Saturday, March 19, 2011
Wasting a day...in Italy
Sometimes, at the end of a day, when I have wiped down the kitchen counters for what I hope will be the last time, I realize that I never had a chance to sit down and just be. Have you ever thought, as you listen to the kids arguing over a toy or what they are going to watch on television, "What did I ever do with myself before I had kids?"
I can vaguely remember those days...it seems to me that what I did most of the time back then was make things (like baking a cake from scratch and then perfectly decorating it with a cake decorating kit in a basket-weave pattern I saw in Martha Stewart Living Magazine) or go shopping for clothes at the mall or get my hair done. Now, I know there must have been more important things that I accomplished in my other life, but I honestly can't remember what I used to do in a day when I didn't work. I probably read many good books and generally, I think I spent more time on the "maintenance" side of taking care of myself.
I remember that I always seemed to have (what I thought at the time was) good hair, well manicured fingers and pretty clothes. I certainly had more money to spend on those things. So, that was all before the boys came along and converted me over to the church of "MOM" where I spend time pitching tents instead of getting a manicure. Where I pick up 900 dirty socks or scrub the toilet for the fourth time in a week instead of getting my hair done at a nice salon. Where I wear worn out camouflage pants and tank tops instead of the latest fashions.
Which all leads me back to my point...These days, I never seem to take time to just relax. I don't sit on my comfy sofa and spend three hours straight reading a great book. I don't lay out by my pool or go to the beach on a beautiful day. I am always "doing" something and not having much to show for it at the end of the day if you ask me. So the other day, I had just finished the morning dishes and put a load of laundry in the washing machine and realized that I didn't know what to do next. The house needed to be cleaned and I needed to go to the grocery store. I had four hours before I needed to pick my son up from school and I couldn't figure out which thing to get done.
In a quandary, I sat down on the sofa and looked out the window into my back yard. It was a beautiful day, so I got up and opened the windows. I sat back down. I looked around me on the couch and saw several gun-shaped WII controllers littering the cushions. I pushed them out of the way and then picked one up and looked at it. (What the heck is the fascination with shooting games for 10-12 year old boys anyway??) The boys recently talked me into getting Netflix and they have watched several movies on the WII with it, so I fidgeted with the controller until I got the movie service to come up. Flipping through the list, I realized that I was actually contemplating sitting there by myself watching a movie when I had chores to do....What was I thinking?????
I did not stop flipping until I got to the section with the foreign movies...ahh, that was it, I needed to get away, just for a little while. I selected a film called "Bread and Tulips" which, as it turns out, was about an Italian woman (wife, mother) who gets left behind at a rest stop while on a tour with her husband and kids and, long story short, ends up hitch-hiking her way to Venice (because she's never been there before and she feels like she needs a break from her schmuck husband and ungrateful kids...sound familiar yet?) where she stays for what seems like weeks. Of course, while she is there, she meets a handsome man, gets a job in a flower shop and reignites a long-suppressed love and talent for playing the accordion (yes, I said accordion) all while in the beautiful, romantic setting of Venice, Italy and yes, the movie was in the Italian language and had sub-titles. MAGNIFICO!!
As I sat there living vicariously through Rosalba's life, I was transported to another country for two whole hours! While I was there, I baked some sugar cookies and ate three of them with a cup of freshly brewed coffee...Heaven! After the movie was over, I was so inspired, I wrote an email to a friend I hadn't spoken to in a while...in Italian (using Google translator because I don't know how to speak Italian.) What a beautiful day it was for me...I think that sometimes, we just need to check out and let ourselves be carried away in a fantasy to Italy. The trick for afterward though, is not to feel guilty about it....
I would love to say that I did not feel guilty, but who am I trying to kid? Of course I felt guilty! When I arrived back from Italy, I had 40 minutes left before I needed to pick my son up, so I quickly decided to clean one of the bathrooms (the boys' bathroom because it always needs it) and fold a load of laundry. I then quickly called my husband and "confessed" my sin of sloth....sigh...I guess I'll have to work on the guilt thing another day...maybe in Greece next time...