Have You Ever Wanted to Run Away?

That’s exactly what I did this weekend.  I ran away.  From it all.  Just took off.

Saturday I had to take Mr. T to school so he could get to a UIL Theatre clinic.  He didn’t have to be there until noon, so we had a slow morning and as I sat there enjoying my cup of coffee, I got to thinking.  My plans were to take T to lunch, drop him off at school and then go to my friend Karaboo’s house.  We have been working on our Halloween costumes, and her 2nd bathroom, getting the remodeling finished. That was on the schedule.  It was all planned.

So, I sent her a text… “Want to run away? Head up to the casino?”

Ready to run away with me yet?

Ready to run away with me yet?

It was going to be a beautiful day – cold, but beautiful.  I didn’t want to be inside.  I didn’t want to do what I was supposed to be doing.  I wanted to run away.

After a few texts back and forth, I was told to go ahead and sound the alarm.  So, I put out text to the group.  I got back the following responses: previous plans, t-ball with the kid, getting ready for the cruise, and the best – still drunk from the night before.  Man, I love my girls.  We are so very different from one another, but yet, it just works.  But, as awesome as they are, that’s not the point!

I took T to lunch, just a little one on one time for the two of us.  We were sitting there and waiting and playing and talking – and we hacked the Wi-Fi at the restaurant.  Yup, that’s just how we roll. Make me wait too long and I get into trouble – obviously the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, because Mr. T is actually the one that guessed the correct password!

Lunch was wonderful; it was some good quality time together.  I ran him over to the school, said our goodbyes and headed for Karaboo’s.  I got there and she was putting on the second coat of paint.  Her primary goal was around the electrical boxes, so that on Sunday her husband could hook up the light switches.  She actually got a lot accomplished!  Then I walked in.  I was ready to help her.  I was taking off my jacket… and nope.  We were running away!

Away we ran!  Well, we got in the car, stopped by the bank and then the gas station, she filled up the car and I grabbed us some Coke’s.  Then, away we ran!  We hit the freeway, and just kept driving.  And driving, and driving.  And then that’s when we realized we’d missed our exit.  Technically, she missed it, because I didn’t know what exit we were looking for!  I’m totally putting that on her!  Not really, we were talking, and engaged in great conversation and the road slipped away from us! So, we turned the car around, and then, yet again, away we ran! Free like the wind!

Road Work Ahead, the most common and most dreaded sign in our fair cities!

Road Work Ahead, the most common and most dreaded sign in our fair cities!

Until we ran into road work and then we had to slow down.  Then we had to stop, merge into one lane, travel a bit, and then – Away we ran!  It was smooth sailing the rest of the way up to the casino.  We arrived a bit later than anticipated, but we arrived.  I got me a player’s card and off we went! It was fun! I hadn’t been to this casino yet, so I got to explore!  I like walking around, taking it all in, and stopping to play the slots.  I spent my teenage years in Reno, NV, where gambling is legal, and there are slot machines in the grocery stores and your neighborhood 7-11, so gambling doesn’t hold a big thrill for me, I just like to go and enjoy, to participate in life.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I love it when I win! But, even if I don’t, I never consider it wasted time.

We talked, and played, and walked around.  I like to stare at all the different machines, look at the pretty pictures and bright lights!  Occasionally either she or I would stop and we’d hit a machine.  It was perfect.  It was relaxing.  I didn’t have to do anything or be anything to anyone.  Ahhhh… feel that?  That was the tension leaving my body.

After a couple of hours, we were done, and back in the car headed home.  Yes, I ran away – but my responsibilities were covered.  More importantly, I came back.  I needed the break, and I found it very healthy.  As a result, I’m a better person today.

And, for those keeping score – I did something spontaneous!  This is so outside my character, that I get major points for this road trip!  Even Erica commented on my FB post how proud she was of me!  This is a big deal in my life!  I had the time, and I was spontaneous with it!

Yay! Go me!


