It’s been a week.
Each morning, I check in with Adventure Cycling’s map and hope BF’s morning text will include news of a good night’s rest. So far, between the cold and the wind, no reports of good sleep, but overall he’s loving life on the road and I’m beyond happy for him.
For me, it’s back to life as usual: Pickleball, laundry, tidying up, and playing with the grandkids. It’s funny how when BF is not around, things get messier. ?
Susie, our friend from back home, and I had a fun trip back from San Diego to Peoria after seeing the guys off. The anxiety of the unknown surrounding the big send-off was lifted. There had been no disastrous forgetting of things. Everyone had slept as well as one might expect in a hostel. Susie and I had made it to the right beach in plenty of time to video the group pedaling off into the sunshine, and seeing the smile of freedom on BF’s face, surrounded by his pack of fellow riders for the next two months against the background of the Pacific Ocean, was the best kind of beauty.
This was my first experience in a hostel, and from what I understand this one is among the best. The kids hanging on the front porch commented how clean the place was. It truly was, and the staff was superb!
It reminded me of a college dorm for well-traveled, adventuresome, twenty-and-thirty-somethings who own a great spirit of adventure. It’s difficult to stay angry at the young folk who wake you up at 1:00, 2:00, and again at 3:00 creating chaos in the hallway, when they sit down beside you with a cup of coffee and ask, “so where are you from?” When they offer you their jar of peanut butter and say, “It’s free.” They share their fascinating stories and ask to hear yours.
Another Cool Thing We Did
I’ve had this girlfriend group that I met through church in 1981. We have watched each other’s kids grow up. We’ve supported each other through loss and illness; celebrated birthdays, graduations, and weddings. We’ve gone on vacation together. We’ve been mad at each other and made up. We do what friends do.
One of these friends happens to have a daughter who lives a mile from our Ocean Beach hostel, and we met for brunch. I’ve seen this girl get in trouble for mouthing off to her dad as a middle schooler. In 1999, I watched her walk down the steps of The Indiana Historical Society in her wedding dress. And now I’ve seen her as an adult living her best life in a cool community, mothering two beautiful humans in a beautiful home she and her partner have created. And I’ve experienced the gift of a meaningful, like-minded, adult conversation with her.
Listening to my Inner Voice
Susie left on Tuesday morning and I ran off to pickleball. Michael texted and offered to bring me dinner. My friend and I discussed the possibility of meeting at the pool that afternoon. I wanted to journal and process all the events of the previous week. I needed to finish unpacking my California bag and grocery shop.
I stopped myself.
What I really needed was to be alone. To allow myself an afternoon and evening to do nothing. Be nowhere. To produce or create nothing.
And that’s what I did. I fixed myself a grilled cheese sandwich with dill pickles and mustard and a cup of herbal tea. I watched three episodes of Virgin River on Netflix. I walked 5000 steps and didn’t stop to talk to anyone. And it was the revival I needed.
I’m grateful for family and friends who completely understand when I just say I need to be alone. I’m grateful I’ve learned to listen to my inner voice and allow. Sometimes. Today, I’m just plain grateful.
By the time you read this, BF will be back in Mesa, where he’ll have a rest day and I’ll get to see him. Just think, it took him seven days to cover the miles Susie and I did in a half a day. Grateful for my car.