. Living in the now is ideal, but in the current circumstances, looking forward and looking back in nines and tens seems like a good approach at this time. 

Throughout this journey, there’s been one true hero who has helped me power through this new life without dad. 

Mom. 


She has helped me organize and reorganize my thoughts and my things. She’s been there for my kids and my husband, helping us with what we may need day to day. She gives the kids daily doses of spontaneous laughter and silly sessions that only grandma can provide. She’s taught me how to enjoy going to the gym.

Similar to our adventure back in March, she decided to embrace a travel opportunity that was bittersweet. She decided to still go on an Alaskan cruise that she and my dad had booked last year. The decision was a challenging one to make, but she did it. She left home for a bit and saw the sights. She enjoyed the time with other family members, all in the spirit of my dad. Ten days later, she came back, even stronger and more positive than ever.  

Everyday, she shows me and reminds me that I am brave, just like she is, even as we stand at the edge of the deepest type of sorrow, when the tears just flow during those odd spontaneous moments. 

I told her I was proud of her, and I admire her for how strong she is. She responded by saying it’s because of me. I’m not sure if she knows my secret. I’ve just been following her lead.

She’s the true ten day hero.

Grandma returns home after ten days at sea.


balance, mindful, working mom

Would Anybody Like The Last Piece?

My typical workday + mommy duty hours are similar to an amazing holiday pie or a fabulous full sized birthday cake. At the end of the day, you find the awkward last piece. When the last small serving of my personal time and energy remains, I just don’t know what to do with it at times. Someone wants it. Something needs it. Others don’t know how to ask (politely) for it. Who needs it the most? Who or what is most deserving?

cake pops
I call dibs on the crumbs, sticks, and wrappers.

I usually devote these precious bits of bottom of the barrel energy to the “time saving” chores that will help me be get out the door quickly the next day.

Pack the lunches. Pour the baby bottles. Line up the backpacks and other bags. Click in the car seat. Plan the outfits. Decide if it’s a hair washing day tomorrow and plan accordingly.  Send a few last emails (after contracted hours). Capture a spider that is freaking everyone out. Locate the lost shoe that has been missing for 3 days.  

I tried putting all of it on hold the other night, and I forced myself to just enjoy a few installments of my favorite reality TV “housewives” show after everyone else went to bed. It was rare TV viewing that was given my undivided attention. It felt strange. It was somewhat fun. I didn’t really know how to use the remote correctly. 

In the middle of my morning commute the next day, however, I realized what I had forgotten. I left the baby bottles and my work laptop at home. I had also forgotten two non-essential, but nice to have items. Sunglasses and a hoodie. An extra stop was necessary to resolve the absent items. Portions of the pie/cake of my daily routine were quickly given away before the official workday even started. As the day went on, many more people, things, and events needed a piece throughout the day. I served it up. 

So again, at the  end of the day, I’ve been stuck with the crumbs. I decided to just enjoy them. Rather than TV time, I used the tiny bits of energy that I had left and I wrote this post. Time saving chores won’t bring me the same satisfaction that I feel when I do something that makes me happy and balances out the chaos a bit. I enjoyed the last piece. I think I’ll call dibs on it again tomorrow.

Until then,

How do you treat yourself when you have a bit of extra time to spare?