just a little break from the routine
Over the weekend, I went and wandered around a town a little bit out of the way with a friend of mine. It's a pretty small town (if I had to guess, I'd say you could probably walk a loop through the entire downtown area in about...twenty minutes?) but my friend and I really didn't even end up making a circuit of the whole of it (despite being there for almost three hours!) because we kept getting sucked into one or two fun locations and just reveling in them.
We stopped for a cocktail and a bite to eat at a cute restaurant and we ended up sitting there for awhile, chatting with the staff behind the bar and enjoying a delicious dessert. Then we moseyed over a very short distance to another location and people-watched for awhile. We really didn't even do that much, recounting it, but I had the absolute best time! I'm a creature of such intense habit (often to my own detriment), I forget how much I savor finding something new to love.
Generally, if we decide to go out and about, we head to one of the closer towns. Those are lovely and we always have a great time there, but at this point we have favorite places and meals and past-times. So if we go that-a-way, we tend to haunt the same spaces in a loop. Since I'm so comfortable in the familiarity and I'm often with my dearest friends, I sort of forget how much that kind of everyday-the-sameness begins to wear on me.
I also sort of forget how wonderful breaking from the routine feels. Just this little change of visiting a different town had my friend and I almost giddy. I think at one point, I may have been skipping. The weather was perfect (like, seriously totally completely perfect), and I was in good company, and every shop we poked our heads into had some fun knick-knack to whisper over or a book that we've both enjoyed that we could flip through for favorite passages. I know research shows that novel experiences and just wandering about are good for our brains, but it always makes me laugh to feel the positive effects of it in real time.
Our people-watching slowed down our wandering momentum a little and so we decided to head out1, where we finished the evening as we usually do: cooking or baking or watching a movie. Still, the change-up of the afternoon kept our moods lifted for the rest of the night and we were in particularly good spirits until I said my goodbyes and headed home.
On our return trip, we had talked about how much fun just that short jaunt had been, and we made the decision to try to break up our usual hang-outs with more spontaneous events. Between work and personal day-to-days, things can begin to feel upsettingly cut-and-paste. I think this year has gone by more quickly than any other I remember, and I worry that it's because I've been so stuck in my same worn path.
I'm hoping this change will be a positive one.
Either way, I'll have my friends with me through it, so I can be sure I'll have a good time.
Good luck out there,
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This was also partially because we wanted something left to explore if we decide to revisit the town soon with another friend!↩