Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, said “I am my best person when I have less on my plate.” I agree with her. The more stuff that clutters my calendar, the more stressed I become, and everything suffers. I don’t thrive under pressure.
But this weekend made me reconsider.
Saturday morning I was up with the sun to drive 130+ miles to Salisbury, Maryland, where I gave a talk as part of my “ambassadorship duties” for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
(Speaking of stress…I’ve never considered myself a public speaker…but I only saw one guy nodding off, and considering the whole MS fatigue thing, I figured that was pretty good. On the other hand, it was only a ten-minute talk. For anyone to nod off in under ten minutes does suggest it must have been REALLY BORING.)
The main speaker was a neurologist who was easy to listen to—and easy on the eyes—wink, wink. After that there was a nice catered lunch (chicken, Halloween candy.) The event was held at the zoo, so then we took a delightful tour around the animals. It was a great chance to meet my point of contact at the MSF. And I’ve never seen such flaming flamingos! Then 130+ miles back home, with a few stops for food, gas, and cash.
Sunday morning required getting my husband to the airport for a business trip, then Deacon Duty at church, which involves locating and greeting visitors and delivering chancel flowers to someone who might appreciate them.
Then I drove 20+ miles to pick up my mother-in-law, who accompanied me another 20+ miles to her long-time church in Alexandria, VA. The church dates back to the Revolutionary War. In 1975 her husband (eventually my father-in-law, died in 2006) wrote a book entitled A Watermelon For God which chronicles the entire church history. The church was revisiting the book and was delighted to have her in attendance. She was also thrilled to be there among old friends. And I was thrilled to be able to make that possible for her.
After the program and another meal (pork chops, Halloween cupcakes), I drove her back home, facing some fierce traffic on 95 South. (Where are all those people headed on a Sunday evening? Richmond!?) I finally got myself back home, arriving around 8:30.
It was a lot for me to take on in a weekend. And I was a little nervous going in, particularly with all the driving, because when the fatigue hits, I am very hard pressed to stay awake in the car. But from where I now sit on this side of the weekend, I am very pleased to have done so many things. No single thing was particularly earth shattering, but the combination of all of them gives me a real sense of accomplishment. Life’s little pleasures…..