It's not always a good day. In fact, a truly good day is often hard to come by. We spend our weekdays working and taking care of our families, and our weekends committed to obligations. It's a never ending cycle. I think it's safe to say that some of those obligations we'd much rather ditch for a day on the couch, right? Right. But, lets face it, we do what we've got to do. This past week was CRAZY for me. Good crazy, though. I was busy at the salon, spent time with family, and found out my bestie is going to have a baby GIRL! All GREAT things. Although, even great things can exhaust us.
September through January is always my busiest time of year at work. With the holidays quickly approaching, we're all bombarded and trying to find balance. No weekend is untouched and our schedules are booked out months in advance. This morning, after running around like a lunatic for seven days straight, my anxiety was through the roof - so bad that my hands were shaking. I woke up and made a promise to myself that today would be just for me. No work calls/texts, no cleaning, no "momming" during school hours, nothing. Just me and nothing. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that the only way you'll get some R&R, is if you make time for it and give it to yourself. It's needed for your mental and physical well being. So, I did just that. It's very unfortunate that this "me time" exists very seldom for myself and most women I know.
My day went as follows: Woke up at 6AM, walked the dogs, packed my daughter's lunch, and took her to school. Came home, crashed on the couch and watched The Today Show. PAUSE: I don't care what anyone has to say about The Today Show or Kathy Lee and Hoda, I love them both. Like, groupie status kind of love. One time, I stood outside of the studio in Rockefeller Center during a taping and waved like one of those corny people you see on TV. I have ZERO shame in that. Go ahead, judge me. Anyway, I watched the shit out of both shows this morning, because these days, I can never seem to find the time to watch anything. After my Today Show fix, I took a hot bath. The bath lasted for 4 hours and 150 pages of my book. I lit candles and brought my coffee in the tub. It was heavenly. Following my 4 hour spa-like session, I got back on the couch with the intention of reading more. I fell asleep until my daughter got home from school, with both dogs on top of me. Again, heavenly. The word nap isn't even in my vocabulary. I woke up to the sound of my daughter coming into the kitchen door with her friends. Who am I? I don't know, but today I liked her.
Two of my daughter's friends came home with her after school today so I could cut their hair. We all hung out for a bit and then my daughter and I went to yoga, her first time. On the ride there, I instructed her that no matter what, she shouldn't laugh in class, as it would distract others. She insisted she would be on best behavior and take things seriously. And she did, for the most part. About three quarters of the way into the class, the instructor had us do a knee to chest pose to work our lower spine. Taking it a step further, she had us rock back and forth, ground to upright position, in a repetitive manner. No problem, except one. My 15 year old was on the mat next to me, burning a hole through me with her eyes, and apparently heard me make a "grunt" noise. I don't recall this noise because I was in the zone. Anyway, this triggered her almost uncontrollable and uncontainable laughter. For 15 minutes straight, all I could focus on was the noises she was making from trying to hold her laughter in. Don't worry yogis, it was only loud enough for me to hear, and she didn't disrupt the class. But, she did set off my laughing trigger, and we were both trying our absolute hardest not to lose it. The thought alone of what she may have been thinking about as I was rolling around on that mat, was enough to put me in stitches. I had to do the following two poses wrong, just so I could avoid looking at her. Her face was in her armpit. The last pose in every yoga class is called Savasana. It's a 10 to 15 minute period where you lie in a "corpse" position and find the balance between relaxtion and meditation. The lights are turned down low, eyes are closed, and you are in complete silence. I had to massage my cheek muscles to keep from laughing and the tears were streaming down my face. Needless to say, she totally disrupted my meditative state, but we laughed like children the entire ride home and I'm pretty sure she told me she farted during class.
After yoga, I dropped my daughter off at a friend's house. They were going to hang out, get something to eat at the restaurant down the street, and all walk back here for a sleepover. Tomorrow is election day and the kids are off from school. If anyone knows me, they know that when my daughter's father and I split up, I lost all connection I had to my daughter's social life. At the time, I was living 3 neighborhoods away (about 12 minutes), but to a teenager, that might as well be a different continent in terms of her friends. I have my daughter Sunday through Wednesday. All school nights. So, sleep overs don't exist here. Even when they could, I used to be "too far" for her friends to travel to my place. I finally moved back to the neighborhood I always wanted to be in and where I called home. Now, my daughter can walk to school, her friends come over all the time, her dad's house is close by in the event she forgets something (which is VERY often), and we can have somewhat of a normal life back. She actually enjoys being here now. One of my most favorite things in the universe was having my daughter and her friends at our house before we were living in separate homes. I would bake them cakes, make food, watch movies with them, and most importantly, smile at the sound of the laughter and high pitched voices coming from her bedroom. I lost that for two years. Some will say that was my fault, but I'll always beg to differ. Things just didn't go as planned, and for whatever reason, that's how it was supposed to be, or I wouldn't be where I am right now.
