Speaking with my co-worker on Friday, we ended our conversation with the usual: “Got any plans for the weekend?” Here, in the US, this is the “long” three-day-Labor-Day weekend. Anywhere else in the world, this is not much to celebrate (the three-day weekend, I mean), but in this country, it seems to me that a vast majority of the working class sees those as pretty much their only time off work. To maximize their time off without taking a lot of days off, they build their vacation around those three-day weekends.
My co-worker mentioned they were hoping to go to the beach before Fall came, and it got me thinking. This year, I have probably been to the beach three times. Two out of those three trips lasted no more than an hour (some unforeseen factors impacted the length of stay). When asked what my plans were, I said I was trying to go visit a state park or something else that included the outdoors and nature, and excluded crowds of people. (That meant I definitely would not be going to the beach.)
Whenever a three-day weekend rolls around, I long to travel. It does not make sense to go far for just the weekend (you end up spending most of it in the car, driving), but three days gives you some wiggle room. However, yet again, I did not have any major plans involving anything outside of local traveling. Yes, I know that some people have not skipped a beat and are traveling without thinking twice. As much as I would like to follow suit, I have to admit that I am not as eager as I otherwise would be. Flights are overbooked because airlines are trying to maximize their profits and customers have cabin fever. Fights break out at airports and onboard aircraft. International destinations require all sorts of hoops to jump through. There is always a high chance that your flight will be delayed or flat-out canceled, which will lead to you wasting your time off at the airport, instead of relaxing in a hammock or on a hike.
My blogging schedule has been out of whack mostly due to some outside stressors, lack of time and motivation, as well as a feeling of detachment. I feel out of balance. I realized that I cannot do the things I want if there is not some sort of equilibrium achieved within me. Yesterday, I watched a man balance on a board placed on top of wobbly cylinders stacked on top of each other (circus), which is the perfect metaphor for how I feel mentally – I keep flailing around (like the guy did for entertainment purposes). How can you focus on a spot on the wall (or floor) if your gaze is all over the place?
We, the collective group of people around the world, have had our game faces on for a long time now, and I bet they are weighing heavy on you. At work, we get weekly emails about the virus that shall not be named. Those emails keep repeating how much our work is being appreciated. They say that they know these are tough times, and they are in awe of the fact that we still put our brave faces on and continue to provide excellent product/service. Whenever I read these in the past, I would roll my eyes. First of all, all the ‘thank yous’ in the world will not pay my bills. Secondly, we are strong and we are not THAT overwhelmed. However, as I read that email this past Friday, something in me broke. I think I might be overwhelmed after all. I cannot help but wonder if I got to this place on my own, or if my brain decided that, after hearing about everyone being overwhelmed for the past year+, it was time to join the club. Whichever one it is, though, I know that it is not work that put the nail in my coffin. It is the inability to relax. The best way for me to relax is to travel regularly. Being away from home takes you out of the circumstances. It creates distance, giving you the ability to roam freely, even if just for a moment.
Every year, I host a Block Party so that I can catch up with my regulars, meet new people, and help create a greater sense of community. However, this year, I almost forgot about my annual event. Thankfully, I ran into someone’s post a few days ago that reminded me of it. So, here we are.
If you would like to check out the event from previous years and maybe discover some new blogs, feel free to click on the links below. While the party might be over, it might be fun to watch the recording. (It’s a figure of speech; not an actual recording.)
Maybe next year we can do a virtual meet and greet? I am not sure that will happen, but it is something that is brewing in my head. How would you feel about that?
Enough of the ‘opening remarks.’ Thank you all for coming. I would like to keep this one simple and just have a conversation with you. Pretend that we are in a big room. People are starting to trickle in. You know some people but not all. You want to chat with them all. It does not matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert. This platform allows you to approach people without the fear of other people just talking over you.
There will be no awkward silence.
You can finally talk about what YOU want to talk about.
You can ask questions YOU want to ask.
So, grab an appetizer and/or a glass of champagne (for starters; you can get something else from the open bar once you are done with the welcome champagne) and mingle. Talk to me, talk to others, talk to yourself (i.e. make a speech). Be creative! The floor is yours.
P.S. Last week, as I was trying to edit an old post, I found out that I can no longer use the browser I used for many months because WP screwed something up. At this point in time, they do not know what it is. I just wanted to let you know in case you try to edit, or even draft, a post and are faced with an error message. If that happens, try a different browser. Yes, it is an inconvenience…
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