My happy place is outside, in the sunshine, by the water with a book. As you can imagine, this respite only happens in certain months of the year – weather permitting – so I “soak” it up as much as I can on the weekends.
It was going to be a beautiful day, so I got ready early, gathered my towel, plenty of water and even made myself a sandwich, expecting to stay poolside longer than normal. I knew I had a book I was almost finished with in my pool bag, so I went to grab a new one. What I should have done was grab from my new stash I had just purchased from the Friends of the Library sale – including a 1967 signed edition of Amy Vanderbilt’s New Complete Book of Etiquette, something I plan to browse through for fun at some point to see how far we’ve diverted as a society. Instead, I grabbed from what I thought was my stack of unread books.
I got to the pool around 8:30 a.m., had the whole place to myself, settled in and pulled out my book. I finished it within the first hour and decided to go for a short swim to clear my head from the characters I’d been absorbed with, ready to start a new story.
It only took me two paragraphs in the new book to realize … yep, you guessed it – the book I brought, the only book available to me, I had already read! Hmmm … what to do? I didn’t want to call my husband and ask him to bring me another one, but I also didn’t want to leave and go back to the house to get one myself.
It wasn’t turning out to be the day I had planned, but I could just chill – alone with my thoughts, right? That lasted about 10 minutes before I was bored. So, I pulled out my phone, thinking that could “entertain” me, but the sunlight made it hard to see and … my phone was getting hot – very hot – so that wasn’t an option. I was determined to stick it out, but I realized very quickly that it had been a very long time since I had been left alone with just my thoughts. I didn’t really know how to act.
I started to realize that I am a “do two things at once” kind of girl. When I’m at work, I always have to have my music playing in the background, same for my time in the car and … even when I’m in my other happy place – my kitchen – the speaker to my iPad is blaring out tunes. Surely, I could manage some time alone without stimuli and have some epiphanies about my life, my world, but …
Thankfully, by 10:30 a.m. other folks started to arrive, the music was turned on and … I had a friend arrive with his daughter who I had been working with, teaching her how to swim. Crisis averted and, the good news … I found out that face-to-face interaction with people doesn’t leave me wanting more. But, in full disclosure, there was music playing in the background.
And, I can chew gum and walk at the same time!
Until next time,