It was two minutes before eleven when she finally finished the novel she had been trying to read for the last couple of days. The cat was leaning heavily against her leg. He twitched in his sleep then snuggled in a little closer to her in the big soft chair.
As she stood up and stretched she caught sight of the dirty breakfast dishes still in the sink. She chose to ignore them and put the kettle on instead. A cup of tea and a snack maybe?
The pounding rain had eased off to a drizzle and she wondered how her daughter was doing at sailing camp in the cove close to their house. She had dropped her and a friend off this morning in the early morning greyness. The had happily grabbed their life jackets and headed down to the dock. The rain didn’t seem to bother them but she was more than glad to head home to a quiet, dry house for a few hours.
There was something cathartic about being at home alone for the first time in weeks. The laundry was done, the “to do” list was all but complete, the bathrooms were clean (pretty much) and emails had been answered. Okay, so the breakfast dishes were a bit of an issue but, really, they could wait. At least for a bit. Nobody else would be home until after 4:00 so she had….five hours. Five hours. Alone. Excluding the cat.
June had been a full on month of work, year end wrap ups, ear infections and many, many challenging parenting moments. Then a week full of Disney and dancing in California. Late nights, early mornings and crowds. So many crowds. The input overload had resulted in a few headaches and numerous medicinal glasses of wine. And the occasional margarita.
As she poured the freshly boiled water over the tea bag and spooned in a generous portion of honey she thought.
“What should I do now?”
It was genetically imprinted in her that after a few hours of idleness she must now accomplish something. Her dad was the culprit. Even at 87 he still wasn’t capable of sitting still for long. It often resulted in exhaustion for him but damn it if he was going to change now. So way back in her mind the tiny “stay busy” gremlin was getting restless. What to do? What to do?
She could put away the dishes? There was that stack of filing that needed to be put away. When was the last time she vacuumed? Should she talk something out of the freezer for dinner? Has she call her mom in the last few days?
The cat stood up and yawned. Circled the cushion and curled up. Asleep again in seconds.
She thought about it for a moment. The dishes could wait. She picked up the remote, turned on the TV and pushed the cat over to the side of the chair.
The Best Thing in Life is changing the way you spend your days once in a while.