Six years ago, Daniel and I “got away from it all” to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary with a weekend at the lovely Gold Mountain Manor in Big Bear Lake, California.
After feasting on home-made waffles and omelettes the first morning, we sat together on the porch swing. Well, we were physically together, but my mind was elsewhere. It was in Driver/Choleric over-drive, making a mental list of everything we could accomplish.
We’re up early (I hate sleeping in — such a waste of time!) so we have a good head start on the day. If we get a move on, we can get to the local zoo when it opens, hit the shops by 11:00 AM, have lunch just after noon, check out the nature center in the early afternoon, rent canoes around 3:00 PM, and then . . .
My mental hamster wheel screeched to a halt as Daniel pulled me close in an affectionate hug, heaved a sigh of utter contentment.
“It’s so peaceful and quiet. I’d be perfectly happy just sitting right here all day long.”
I froze in fear. No, make that terror. “Peaceful” and “quiet” were bad enough, but far more ominous were those three little words: all day long. After a decade-and-a-half of matrimony, I knew Daniel well enough to know that he meant what he’d said. And I didn’t have to check my watch or do math on a napkin to realize that I’d just been sentenced to nine hours of “sitting right here.”
The fleeting question, I wonder if I can leave him here all day while I go… did cross my mind. (I discarded the idea when I thought of his friends ribbing him, “So you took the little woman to a fancy B&B, and she left you to go shopping?”)
I considered arguing for my plan, but he looked, well, so peaceful and so happy, I didn’t have the heart.
I resigned myself to my fate: a day of doing absolutely nothing.
And so we sat, in the peace and quiet of the forest. As my I-hate-it-when-my-plans-get-changed resentment ebbed, I noticed things I’d missed earlier: the blue sky, the piney air, the flitting birds. I felt my brain dial down a few notches, my shoulder tension relax a bit, my drive to “do something, anything!” dissipate.
We really did “sit right here” all day. And I lived to tell the tale! (When Daniel fell asleep, I did tip-toe back to our room for a book…) At the end of the day, I was a lot more peaceful and quiet than I’d been in months. It felt like I’d finally been able to exhale after holding my breath for a very long time.
I’ve come to rely on Daniel to bring balance to my otherwise hectic life. After being on the go-go-go, trying to “do it all,” I need Daniel to help me get away from it all. To re-mind me that yes, I really do need peace and quiet, too.