Goal: Increasing the Fun Level

This past weekend my goal was to do at least one fun, unexpected thing each day. Mission accomplished. It is too easy to fill free hours with errands, busywork, chores.   Recent life events made me realize that I need to grab a hold of my time when I can, not let my life slip away.  Some weekends are scheduled from start to finish, some productive, but hopefully there is some time to explore, enjoy.

I spent an evening socializing with friends, saw Bad Moms with a neighbor (very funny, from someone who endured the PTO Primadonnas), gardened, walked my dogs, went out to eat.

One of the highlights was biking in the Lake County Forest Preserve. It was a gorgeous morning and so reminded me of my childhood. Eight friends on bikes, riding for miles while laughing, reminiscing, planning, joking, only one getting lost for a brief few minutes. No real schedule, no set plans, other than to enjoy our morning, leaving all responsibilities behind.

 

 

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Can you spot the 3 sandhill cranes?   

And the weekend is upon us again. So I shall set the same goal—do one spontaneous thing each day. Try it.  And let me know what new experiences you have!

C

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The First Summery Weekend

Living all of summer in one weekend. In Chicago, where we have had an extremely cold and wet spring, these last three days have been a welcoming sign of summer approaching.   And I filled every moment possible with family, friends, and fun.   And projects that will hopefully pay us back this summer.

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It is amazing that one fairly open weekend can include:

  • A bike ride
  • Quiet night watching Straight out of Compton—impressive film
  • Yoga
  • A gorgeous afternoon at Arlington racetrack
  • A neighborhood Summer Kick-off party. So many families to catch up with.
  • Flower shopping
  • Planting the entire vegetable garden
  • Kayaking
  • Dinner on the deck with my family

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It is a long list, but what a fun one!

So simple, but so, so rewarding. Embrace your free days or hours—fill them with people and time that give you freedom, space, and joy.

C

Riding High

I really miss riding.  It’s been a month off of most exercise–too busy with work, family, too hot to ride weeks–other than a short bike ride, dog walk, yoga class.

But on my bike, I close my eyes and feel a horse canter between my legs.  I wake in the morning thinking “I wish I could ride today.”  I yearn for the camaraderie of my friends, my trainer pushing me to better, be more, challenge myself.

So today, with the kids back at school, work under control for a moment, I escaped my desk on a gorgeous summer morning for a couple hours to ride.

And how I have missed it.  I didn’t realize until I was back the myriad of things I love about riding:

Greetings with the grooms, the horses, the scent of hay, soft nickers.

  • The Zen feeling of currying Gatsby before tacking up.  I feel myself relax, as I move my arms in repeated circular motion, watching loose hair and dirt escape.
  • The smell of leather, the saddle-bridle-girth in a familiar hold as I carry them from the tack room.
  • A familiar warm up routine in the refurbished outdoor arena, I am enjoying our alone time as we walk and trot through circles and serpentines, move smoothly over poles.
  • Then cantering in both directions, flying-flying-free, smiling.  A gentle pat.
  • Once done, I welcome the sweat streaming down my face, my back.  It’s been a great workout.
  • The routing of lathering up Gatsby, then toweling him off after hosing him off.

I feel lighter as I leave, my spirit lifted.  Tonight, I feel the premature ache of legs not used to this exercise.  I can’t wait to ride again.

I was not going to write about riding today.  But, since the happy endorphins still feel as if they are flowing, I want to capture and try to remember these feelings.

Try it this weekend, to escape a few moments doing something you love.  It will lift you, put a spring in your step. C

Rainy Day Sunday

Our weekends during soccer season are full of driving, directions, yelling, hoping, sitting, winning and losing.  But they are busy.  It rained hard almost all day yesterday, thunderstorms last night, and today we woke up again to cold drops pouring by the bucketful from the sky.  So those calls that game one-then game two-then game three were cancelled were greeted with Woo-Hoo!  Unexpected free time, a welcome treat for all.  Yes, the games will be rescheduled, but I will take this small gift today.

Unexpected time for me to head to the gym, run a couple errands on the weekend rather than at night or during lunch hour, spend some time with the girls in the kitchen as they and Tara’s friend spend the afternoon baking cookies and doing homework and giggling and drinking smoothies and just having fun. 

And then  the sun peeks through, the temperature now 70, and we rush outside to feel the sudden rays, the wind so reminiscent of our San Francisco days. 

Ah, to feel a little bit ahead is a great way to end the weekend. C