Turning Lemons into Lemonade

“Bizarre last minute question,” began the message on my Blackberry, “but ru (sic) busy tonight? I have an invite to a spa launch + wondered if u would like to join me?”

I gazed bleary-eyed at the screen, reading and re-reading the note, and groaning inwardly.

I’d just awoken from a long nap about three minutes earlier. So processing the impromptu invite from my friend (author of Play Anon) – and the personal logistics to make this happen – took a bit longer than usual.

I asked her about the time and dress code. She responded … and asked me if I’d be ready for 6 p.m.

That’s less than 45 minutes from now, I thought. Knowing how slow I move, especially after sleeping, I didn’t think I could get ready that fast. Plus, I didn’t think I was in the right frame of mind to be around other people.

I wrote her back, asking if I could I pass on the invite.

She was persistent – offering to pick me up at 6:30 p.m. instead. And, I relented.

Reflecting upon it today, I’m glad she was. Besides getting out of the house, I spent some time catching up with my friend. And, that wasn’t all!

The spa we went to was launching a new service: foot massages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. On the way home from work with tired feet? Or, getting ready for a night on the town? Get a foot massage.

Besides meeting some people, sipping a little prosecco and nibbling on some very tasty appetizers, each person who attended the event got a free, 20-minute foot massage … which was absolutely fantastic!

I returned home later that evening with relaxed feet, thank-you cookie in hand (see above) and in a happier state than when I left. I inwardly chided myself for initially resisting the invitation. I honestly can’t imagine what my evening would have been like, had I stubbornly dug in my heels and refused my friend’s invitation.

Oh, but wait – I can.

And that has me thinking about how I should make the most of my summer.

Unlike previous years, I’m not taking a vacation anywhere. Not out of town, province or country. I’m not even really taking any vacation days – I can actually count the number on one hand (minus fractions). I’ll probably be working every weekend the entire summer.

With the weather well into double digits, the battle to balance my social life has already become more of a challenge. Because of my upside-down schedule, I’m socializing on “school nights”, when I should be sleeping, because when will I see my friends? And I don’t fully enjoy myself because I’m constantly watching the time.

Conversely, on my days off, I live almost hermit-like, because I know very few people who also have weekdays off. So most of it ends up being spent indoors, looking at other friends’ Facebook pictures of that awesome deck party they went to the weekend I was working. And then it makes me resentful, so by the time I return to work, I’ve already worked up a sulky mood to last the next four days.

So this month, my goal is to rectify this. I need to make an effort to be a little less of a sucky baby and find those friends in  similar work situations – and make the most of my “weekend”.

Go for brunch more often. Go shopping. Take a long walk somewhere. Do something I don’t normally do. Hopefully find friends who have dinner parties and deck hangouts on Monday or Tuesday nights. And just do fun summer stuff when people are stuck in their office cubicles, whining on their Facebook statuses about how they wished it was Friday.

And, while I’m at it, I need to get out of town at least once this season.

If I can do any – or all – of this, then perhaps I can successfully cling to my sanity for the long – and hopefully hot – work days of summer that lie ahead.

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