Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Confession: I, um, don't get out much.  When I was younger and had fewer responsibilities, weekends were a time of wild abandon; I'd go to a happy hour for work on Friday night, Pilates class with my roommate on Saturday morning (I have no idea how I did this, since now a Friday night HH would completely ruin me.  Thus, a Pilates class the next morning would be out of the question -- unless I'd be allowed to gently weep and/or pathetically whimper in the back of the room), out drinking with my girls on Saturday, and then to visit the Smithsonian on Sunday.

Now?  By the time Friday night rolls around, I'm good for exactly one activity: sitting on the couch in my sweatpants.  This usually involves carry-out Thai food and a Will Ferrell movie with hubs, but half the time I wind up asleep next to, if not face-down in, my drunken noodles jae.

My weekends are usually spent running around like a madwoman.  There's grocery shopping, the farmer's market, drycleaning, laundry, cleaning the apartment...by the time I've had a cup of coffee on Saturday morning, my to-do list is as long as my arm.  Hubs and I make time to see our friends, too, so between errands, chores, and seeing our homies, there's a notable absence of free time.  I don't usually let myself have much -- okay, any -- time off from my responsibilities: the Blackberry is on, we're in town, and I've got that to-do list staring me in the eye.  I wind up feeling too busy to ever leave town and do fun stuff on the weekends, so we usually stay within the confines of the Beltway.

This weekend, however, was totally different.  Sunday was hubs's birthday, and all he's wanted for the last few weeks has been to escape DC.  So, we got the hell outta Dodge -- we went to Middleburg, VA, and then spent Sunday afternoon hiking along the Appalachian Trail near Harper's Ferry, VA.  This was a weekend of fun.  A weekend of calm.  A weekend of some much-needed time away from the frenetic pace of life.

Whadddaaaap! Guess where I'm not gonna be this weekend?!
There were rolling hills and beautiful Virginia countryside.  There were farms, vineyards, roadside stands selling pumpkin and apple cider, and pastures filled with grazing horses.

There were not one, but two servings of Greek salad (yup, you read that right: I put away two huge plates of Greek salad in one sitting).  There was pumpkin ice cream, which elicited an "OMIGODTHEYHAVEPUMPKINICECREAMIREALLYWANTTOHAVESOMEOMIGODTHISISGONNABEAWESOME" from yours truly:

There was an amazing bookstore where I nearly spent waaaaaaaayyy too much money, had I not reminded myself that I can't afford to buy 20 books at once.  There was abundant sunshine, fresh air, and the sound of crickets as we sat outside at a restaurant eating dinner on Saturday night.

In short, we had an awesome time.   Middleburg is only an hour from downtown DC -- but it feels like it's worlds away.  It's a beautiful small town, and I loved it.  Merely walking down the street made me feel more calm and centered than I have in months.

It's easy for me to forget how badly I need to make the time to relax and recharge.  I often find myself wishing I had time to do the things I want to do, but I almost never let myself actually take the time to do them.  Life runs at such a hectic pace that before I know it, I'm burned out and cranky and wishing I could have a bonfire where I'd burn my to-do lists in effigy and sacrifice my Blackberry as an offering to the gods of leisure.

This weekend, though, I was reminded of how important it is to take time to get some R&R.  It made a huge difference for me, and while we were in Middleburg, I was struck by how totally not stressed out or anxious I was.  I wasn't worried about anything happening at the office, fighting traffic, or whether the Metro was going to make me late for work.  Instead, I was busy strolling past historic buildings, enjoying the autumn sunshine, and browsing through bookstores.  I wasn't trying to take deep breaths to calm my mind and find my bliss, because I was living it.

What do you do to relax and recharge?  Do you get out of town, or are there other things you do during the weekend?

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