Yes Man

I am a Yes Man.

I have always been one to say Yes when friends and family (and sometimes complete strangers) have asked for help.  It is in my nature to want to help you out.  Need help moving? Need an errand run? Need two dozen cupcakes for the bake sale? Need to borrow $200 to pay your cell bill?  Yup, I’ve answered Yes to all of those questions when they have been asked of me, and to many, many more.  My Amy comes and stays the weekends with me sometimes, so she is no stranger to my parents calling and she just loads up in the car with me as we go help them out.  I hosted a slumber party for my other bestie Karen (yes, a grown-up slumber party.  We had drinks and made our own tie-dye shirts.  It was a blast, I highly recommend it!) and as we were all hanging out in the garage talking and playing, my parents called.  So, we all took a break from the party, loaded up, went to my parents’ house, helped and then went back to my place and finished the party. Okay, you get the point?

It could be that I’m the first born, so I’m used to being needed.  It could be that I’m a Cancer and crave someone to need me. All I know is that I like to help others.  At one point I realized that I was saying yes and helping others to the exclusion of taking care of myself. In addition to making myself sick, I realized that I wasn’t doing anything for ME. Yes, the big selfish ME.  I realized that I wasn’t setting a good example for my son – our lives should be dedicated to causing no harm and helping others – but not to the point that we never got to do anything for ourselves!

Then one night, flipping through the channels, I ran across a movie, “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel.  The short point of the movie is that a guy challenges himself to say Yes to everything.  And I mean everything.  In between the laughter and groans (it was Jim Carrey after all, you know there will be some overacting!) this little light bulb over my head started to appear and then begin to shine.

So, I resolved to say Yes, but for ME.  I resolved that when my friends called and invited me somewhere, I would say Yes.  This led to an increase in baby sitter fees and an increase in my overall well-being! I figure it was a fair trade off! I hope that I will always remember my first Yes experience (we should all remember our first, right?). My Amy would stop off at a small bar after work about once a month with a co-worker or two and she told me they were having a grand re-opening celebration, live music, outdoor performances, etc.  Well alrighty then – let’s go!  We did.  We went, and boy oh boy was I uncomfortable at first.  I am extremely shy.  Super confident, exceedingly shy.  Walking into a room where I don’t know anyone is such torture for me!! So, I pretty much clung to my Amy’s side, LOL.  And then Karen and her hubby showed up.  Karen is good at spontaneous trips and events.  And, that was the night that I think our friendship started to really grow.  So, saying Yes and forcing myself to get through the night lead to one of the best friendships I have today.  And, yes, I ended up having fun.  It was nice, it was relaxed and it was a new experience for me!

For several years now, I have said Yes to things I normally wouldn’t   And I have had so many adventures!  Mr. T is older now, so instead of a babysitter, he gets to come on a lot of the outings and adventures, and frequently, it’s just the two of us having our own adventure.  It keeps me from getting settled into a rut, from staying inside my comfort zone and from becoming a hermit!!  All of those things are easily possible.  The nice thing is, my friends have fully supported this – and encouraged it and even participated in it.  When we start to waffle on whether or not to do something – one of us will just say YES.

I’m proud to admit that, after several years, I am a Yes Man.  I answer Yes to as much as possible.  Along the way I have also learned how to say No.  It doesn’t happen very often because I do have a strong sense of family and friends – but I have said it when I needed to say it.  Saying Yes has become second nature for me, I look forward to new adventures, I look forward to what I will encounter and I look forward to it enriching my life.  And, I’m crossing items off my bucket list like nobody’s business.  I am living my life, I am creating stories that will be passed on for generations (okay, maybe not, but still!) and I am setting an example for others that life is here to be enjoyed and to be participated in!

Participate! Live! Be a Yes Man!

I’m about to participate in cleaning my house… oh yeah, I’m living the life right now! Scrubbing toilets and mopping floors – I don’t think it could get any more glamorous!