We live in the country. When I say the country, I mean the paved road ends, and the gravel road begins. The gravel road generally only has room for one car. It’s a place where the people who live on the road take care of the road, and where UPS won’t travel. It’s where people out for a drive won’t go because the residents may be of questionable character, so they don’t venture down it. Satellite internet, well water, septic tank. Truly, my heaven on Earth.
When I pull on the road, I breathe a little easier…it’s as if the road and the woods melt my worries away and I can leave behind the dust and grime of the city.
I Amazon Prime everything I possibly can because I can, finding everything I need, the size, the selection and all from my pajamas. It is my best friend, second only to my actual best friend.
This past week, I had to go to Ulta and Old Navy because occasionally someone wants something specific that you can only find in the store. Of course, it is during the month of December when there is absolutely no one else out doing their shopping. Do you feel the sarcasm? Both of these stores are located close to one another, but with holiday traffic, they seem hundreds of miles apart. I braced myself all day for it, preparing myself and trying to have the Christmas spirit.
“I can do this,” I kept telling myself over and over. I. CAN. DO. THIS.”
We begin the drive…off the mountain and into the beginnings of traffic. The traffic gets worse and worse. Bumper to bumper, cars are everywhere. People walking, talking on their phone, driving while on their phone…you can move your car 6 inches. Waiting again. I turn on Christmas music to try to keep me in the spirit, as I feel my blood pressure increasing and my stress starting to reside in my shoulders. I have my kids in the back seat, they are arguing, again.
“Deep breath Jess. You can do this.” I repeat this over and over.
I pull in to the parking lot for Ulta. It’s full. Busting at the seams full. We have to park another parking lot away, and it has started raining. My kids are at the age where they don’t want to hold my hand, but there are maniacs out on the road, so I force them to hold my hand.
Whew! Made it in to Ulta. Pull out the list that I need, and then, I start looking for someone who works there. I have no idea where this stuff is, nor do I intend to browse. I purchase what I needed and we walk all the way out to the car. Pulling out is amazingly easy because there are so many people who want my space. Yes! We are on our way to Old Navy. Bumper to bumper traffic again as I sit at a light and I get a call. I didn’t get the right stuff. I have to turn around and GO BACK! But how?? I turn on the main road, and have to go down until I see a place I can turn…waiting for the cars to pass by. I get turned around and back in to Ulta we go. Same story, but I get the correct items this time.
We navigate our way through the maze of traffic back to Old Navy. The store is packed! Kids want to run around, but I give them my best mom look, and yell “stay right beside me!” I grab many impulse purchases and we run into the changing room. All three of us. All of our stuff. Kids are making faces in the mirror as I am questioning why in the world I’m wearing the clothes I am…nothing I am wearing is helpful!
I get a few more items and we jet to the line. Thank goodness, we are in the line!! Out to the parking lot…where the heck did I park?? Bags, kids, rain, searching for a car, my patience is gone.
I get in the car with the kids and see what we should do for dinner. The kids and I are starving.
We make it back home very late, the kids exhausted. We put them to bed and my son says, “Thanks mom for an awesome day! It was so much fun shopping.”
It was like a Gibbs slap to the back of the head!
I was too busy hustling with everyone else, I didn’t once see if the kids were enjoying it or what I could do to make it more enjoyable for them. I missed an opportunity because I was too busy. I got sucked in to the busy-ness of the season.
Make sure to take a breath, and look around you. It is never as bad as it seems.