I sat there at a table inside somewhere I had never been before, eating an early dinner with my son and his fiancé Devin. They had invited me to ride with them to Dallas after I got off work, my son’s treat. They were adamant about me going, but because it was a Thursday night I wasn’t completely sold on the idea; I had “things” to do, I needed to prepare for the next day and wash my hair…I was showing my age. I can remember jumping in the car in my twenties and going wherever, whenever and never worrying about the next day until the next day.
As I rode there in the backseat, I realized this new place they wanted me to try was smack dab in the middle of downtown, I’m not going to lie, I was not amused with the idea. I use to work in downtown Dallas about 19 years ago, and nothing had seemed to change; it was almost like I had never left, the traffic was the same, the buildings still towering overhead like perfectly lined dominoes. The people hadn’t changed much either, there were still all shapes and sizes, some were dressed in their best and some were dressed in all they owned.
I could still pick out the tourist, they looked to be overly excited as they looked up and pointed; they always stood out among the rest somehow, like the old segment on Sesame Street of “which one doesn’t belong”. The buses still hustled around the tight corners as they were picking and dropping off their fares, the Segway’s and motorized scooters zipped by those who wear walking slower and listening to music as long wires draped from their ears, some were talking on their phones and some looked as though they were lost in their thoughts.
This city, where I had been a gazillion times before, didn’t seem to miss me, nor I it. Driving among all that ruckus at 4 o’clock in the afternoon just wasn’t appealing to me anymore, yet didn’t bother my son or Devin, they acted like they had been doing it for years and were pros at juggling all the rush and chaos. Soon, we arrived at our destination at the corner of Field and Main and I will admit I was pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere was like any other downtown eatery, it was nothing fancy, yet very appetizing. After eating at Bread Zeppelin, which was wonderful, especially if you want to eat healthy while still feeling like your cheating just a little. Definitely, a place I would drop in again.
As we made our way back through the gridlock, we headed to Arlington for dessert, although we didn’t find what we had set out in search of, we did find something to cure that sweet tooth craving. The time had seemed to fly by, headlights on the highway suggested it was late, maybe even close to 8pm. That might not seem late for some, but to me, it might as well have been midnight, because I could only think of all I had to do when I got home. I expressed my desire to return home and get on with my chores before turning in for the night but my son only scoffed at me and told me that there wasn’t really anything important I needed to tend to, nothing that couldn’t be done in just a few minutes after I returned. He was right. He reminded me that getting to spend time with him, no matter the time on the clock was right where I should be, he was correct again.
Even though I consider myself to be the type to live by the seat of my pants, especially when a road trip is in the making, I finally figured out that living is every day, not just for the weekend or scheduled time off. Once, it was nothing to find me shopping on a Tuesday evening, out to eat on a Thursday or maybe catching a movie on a Monday, but as I got older; after I had children, I became more structured with my time, even though at times you could still find me out doing something fun on a weekday I usually tried to save the fun for the last two days of the week. Now, that I’m older I am learning that there is no reason to wait, no reason to rush home only to prepare to repeat the same thing over again. Yes, I believe that preparation is still a necessity, but not at the cost of spending precious time with the ones you love the most. It took my 23-year-old son who is wise beyond his years to show me how important the here and now really is, why a few extra minutes won’t kill me, and getting off track once in a while only makes life better and to appreciate the break of humdrum monotony. I’m not going to schedule fun for certain days anymore, or wait for holidays or summer vacation to roll around; I’m going to spend every second I can like there is no tomorrow, not worry about getting things done in the evening only to echo the day before, I’m going to start living like every day is a holiday, spending those off the wall minutes with the ones I love doing whatever it is we decide to do!