I don’t know about most people, but when I wake up each day I have to take a few minutes to remember what day it is and to mentally review what I have to do that day. I have always done this, but since I now have a different schedule every day of the week, it’s especially important for me to affirm what’s ahead for me.
When I woke up today, I had to really focus because my regular Friday schedule was a little out of synch. I had a Yoga in the Park that I was scheduled to teach early in the morning. That wasn’t a big problem: it just meant that instead of fine-tuning my blog post first thing in the morning, I was going to do it later in the day. I also had a piece of art I needed to drop off at a gallery, but I had a relatively wide-open window that I could do that in. Then, of course, my day job working as a Healthy Living Coordinator at a Kansas City Y was on my agenda. Okay, so a little different schedule for me, but if I stayed on task I could get everything done. Please remember that “stay on task” part.
The location for the Yoga in the Park class was in a different part of town than where I was. I actually got ready in a timely fashion and arrived a few minutes early. Despite the fact I was there early, a few of my regulars from another class were leaving the location, upset because they had been told a different time for the class. Since I hadn’t known the time when I told them about the class, and since I was early, I apologized for the confusion and moved on. With some help from some of the Y employees, we set up the space for the yoga class.
As the class participants started moving towards the tree-shaded area where we were going to have the class, I remembered that this class was being held in cooperation with the same care facility that my mother and step-father had lived in the last few years of each of their lives. Even though they’ve both been gone a few years, I got a little teary eyed to be teaching to their peers. It was sunny with a slight breeze, so I was able to blame the tears on those causes.
When Mom was in the care facility she refused to take part in any of the extracurricular activities that would have added some pleasure to her life. Ever since I really notice and admire people who continue to stay active and involved regardless of their age or ability. I had a special spot in my heart for the woman in the wheelchair who did what moves she could while smiling through the entire class.
After class I received a reminder on my phone about a charity plant sale that I had said I was interested in. The charity is Cornerstones of Care and they have some amazing programs in the Kansas City area. The plant sale was close to where I had taught, so I decided to take a short detour before I went to work and buy some plants for my garden while supporting an organization I admire.
Having suffered through an especially chilly winter and spring in Kansas City, standing in the sun while selecting plants for my garden felt amazing. It was even more amazing when I had my purchases loaded into my car and I was driving on a sunny day in a car filled with the scent of happiness. I was reminded of how much my step-dad used to love buying plants and planning the huge gardens he and my mother always had when they lived in the house they built together.
I decided that lunch was more important than rushing to work at that particular point in my day. I realized I was near Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse, which is a Kansas City steakhouse legend. It was also one of the many restaurants that my parents used to frequent when they still ate out all the time. Walking in I found a spot at the bar and settled in. I ordered a steak, remembering sitting in this same restaurant when I was 16 and watching the disbelief in my step-dad’s eyes as I downed a 16-ounce steak with all the fixings. Even though it was a work day, I could not order a meal in this restaurant without ordering a whiskey in his honor. I think there may be a law to that effect.
The food came and it was exactly the way I remembered it: a salad, which was nothing but lettuce and dressing, came in all its iceberg glory; a huge baked potato that I had fortunately remembered to ask for with the butter on the side; a dinner roll that took up half the plate; and a large, mouth-watering, medium-rare steak. My drink was a dark caramel because in Kansas City steakhouses, any mixer you add to a drink should be no more than a mere suggestion of flavor.
This meal, in this place, on this day, made me so happy. As usually happens when eating at a bar, I struck up a conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me, and the bartender joined in freely, so even though I’d never met either of them before, it felt like a party. We all decided we needed a second drink, so we did.
I eventually made it to work, but I took my time and enjoyed each and every one of the detours that presented itself to me. It felt like my parents were with me through each and every one of my adventures. I miss them, and especially my mom, all the time, but today was a day when everything I did reminded me of them. Sometimes those reminders are sad, and honestly I did spend quite a bit of the day with tears in my eyes. But if it’s possible to have tears of joy while missing someone with all your heart, that’s what I had today.
In my book, not a bad day at all. Even when it’s unintended.
(Originally posted in April of 2018 on my previous blog, Jasmine Petals Thoughts.)