Those of you who’ve been reading for a while may be wondering how it’s going with Mr. Wonderful.
It’s going wonderfully, of course.
I’m trying not to bore (or gag) everyone with tales from Cloud Nine, so I’ve been blogging about other things. Still, Mr. Wonderful (his name is Victor, and he approves this message) has been teaching me a thing or two and I think they’re worth sharing. I’ll try not to overdo it. I don’t want any eye-rolling out there.
The most dramatic lesson I’m learning has to do with the proper use of weekends. Here is something I never quite grasped: every weekend is, potentially, a mini-vacation and should be treated accordingly.
I’ve been a single working mom forever. Historically, my weekends were for laundry and housework, sandwiched between errands and maybe some trips to the park. Every other weekend, when the kids were with their dad, I’d have the same dilemma: should I get some rest or go have fun? Or accomplish things that cannot be accomplished with kids underfoot? Most of my weekends were squandered in an indecisive state of “should”…I should be dealing with that pile of paper; I should be painting the living room; I should be getting a jump on cooking for the week.
I live 20 minutes from the beach and an hour from beautiful mountains. I live in Orange County, one of the most desirable locations in the world, and I seldom take advantage of it. I never go anywhere. I have been to the beach no more than three times in the past five years, because there was always housework or some other priority. What’s wrong with me?!?
Since I started dating Victor—just four months ago!—all that has changed. With Vic, I’ve hiked to a waterfall, visited Catalina Island (wow), and scrambled among tide pools. I’ve visited new places and made new friends. We never miss a chance to go to the beach. It’s a matter of prioritizing.
It’s Not About What’s Closer
Here’s an example. One Sunday morning, we didn’t have anything planned, so we were going to go to Homegoods and look for wall décor. We went online to find a Homegoods location.
Meg: There’s one in Seal Beach and one in Costa Mesa.
Vic: Hmmm…which one should we go to?
Meg: Well, Costa Mesa is closer.
Vic: It’s not about what’s closer. If we go to the one in Seal Beach we can have breakfast by the beach and then take PCH up.
So, what would have felt like running an errand on a Sunday BV (before Victor) became a leisurely breakfast out, followed by a stroll around the Huntington Pier. We browsed a little beachside craft fair and stopped to smell hand-made candles poured into coconut shells. We watched a Veteran’s Day service on the beach, with World War II veterans in attendance. (Those guys always get to me.) Then we drove up Pacific Coast Highway, enjoying the view all the way to the store.
See the difference? I sure did. I won’t even go into all the fun we had in Homegoods. Suffice it to say that for the rest of my days, I will look for feet below the big hanging rugs, because I am now aware that those hanging rug displays make a great hiding spot. We didn’t get anything for the walls, and we didn’t care.
What comes after Long Beach?
Another Sunday morning, we sat at Starbucks discussing what we should do with the sunny day. Nothing came to mind.
Vic’s car was in the shop and his rental was a convertible, so we just started driving. We gravitated towards PCH, because leisure drives should offer good views. From Huntington we drove through Seal Beach and then Long Beach. I realized that although I’ve lived here for 33 years, I haven’t ever gone any farther on PCH.
“What comes after Long Beach?” I asked.
“Torrance, I think…” He fiddled with his phone, checking the map. “Hmmm…”
For the record, San Pedro comes after Long Beach, but it doesn’t matter when there’s sun on your face and wind in your hair and your sweetheart holding your hand. While I watched the beach towns pass by, Victor kept an eye on the map, and we wound up here:
That place is called Palos Verdes Cove. I never even knew it was there. We just stood on the cliff for a while, taking in the view while dolphins played in the water below. Views do something to me—something relaxing and refreshing. That was a heck of a view.
So we went from Starbucks to dolphins in 45 minutes, without planning ahead—all because Victor has a sense of adventure and the ability to follow a map. We could have defaulted to the sofa and watched reruns all day, and I would have gone home feeling guilty that I didn’t get the laundry done. Instead, I had another mini-vacation, with gorgeous views and romantic memories, and the laundry never even crossed my mind.