Winnie turned into quite the little cabin dog over our long trips this summer. Swimming, digging rocks, and running down the back gravel roads are just a few of the new things she’s learned this summer. She turned 10 months old this week!!!
This is my spot. It’s been a fairly solitary spot as much of my extended stays at the cabin have been just me and my doggies. Weekends have been filled with others coming to visit and it gets noisy and busy. Come Sunday nights though, everything settles and quiets. Not just at our cabin, but all along the lake. Heavy boat traffic turns into a single fisherman, or an occasional pontoon. But mostly it’s quiet. The kids, the kayaks, paddle boats, waterskiiers, and the fishers are all gone. Even the dogs disappear into their kennels and admit fatigue. All that’s left is me, my chair, and the occasional loon. It is a luxury that I have never been part of until this summer.
I really let go of the “shoulds” this summer: I should clean the basement, I should do the lesson planning that I never have time for during the school year, I should sit down and do the budget that I always say I need to have. I have thousands of shoulds, not just at the beginning of summer break, but all year round. I wear myself down with shoulds that never ever get done. This summer though, my hospital visit and the realization that I have health issues has really stopped me in my tracks.
I’ve never believed I would live forever but I figured that I knew my health demons (aka famous ly health history) and with enough living right, I’d be good for a while. And then the sneak attack by the enlarged aorta came out of nowhere and everything I always believed was gone. What if….. what if it’s growing fast? What if running makes it worse? What if it ruptures? What if, what if, what if?
I’m 48 years old and I have been so busy trying to take care of all the shoulds – the things that matter to everyone else and worse – the things that don’t matter at all – I have turned into a “someday” girl. Someday I will go on vacation, or read this book, or catch up with this or that person. Someday. Like I am guaranteed a someday. What if I’m not?
I spent the remainder of my summer mostly running away to the cabin. To the quiet place where I had no shoulds. It’s kind of unsettling to not have any shoulds. I felt a little out of sorts. I sat on the couch, I took a little nap, I bugged Doug a lot by text message 😝 And then I remembered I needed to exercise. So I took the dogs out and did a long walk that we never do at home anymore, and I felt good. And then later in the quiet I remembered to check the little free library. I found 4 books that I wanted to read! 4!! I stacked them by my bed and went out and sat down. I played with the dogs, watched them swim. Sat in the sun. And after 20 minutes there was silence again. Now what?!? I exercised, I ate a healthy lunch and breakfast. Now what? I went and got one of those books and I read! I LOVE to read and I never do because I should be doing something else. I spent time this week doing the things that are important to me. I read, I exercised every day, I talked to the important people, I ate healthy, I slept. It was heaven.
I go back to work this next week. Summer is coming to an end and I won’t have the luxury of running away for weeks on end. I’m carrying with me the important things. I am committed to those things. Friends, family, health, running, reading, getting away. I will still have shoulds that need to get taken care of, we all do, but they come after.
What do you do when all your shoulds disappear? What is most important to you? Leave me a message on n the comments, I would love to hear your thoughts!