As I sit here in my Missoula apartment fresh off of one full week in Spokane for the holidays, I feel very rejuvenated. Last Sunday I got in my car and drove west for a nice vacation in my hometown. Earlier today I made the trek back here. As with any fun and fulfilling getaway from the grind, time seemed to travel extremely fast and many memories were made.
I am so incredibly thankful for how our schedule at work figured itself out this year. For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had no home athletic events around the two holidays. This allowed me to take extended breaks during the weeks of both holidays, something I had never gotten to do while working for Grizzly Athletics. In fact, I had never taken a whole week off from work ever, so to have that luxury was nice, relaxing, liberating, and even a little bit weird! But most importantly, it was so incredibly worth it.
How did you spend most of your Christmas week? Well, I caught up with my family. Hours were spent in my parents’ living room around the Christmas tree and fire place. Even if we weren’t talking, you would still find all of us in that living room. My brother would be texting, my sister would be Snap Chatting, my mom would be playing Candy Crush, I would be on my phone, and my dad would be getting irritated. But trust me, we devoted more time to chatting than to playing with our electronics.
How else did you spend your Christmas week? I ate. And I ate. And I ate some more. Of course the crowning moment of my week long feast came right in the middle of it with our Christmas dinner on Wednesday. My mom made an exquisite prime rib meal complete with pasta, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, and more. It was heavenly. But sandwiched between that were about 200,000 calories on both sides. Besides the constant snacking on Christmas treats around the house we made Spokane restaurants very happy with our patronage. I dined at Flamin’ Joes, Boiler Room, Hop Jacks, Waddell’s, Moon’s Mongolian Grill, Panda Express, and even Taco Bell. My mom also managed to make a chicken fettuccine dinner and her classic biscuits and gravy breakfast. Did I also mention that I took my first ever week long hiatus from working out since middle school? Yeah, tomorrow’s gym session should be great.
Anything else besides chatting and eating? Well of course…I slept! Probably the main reason why I feel so rejuvenated is because I enjoyed some of the best sleep I have gotten in a long time. I haven’t known what “eight hours” was since I started college so to actually sleep from midnight to 8 a.m. most of the nights in Spokane felt amazing. It wasn’t like this was choppy sleep either. I slept like a baby in the guest room at my parents’ house and woke up energized and happy each morning.
That’s all you did with your week off? Lame! Not so fast! I did have a little bit of fun. Besides my lovely family, I got to hang out with some of my friends. I enjoyed the company of my remaining friends from high school who still reside in Spokane. I got to hang with a couple friends who I met going to college who now work in Spokane. I got to enjoy lunch with a friend who I met in Missoula about a year and a half ago but has since moved away to Denver but was in Spokane for the holidays with her family just like me. I also got to hang a couple times with my good friend Jessie who I coincidently met on the Las Vegas strip a couple years back. She now lives in Seattle but her family is in Spokane.
Kind of an uneventful week off, wouldn’t you say? Well, I guess so. But I neglected to mention the little things. You know, like playing Nintendo 64 with my brother. Or going to the meat market in a sketchy area of Spokane with my mom. Or playing with my sister’s adorable kitten. Or going up to a random stranger’s house in my Santa outfit and taking a picture in her lawn. Or going to see “American Hustle” and “Grudge Match”. Or watching football games with my dad and brother. Or walking into a zombie donut shop. Or attending a couple of beautiful church services. Or playing in a poker tournament. Or tying my brother in black light miniature golf. Or spending 60 tokens on arcade games. Or visiting my dad at work. Or driving around looking at Christmas lights. Or eating ice cream and watching a movie at home with my parents. Or just taking the time to realize that I do have a life outside of work.
This past week was just what the doctor ordered. I will remember Christmas 2013 for a long time, especially that feeling I had of complete freedom. It was all about family and friends, for the most part I didn’t let any stress into my life. I absolutely love what I do for a living but sometimes it is important to take a step back and celebrate what matters the most, especially during the best time of the year. Merry Christmas! Don’t Blink.