Recently, I found my social calendar packed with plans with family and friends. So much so that after almost three years now of limited social interactions, work meetings on Zooms, and usually staying in on the weekends, my body started to feel the change physically. As most busy schedules happen, it started off slowly with making plans for a Saturday event a few months back and completely forgetting about it until the week before when I got an email reminder. Right now, my Saturdays are about what I want to do, not what I need to do, but I knew the change of plans would be a nice change of pace. However, the purpose of the event was “team building” with Philly youth and since ice breakers are my version of hell, I thought this is going to be exhausting. I admit I cried a little as I had to be up and out of the house before 8am on a Saturday morning but 5 hours later, I was happy I went out of my comfort zone and did it. I felt like I needed a week off to recuperate after the physical and social demands of me. On Sunday, we walked down the street to a street festival, Plazapalooza, to walk around and have dinner. During the before times (before Covid), street festivals were an every weekend thing during the Spring and Summer here in Philadelphia. With one so close and back after two years, I wanted to make the effort and attend. Jake and I laughed going to bed that night trying to remember the last time we were busy with plans Saturday and Sunday. Clearly, it had been a long time. That week, my parents came to visit for a few days. I could only move my work schedule around so much so we made plans to go to lunch at Reading Terminal Market before I had to head home and jump back on Zoom work calls. At night, we took my parents to some of our favorite restaurants in our little neighborhood, Grace Tavern and, Pub & Kitchen. A bing popped up on my calendar on Thursday to remind me of an important breakfast work meeting in the city. As we all said goodbye and waited for the valet to bring our cars around, I wondered if working from home may be a thing of the past. My parents left Friday morning after I got home from breakfast and at that point, I was craving a healthy meal after eating out so much that week. That healthy dinner would have to wait because a work friend invited herself over and wanted to go out for tacos and margaritas because it had been honestly been a long week and we all needed it! So the two of us and Jake walked to El Rey for two pitchers of margaritas and tacos as we talked and laughed until the place closed down. We made the walk back to my house and continued to talk until 3 am. At one point in my life, this was a usual Friday night routine for me, but in my old age ( and my body learning that it loved an early bedtime during quarantine) I was tired! That Saturday, Jake was the one who had signed us up to volunteer to help at a 5k months ago. Why is it that when you make plans months in advance, you still don’t plan your week around them better? We had to be up and out of the house before 7am to get there in time and it was also a 90 + degree day so we were feeling the exhaustion a little more that day. We got lunch with friends who were also at the event and finally headed home later that day. On Sunday, my parents were stopping by to stay over for a night before they headed back to North Carolina and Jake had to pack and get ready for his train that afternoon to head to New York City for the week for a work trip.
This past week, it was just Ed and I at home, and the quiet home was appreciated more than ever after a few busy weeks. During quarantine, mostly out of boredom, I redesigned our home to make it comfy and calming. Each piece of furniture and throw blanket, piece of artwork, and candle are intentionally placed to make the space easy to tidy and feel welcoming as you walk in. My home has become one of my favorite places to be especially after a long day. I wasn’t always like this. I hated being home and felt like I was missing out on something if I stayed home. Now I feel like I’ve given myself and my body permission to rest, to be bored and to enjoy the lack of social plans. Now when I do have a busy day, weekend or even a workweek, I get to enjoy the business because I know that I can give myself a quiet weekend another day. With summer officially here, we are not slowing down anytime soon. Take the time now to schedule a vacation, a break, or block out time to not be connected to work or the internet. Sign up for a fitness class, a meal prep service, or just buy a fun water bottle to keep you hydrated. Plan a weekend to redecorate your bedroom or living space so when you come home, it really feels like coming home.