After reading this, it’s not one of my more inspiring, funny or crazy missives. In fact, it might just be, well, boring. Sometimes we all go that route. Two things inspired this post. 1. I am taking some time for me today, and 2. This post by Diary of a Mom. First, read that. It’s not long at all and then come back here to read what I do to rejuvenate
Oh, you’re back and caught me rummaging through my bag looking for snacks that aren’t there. I’m sitting in my favorite daytime spot to be in the world. Everyone needs getaway time and most maybe go on vacations; but what about those of us who desperately need that time, yet cannot afford to even take three people to the movies without planning it… and forget about the 3-D ones. We’ve been living on a budget… NO. I can’t say that because living on a budget means that there’s money there to juggle in the first place. Most of my adult life, I’ve lived from paycheck to paycheck and hoped that I had a little something left over for anything extra. Well, I’ve found ways over the years to do that something special for ME, to feel special, to get out of the house, relax, maybe read a book (WAY back before Kindle/tablet times).
Sixteen years ago to be precise, I went through a divorce. An amiable, yet with stormy undertones. I ended up with not much from the marriage except a car to drive me to work. I never had to support myself and, well, I just managed to do that but my living conditions were not what I would have liked, though I must add they were the most interesting times of my life. I made friends and had experiences that stayed with me for the rest of my life. Still, I could not support myself in my own place. I was forced to rent rooms and did home share situations. Not bad, but I had nothing to really call my own. So, there were pros and cons and my family only really saw the cons and acted like I was not living well. I had a roof over my head and that was good enough for me at the time. It was a time when I craved as little responsibility as possible anyway, so it worked out, though it was not, could not be a permanent way of life. I moved from place to place for a few years and that really left me drained and without a sense of belonging anywhere.
This was around the time I first discovered that you could just sit on the floor in Border’s and read a book without being pressured to leave or to either buy or put the book back. The first time I went there, people were sitting on the floor all over the store and I thought this was really cool. Another cool thing was Starbucks. There was one just a few blocks from where I lived, hmm somewhere back in the mid to late nineties. I discovered that I could purchase just one cup of coffee and spend the whole day there, reading (I was not knitting or crocheting then) in the comfiest chair I had ever sit in. The music was not overpowering and did not seep into my reading. I spent cool summer Saturdays there, reading to my hearts’ content.
While I still do enjoy Starbuck’s, it’s so crowded that I do not gravitate to it during the day. The last time I was there waiting for my knitting group, I couldn’t help overhearing two conversations going on simultaneously. The daytime coffee is all for me, however. These are the times I crave peace and quiet, though music is welcome. These days I spend my special time at the Coffee Beanery in Garwood, NJ. The music that is played comes from my childhood and love that it’s played there. Here, again, sometimes I only buy one cup of coffee and stay for a few hours in either a comfy chair or at a table typing, as I am doing now. I did have my lunch here today and my whole lovely experience only cost somewhere around five bucks. Not bad at all, AND I do not have to plan it like you have to plan a vacation. I can do this any day during school hours. I love my husband and he makes it possible for me to be able to go and get out and not worry about a thing, and not worry that I need to be home. I would not have a loving family I get to watch grow every day. I would not have a loving if pleasantly quirky hubby and a beautiful, smart and affectionate little boy. Not least, I would not have the time to sit back, clear my mind and enjoy the memorable moments. We definitely have our challenges, but I would not have it any other way.
Today I sit and think about a future, which was not really possible even just weeks ago. With me, struggling to find a job that I can thrive with, and DH attending school full time… every semester being his last… ha, HA. With DH finally (really) nearing the end of his schooling, I can imagine us moving on to the next stage. With a more stable, predictable schedule, I’ve even started to see myself actually working outside the home, though we need me to do that desperately… now it seems more feasible schedule-wise and I feel that I’m really ready for it, especially if I can enjoy my work. Paying someone for a couple of hours seems more doable than for eight to ten, well, because I can’t see myself making any kind of decent salary and the thorn in my side is that I couldn’t bring myself to fork over my whole salary plus more just to pay for daycare. I mean, I’d rather stay home and once I did stay home, I never wanted to look back. Now, almost seven years later, I find that I would LOVE to go back to work, if only it could be to an employer I respected. You see, my time has always been the most valuable commodity I had that was all my own. It was instilled in me from the time I was a teenager that to be employed meant that you stayed loyal to that employer and never left that company until you retired. That was the ideal. In this day and age I have experienced, what I still feel, as a betrayal by an employer who shall remain nameless who promised our department a whole new space at the home office, after years provided that space, just to months later dissolving the department. Words better to be remained unspoken about what kind of entity that would do something like that. Well, today it is practically a standard in the business world. Not very encouraging. Still, I/we really need me to work and I’m ready for it, grateful for the time I had at home living a life I could experience at my own leisure. Damn, DH is always right, though not 100%. He believes that I need a job to conquer low self esteem. I say that is not right. My time is valuable and I am loath to just give it away to a business that might not be worthy of it, not appreciate my service. Now that I’m finally ready, I find millions of people out here with me and the competition is brutal. Still, while I strive to think positive as friends have so arduously done, I still know it’s hard to find work… really, really tough.
I really have no idea how to close this. Mine is not a story of big Disney vacations, or a weekend respite at some tropical island, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I speak from the position of doing what it takes for me, with limited resources, to take time out for myself and truly feel special, relaxed and “me” if even for just a few hours. There are more options out there which would fit just about anyone’s personality and private needs. This is just me.
I really love this one. Do you think it’s available?