We decided to break away the home routine and organized a little date night for ourselves this Saturday night. I put on a nice dress, some lipstick; the boy combed his hair all slick 😍, and we joined for a bottle of wine at our very own dining table! 🍷
The change of pace helped take our mind off the slowness that has crept into our lives, these days. While initially we couldn’t not talk about the only hot topic around us, the wine and some Italian jazz playlist randomly found on Youtube playing in background allowed our conversation to drift towards old books, childhood stories, travel memories and so on – all those lovely things of the past.
As we stuffed ourselves with fine pizza and more wine, I began to realize that when the future looks this uncertain, it’s nice to look towards the past, relive the good times and perhaps reiterate to ourselves that “this too shall pass”.
And while we are here, I must add that the only big drawback of a date night at the dining table is having to do the dishes afterwards 🙈.
It is almost 12:30pm and I am finishing up an email in a hurry. I need to hop out to meet hubby for a quick lunch. This is Thursday afternoon, sun is out again and having a lunch date in the middle of a work day is never a bad idea. Our favourite joint has reopened after 2 months, with a new look & name and guess what, they are giving a 50% discount on all bills for the first week! Oh of course, we care more for the food there. And, I find myself not really typing much anymore; my thoughts have drifted to the delicious bowl of katsu curry…
My stomach growls so I finish the email, grab my jacket in style and sprint to the doors. I’m the only one in the elevator, so I think to myself this will be a quick ride down thankfully. I turn to the mirror behind me, adjust my glasses and glare at my hair. I quickly comb my hand through the sides and sigh looking at it. It is never in its place. The number of times I must have pursed my lips and cursed my hair is tending to infinity by now.
I hear the polite elevator lady come alive suddenly; it has stopped on a few floors below and two impeccably dressed ladies walk in . I know this is the Human Resources floor, they usually walk in and out in groups, incessantly chatting. We exchange customary smiles and I begin to stare at the floor. Not really, I am actually checking out their shoes, I have a fetish. Well, who doesn’t!
And I digress.
An elevator is a small area, so even if you are too polite you cannot help but overhear the conversations. Perhaps that’s why people fall back on complete silence, sometimes stop breathing even I feel. But not my two companions today! They are discussing how their arms aren’t getting any thinner, how their skin looks dull, and how envious one is of the other’s well-shaped glossy nails, among other such comparative compliments. It is the ground floor finally, I zip up my jacket and head out. The sunshine isn’t warm, the wind is strong and chilly. My hair begins to fly all over the place and I keep trying to pull it back together. Sighing all through.
My thoughts slowly drift back to the conversation in the elevator. It is almost ingrained in us to find faults with our appearance, isn’t it? No matter which part of the world, women will never be at peace with their bodies. No wonder the skinny models and photoshopped posters have become benchmarks for perfection, and sadly so. I have disliked my hair from the time I have stored memories in my brain! And what if, I think to myself, hating my hair for all these years is actually what made it worse! What if I had sent some good, positive energy, some love towards it and maybe my hair would have listened and only got better with time?
It is just a theory. But it sure sounds like it will be worth a try. Doesn’t it boil down to loving and accepting ourselves for who we are, exactly the way we are? Loving our outward appearance is as important, probably more so in today’s times, so that we are not driven to madness by the judgmental world. So what her hair is curly, or my waist isn’t 28 inches anymore, so what your eyebrows aren’t done or her thighs are prominent. These quirks are what make each of us unique, and we should be accepting of us, as a whole.
I am approaching the other end of this long walk to hubby’s office, I spot him looking in my direction. Our eyes meet, and soon hands are in hands. He immediately compliments, “your hair looks nice, is shining in the sun”. I gape at him for a few seconds and then smile a thank you back! Of course, my hair looks good, I think to myself. Yes, it does.
And the slow long process of testing my theory with practicals just began.
We were almost on our way to Annecy, in France when on a whim we decided to make our celebratory trip more cozy, less travel-intensive, and closer to nature. The last bit is an exaggeration actually, but I will say that the idea of staying by the side of a lake, that is flanked by vast green fields, some fells, forests and small hills was very appealing.
We quickly researched online, rejoiced at those positive reviews and well, before we knew it, we had booked ourselves a relaxing long august weekend in the Lake District of UK!
And now that I’ve sat down to write about it, I realise there isn’t a lot to tell you. Except that, the lake was so serene in the mornings I could see my reflection gazing back at me as pleasantly surprised as I was at first while forming it! Except that, the hotel was so immaculately preserved (since its 17th century origins!) that I was afraid of touching of its richly decorated furniture lest I spoil it, you know. Except that, when it rained all through Saturday night, I sat and listened to the rain drops falling (on my head; remember the song?) on those leaves in the grand verandah there, lit by lamps and candles alone and I lost track of time. Except that, their breakfast spread was so mouth-watering and sumptuous that I could eat it for all three meals happily! Except that, their reading room is what I’d one day like my study to look like, period. Except that, I woke up to sheep in my backyard, calmly nibbling over the lawns until someone softly whistled them out from there. Terrible that I was so lost in the moment I forgot to capture the scene into my phone. Oh, and except that, if you want to spend a leisure (semi)luxurious holiday with your loved one, Lakeside by Lake Windermere in the Lake District is the place to be! I know, too many lakes but trust me once you reach there, you won’t get enough of them.
Leave any holiday planning to me and I will pack the days & nights with so many touristy activities that I may need a holiday to get over my holiday hangover (read more like fatigue!). What can I do! The twitterverse is to blame, you see; with so many beautiful photos and articles all over, I do not want to miss out having gone so close. But, those 3 days by Lake Windermere proved very different. And, it reminded me of something I had read a few months ago: The need for an empty space, a pause, is something we have all felt in our bones; it’s the rest in a piece of music that gives it resonance and shape ~ Pico Iyer (of course, who else!).
So as we wined and dined under the chandelier; as we walked on the morning dew and laughed; as we sat in the sunshine and felt the wind in our hair, I realised it’s good to not rush through the moment in the hope to capture it all, instead to enclose the present moment, to make it stay, to fill it fuller and fuller, until it shone, whole and bright, only to softly let it go and move on to the next moment. In other words, I realised it’s good to slow down every once in a while! To pause; to reflect; to just breathe and be. It is not just healthy for your heart and head, it helps in ways only time can show you and soul can understand.
Have you been to the Lake District? How was your experience, I’d love to hear your versions as much! And if you haven’t paid it a visit, I insist that you do – I know you will love it! There is enough information online about tourism of this area so I won’t bore you with any details. I will say one thing though, keeping 3-4days to soak in the place will be a wise choice.
Have you also been hearing this, lately? All #twitter contests are revolving around Valentine’s Day, the Facebook updates have started to pour in, of the plans and vacations and specials planned for the 14th! And well, it is endearing indeed. Cliched, but endearing!