Coloring Books & Cartoons

It’s Monday – time to share how I unplugged over the weekend (because I’m still not tired of this subject – and goodness knows I haven’t mastered it).

Probably the most interesting thing about my weekend happened Thursday night. Sitting on the couch, just hanging out watching tv together after dinner, my husband turned to me and asked,

Anything special you want to do this weekend? Do you need to work?”

It was a very casual, straight-forward question – no tone, no hidden meanings or insinuations. But it made me realize just how much I’ve trained my beloved to expect that I might need to work during the weekend. That’s weeks and months of saying, “Sorry, I can’t. I have to work.” I explained again my commitment to confining work to my workweek. It hadn’t occurred to me until that moment that it might take as many weeks and months to really undo this thing and create a reliably different expectation – for him or for me.

That nice but unfamiliar feeling came around again Friday evening when we realized we were free – and had the energy – to go out to eat again if we wanted to and celebrate the week. Because we had done what needed doing and finished what needed finishing – and it was a week worth celebrating. So we did. We went to a favorite neighborhood Italian place that reminds me of the rival restaurant in Big Night – maybe not so authentic, but completely satisfying.

And afterwards, because I was restless, I indulged in a bit of recreational shopping disguised as buying groceries. I love hunting for a good bargain – and I found it in fifty-cent red & yellow peppers and mocha bars at Grocery Outlet. Score.

Saturday morning Max woke us very early for the ritual trip to the river beach. Where it was windy! and the light and the color reminded us so much of the San Juan Islands – one of my most favorite places on earth. I should just make a point of vacationing there at least once a year.

This was followed by breakfast and a bit of laundry – which somehow led to purging my clothes closet. Not because it was in a horrible state or anything, but it had reached the threshold of annoying. As in: hard to put things away because it was getting a little too crowded in there. So I quickly filled three grocery bags with the obvious discards (I could have done more, but that would have required too much emotional work). There. Annoying to tidy. Because I had space to act (instead of putting it on my to-do list and making a should out of it) it was No Big Deal. Yay. Onward.

To the refrigerator full of CSA farm produce. And getting lost in hours of chopping chopping chopping to make fresh salsa (incredible! we’ve been eating it by the bowlful). And my favorite summer corn salad. And hummus from fresh garbanzos (I had no idea how they grew until they arrived in our weekly box). And apple pie. This was all deliciously rewarding for obvious reasons, but being on my feet all day was unexpectedly exhausting (especially after being awoken so very early by you-know-who). I was so tired I found myself watching High School Musical just to see what the fuss was about (still don’t get it) before letting myself go to bed. (That’s too tired.)

Sunday morning Max woke us very early again, but once fed was happy to get in bed with us for another hour, so we all sort of slept in. Well, kinda. And after a lazy morning of coffee/newspaper/brunch, my husband and I headed out to play a round of golf – which we haven’t done since the spring when my repetitive stress injury showed up. (Yes, I golf. Never, ever thought I would say that, but I do. And I like it. I’m terrible. But I like it.)  Long story short: it doesn’t hurt (yay), but I’m still too weak to play more than 5-6 short holes (boo). We were glad we got out anyway. It was a lovely day. And at least we can say we tried.

My body now insisting on rest, I’m almost embarrassed to admit I spent the rest of the day on the couch watching yet more movies targeted at a youth audience – Eragorn (so-so) to Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword (really terrible) – while I colored. Yes, I got out my markers and my Images coloring book and colored. I’ll share more about this in a future post because it made me think a lot about patterns. Right now, it only matters that I stayed off the laptop and colored instead of playing computer games (which was still not the greatest thing for my ouchie hand, but it was a step in the right direction). By following impulse, I ended up spending the rest of the day like a kid. I colored and watched cartoons. Couldn’t have planned that if I tried. And it was just the thing.

Yet I still woke tired this morning to weekend messes that need cleaning up and a to-do list of the usual too-long length. And interestingly, it’s okay. If nothing else, the benefit of unplugging is stepping away from the constant urgency of it all just far enough that I can see that if today isn’t the doing sort of Monday I want it to be, that’s okay. It’s possible even for me to enjoy it. To essentially have a three-day weekend because that’s what my body needs.

To have unwound this much, to feel this sense of space, feels a small miracle. Whew. And I’m grateful for it.


5 Responses to “Coloring Books & Cartoons”

  1. 1 Lisa Firke August 26, 2009 at 11:17 am


    Thank you for reminding me about coloring books. Of course! GREAT way to relax.

  2. 3 JoVE August 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    We grew chick peas (garbanzos) one year just to see if we could. Very pretty plants. But hte squirrels like them so we didn’t actually get to eat that many.

  1. 1 You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. « How THW Gets In Gear Trackback on August 25, 2009 at 10:35 am

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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]



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