This Labor Day Weekend, I did something I never do; I blew off my responsibilities and took time for me to regroup. I went shopping throughout the state, and, usually, I’m not too fond of shopping. I bought a costly pair of boots made in the USA and a new mattress. I picked up supplies for the office and played hookey from one of the churches I attend to gather myself with a little bit of energy. In short, I had exhausted myself to the point of needing to blow off some steam. I was tired of coming through for everyone else and not coming through for my mom or myself. Sometimes we need to take the time for ourselves before we can help others. Someone mentioned that self-care is essential, and I took their advice. I noticed I had a rental for a parking space at the office, and the wild part of that is we are closed today. So unless they decide to wing it, they will have a hard time moving in until the office opens back up.
This weekend, I sought the Amish store that I love going to near Statesville. Unfortunately, the only one still around was not the one I was looking for, and the one I loved was now permanently closed. I knew I should have gotten those dried apples before I left the open general store. Oh well. You live and learn. I spent time with my mom this weekend, and I will treasure that time for the rest of my life because the chances are slim that we’ll get to make another excursion while she’s still on earth. It’s the little things that mean the most to me. Time with her is more precious than any amount of money or material possessions. After losing my dad to cancer, I’ve learned to appreciate those times in my life with her that I can cherish.
I have a cat that stays with her. Her name is Sadie, and she is my heart. We rescued her from a pack of coyotes, and she is the most docile feral cat I’ve ever encountered. This weekend, Sadie has used the time with me to her advantage. She always suckers me for attention, and she has me wrapped around her paws. She is a black and white tuxedo cat, and the only cat that I’ve ever had would go to the table and put her feet on the table then look at me like, where’s my plate? No other cat of mine has ever done that, and she’s a mess.
Why is she not with me? Two reasons. I took the current job I’m in and moved into my mom’s old house. She and I essentially house-swapped. After moving her out of that home a couple of years ago, I swore I would never move like that again. It was a nightmare moving all the items out of that house, and let me tell you, the main thing I learned was never putting too much in a home again. With the job that I do, you’d think I wouldn’t want to store items, but sometimes we do things for sentimental reasons, which don’t make sense to others. While I don’t wish anyone to lose their articles, I can see why some folks stop paying their bills. They don’t want to deal with the disposal of those items. I live with practically no furniture. That’s on purpose. The less I have in that house, the better. Cats love heights, and she wouldn’t have fun in that house. There’s nowhere for her to jump and play. She’d have plenty of running room, but that would be the only benefit for her. The second reason is that I have plants in the house, and she can’t resist plants and greenery. Plants tend to make her sick, and I have no way to keep her from eating on those plants. So mom and I agreed that Sadie was better off staying with her and I could join them on weekends. It works great for me, and I love having independence. Mom enjoys Sadie, even though she grumbles about her, but it’s become a win-win situation for all parties involved.
As I ran away throughout the state this weekend, I took time to soak in the atmosphere of the cities I visited. Statesville is where my dad is from, and mom and I went by the house Dad grew up in. It’s in an area where the homes are aging rapidly, but the man living there has created a beautiful home, and I’m grateful that the house is loved. It’s challenging to watch places that you love fall apart, and I’ve seen it happen too many times to people. Mom and I had no set schedule, so it was a matter of coordinating the drive to the places we wanted to go most. Since we were on the western side of the state, we drove by the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I immersed myself in the beauty of the mountainside and hills. I felt as if I were home. There’s something about the mountains that makes my soul feel at peace. I can feel the mountain beckoning me to join them at times, and the solitude is warming to my heart. The hills are full of rocks and other frustrating things to some folks, but to me, the mountains are a canvas that changes consistently. I can hear the music of the mountains in the swaying of the trees. I smell the various scents that the season provides in the lushness or baring of the trees and flowers.
I have learned over the years that it’s better to pay more money for a pair of shoes that will last than to keep buying shoes that fall apart. So, this weekend, I found a couple of boots that I wanted that will feel good on my feet throughout the winter and still look stylish and durable. They will be able to endure the stress that I give them, and the best part? They are so comfortable and should last me for years. Not only am I picky with food, but I’m very picky with clothes and shoes. Comfort is a must for me. I could never be a model. I’m not one for highly feminine things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I have friends who are and accept them for their tastes just like they accept me for mine. I push myself constantly to step out of my comfort zone with food, but clothes are something that it’s hard for me to step out of my area for because I don’t go anywhere that requires nice clothes. The farm, the park, and other places have become my go-to spots, and I’m grateful for that but secretly wish that changes. I hesitate to buy new things unless I know that I’m going to use them.
So today, mom and I are grilling out, I’m working on my school projects, and I’m back to work on social media. But I have thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of days and feel refreshed. Sometimes I wish I could afford to work four days a week routinely, but I can’t. I can make the most of the time that I have off and make each moment count. Because at the end of the day, we all need to recharge our batteries when life drains us.
Sometimes doing things for ourselves is the best medicine we can take. I’ve been on social media a little bit over the weekend and am amazed by the people who throw so many ministerial posts that are judgmental and filled with venom over people who do not believe the way they do. What do they think they are accomplishing? Sometimes it’s better to keep your opinions to yourself than to judge others because you believe your way is the only way people will get to heaven.
My hope for all of you is that you have a wonderful Labor Day. Cherish this time if you are off because we have so many things to be grateful for in our lives. What we don’t need to do is beat ourselves up over things we cannot change. Experience time with your family and friends. Don’t take the day for granted, and more than anything, I wish you all a peaceful and wonderful day to share with those you love. Have a great Labor Day, everyone.