After living in a house for 5 years, there was nothing that I loathed more than apartment life. People everywhere, no privacy, no outdoor space, and no "homey" feeling. When I moved out of my old house, I left EVERYTHING, with plans on returning after my daughter's father and I worked on the issues we were facing. I mean I left EVERYTHING. The only major purchase I made when moving out was a $500 couch. The rest was IKEA junk, enough to get me by. Since moving out of my original home, I've moved 3 times in less than two years since "my split". Crazy, right? The first move was out of what I like to call my "dungeon of doom". The apartment I picked in only 48 hours to use as a landing pad while my ex and I figured things out. The place I would eventually leave from and return home, because we'd fix what then were issues that don't even compare to the ones that exist now. I was SO wrong. Instead of taking time to work on ourselves and better our relationship, the exact opposite happened. That apartment became a very, very dark place for me. I spent a year there and everyday was awful. When my lease was up, I decided I needed to move on to greener pastures. A new place with a fresh start. A place I liked. Had I known I'd be permanently out of my home, I never would have picked that first apartment to live in long term. I found an adorable (but small and overpriced) apartment where one of my best friends happened to live. So, off I went. It was great. Until the complex was bought out, the rent was jacked up, and my best friend moved out. For what I was paying to live in that brand new shoe box, I knew for just a few dollars more that I could come back to where I always wanted to live and get my daughter and I into a house. I searched, found a home that was in awful shape when I first viewed it, but signed the lease anyway.
For those of you who are wondering why I haven't purchased a home yet, here is why: I'm a 31 year old, single woman. I own a business and already have a ton of responsibility on my plate. I don't want the pressure of maintaining a home AND a business on my own. If the roof leaks, I call the landlord. If the heater breaks, I call the landlord. Feel me? Also, who knows where my life will lead me? I'm just fine renting and that doesn't mean I CAN'T buy, nor does it make me less of a successful person. We are all paying some type of rent or mortgage, and we could all die tomorrow. I have life insurance for my daughter. One day I'll have a house for her, too. But, not today. So, save your "renting is such a waste of money" speech, for someone else.
Back to the house, it was a hot mess when my daughter and I came to look at it. Still, something in my heart was screaming "GET THIS HOUSE!". I just knew the potential it had and what I could do with it. So, I signed the lease the next day and hustled like I never hustled before to get all the money together to move in and furnish the place. I had to buy EVERYTHING I had already purchased and owned, all over again, with no help. Most stressful period of my entire life, but I did it. Alone. Something about that makes you feel incredibly proud. The home is historic and was part of the underground railroad. It's 178 years old. The kitchen and bathroom are updated and beautiful, the floors are the original hardwood, we have 3 spiral staircases, a wood burning fireplace, and not to mention, a HUGE back yard. But, it was FILTHY. We came in, painted, cleaned from top to bottom, and I couldn't be more in love with this home. Don't get me wrong, it's no mansion, and it's far from flashy and brand new, but it's just so perfect, and just so me.
So, the moral of the story is this: during my many moves, I had convinced myself that I was apartment hopping in an attempt to make myself feel better. In hindsight (which is ALWAYS 20/20), I was moving to new places because each place was another stepping stone for my daughter and I. Had I not done that, I wouldn't be where I am in this exact moment.
LIFE LESSON #2: Never give up on something that means the world to you.
As I sit here typing in my living room, candles burning, under a cozy blanket, my home is filled with the sound of laughter and high pitched voices coming from my daughter's bedroom. What I lost is back. That sweet sound was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I'm not even upset that it's 1AM and the four kids are screaming like hyenas, because guess what? We get to sleep in tomorrow, another thing I rarely get to do with my daughter. Tonight, she asked me to make them all breakfast in the morning. I couldn't wait to say yes. Today wasn't a good day. Today was a perfect day.