This is a post that I have crafted in part with Eventbrite!
I was in a total slump this past summer. Excuses upon excuses of not getting out a lot - mostly just exhaustion the second I stepped outdoors. It's no secret that my favorite seasons are actually fall and spring, but that's not excuse to stay indoors and do nothing during the summer. The summer has some lovely benefits, after all. Especially on the cooler days like we have seen these last few days here in Washington.
I swapped shifts with some of my coworkers and ended up with three days off in a row. Since this isn't a common occurrence for my schedule - and I was starting to seriously lament my current schedule - I decided to stop pouting and start doing. I have been calling this schedule my mini-vacation.
Monday was day #1 of taking care of myself.
Reading mini-vacation. pic.twitter.com/hFvuSUjtKW— Jennifer Sheffield (@dearjenna) August 22, 2016
I decided that the best way to take time for myself is to get out of the apartment, walk to somewhere cozy and familiar, get some sun and just read and write all day. That meant a nearby Starbucks; it was an easy enough journey for my first time out in a while.
Tuesday was no different, but maybe a bit more eventful than I anticipated.
I am lucky. This town I live in has a lot to do, even small-town-ish things to do. And in the warmer comfortable days, people are always buzzing around. They're walking dogs. Spending time outdoors with their family. Running errands. Or wandering like me.
There is a coffee shop (I mean, there are many, but...) that Savannah and I refer to as "witch coffee." That's because the day she found it - tucked in a small shop, we would have completely missed had she not been curious- there was a small little huddle of young women who looked like they were part of a coven spending time gazing over crystals and reading their tea leaves. I don't know much about that group, and I haven't seen them there myself, but this shop is the most eclectic and PNW shop I've been to out here. They have all sorts of fog teas, coffees and the like. They have pastries that are delicious - today I had a pumpkin and ginger muffin. There are books about travelling, astrology, religion, philosophy and culture - they actually do a beautiful job of representing all cultures, identities and spiritualities here, including small flags representing literally everything you can think of - and crystals and stones to purchase. Sometimes they have a palm reader come during the weekends. And on Saturdays they do talent shows/host performers on a small stage in the back. I'm just sad this place was hiding from us for so long.
When I walked in Tuesday, a girl with dreads and a cool smirk on her face complimented me on my tattoos, and we gabbed about how we're not vegan but we try to make good choices - how she was a vegan for 9 months and then fell back into old habits - and about how easy it is to eat healthier in this region so even if we aren't the healthiest, we can be when we go out. Then she served me my food and drink and I found a very small, high table, by the door and nested there for 3 hours.
I read from my reading list, and once I started to get a bit sadder during Name of the Wind, I decided to take a break and get up for another adventure. (Besides, witch coffee closes at 6 p.m., and it was getting onto 5 p.m. at this point.)
I ended up at the library. Sure enough, the quiet area of the library was exactly what I needed. It gave my mind a break and gave me somewhere else to go that I love dearly. Plus, on my Washington Bucket List, I have "volunteer for a summer reading program," so it gave me a chance to ask about what programs may be coming up soon since I missed the summer reading program train.
Peep dat deer Snapchat filter, doe.
Towns have so much to offer. People have a tendency to not appreciate what there is to enjoy in a town, especially if it's smaller, but that's exactly the way I like them. They give me a reason to go out and do something simple and fun for myself. Yeah, cities can be great - I love those, too - but man does it feel nice to walk down the street in a town full of people just enjoying the day with you in a quieter setting.
It's good for the soul to take a break from the noise and do something you want to do. If you find time to get out and do more one day, do it. Do the things you haven't had time to do that you've been meaning to do. Do something for you.
I have one more day of freedom today, and I have a feeling I'll be getting out again for it.
By the way, Eventbrite is a company that is all about encouraging folks to get out and do more. I was going to do this outing anyway, but it was fortuitous timing for both of us that they reached out to me. They're motto is GOMO - going out more often - so you can avoid that FOMO.
That sentence makes me feel way hipper. This is weird.
Take the opportunity to enjoy the small (and big) things your town/neighborhood/city has to offer. I bet there is even a small coffee shop hiding that you barely noticed before that deserves your attention. Don't let the summer get to you the way it almost got to me.
You can visit Eventbrite.com and even learn how to host your own event to get others out there! For more info, check this cool flyer below: