Until we launch our Big Plan – I work an alternative schedule that allows me to have one day every other week completely off. Typically, this day is full of appointments, house cleaning, and other catch-up errands that have slipped from our bustling schedule. However, occasionally, I don’t have anything immovable and I find myself a little burnt out on the day-to-day business of keeping a house running. Today, is one of those days. After Labor Day, Washington D.C. clears out the tourists, and field trips haven’t yet started for kids around the nation. Plus, the weather is more often than not – simply gorgeous. About three times a year, I take a day to myself to explore this amazing city I call home. I’m able to linger at paintings that speak to me, stop and people watch whenever I please, enter and exit all of the free museums with very little wait (thanks to school being back in session), not negotiate meal and restroom times (even with my very accommodating family), and walk for miles and miles. I enjoy having days with my family to explore this magnificent city, but I love these days too.
It’s important to re-connect with the only person you’ll be with every minute for the rest of your life – you. Though, I won’t lie that I feel a tinge of guilt at the laundry-list of items (including laundry) that should be getting done. I also harbor some guilt that Mr. Moe is at work and Miss Moe at school as I indulge in a lovely day exploring my city. The stars typically have to align perfectly for me to take a day to myself (why it’s only three times a year). Schedule has to look pretty caught up, weather has to be perfect, and no early pick-ups, appointments, or any other reason to give me an excuse to not do it. Then, and only then – after a good amount of waffling about it the night before, I force myself to do it.
Today, as I write this I am sitting on the National Mall people watching (runners, walkers, business people, food trucks) and just marveling at the beautifulness of today, this city, and my life. So many people travel from all over the country and the world to see my own backyard. The result of almost all of my people watching shows nearly everyone in groups of at least two (except the runners). I rarely see someone exploring this city alone. The nation’s heart is full of culture, diversity, serious government officials, vibrant protestors, young families, and activities of all kinds. Before we move to California I want to know and understand everything I can about this city. Over the years, D.C. has snuck into little nooks of my heart and mind and is slowly becoming a part of who I am.
As selfish as it sometimes feels – I make it a point to take this time for self-care. Being busy just to be busy serves no purpose and promotes stress and resentment. I can be addicted to productivity and multi-task myself into a frenzy, yet slowing down to enjoy everything this great life offers is more important than that last load of laundry getting done. Miss Moe admires my ability to take a day to myself and says when she’s old enough she plans to explore the city on her own. It’s important to model the kind of behavior you hope your children will adopt, and choosing experiences and self-care makes my life more full. Taking care of myself teaches Miss Moe that I have self-worth and she should too. It is just as important as spending time with my amazing family. And always, every single time, by the end of the day – I miss my sweet family and can’t wait to see them.