This past year doesn't need explanation, but these past few weeks could use a little context. I'm tired. Not just like didn't get much sleep last night tired, I mean, didn't have a restful sleep in a month tired. Waking up throughout the night over the past month to tend to my aging dog. Trouble falling asleep over worry about him or stress about my job. Getting myself up well before dawn to work, to write, to workout, and to clean up after whatever accident may have happened since heading to bed only 6 hours earlier.
My sister looked at me last weekend, after an incredibly long and painful weekend with my sweet old lab and said "you look exhausted". And I was.
For months I had a trip planned to Las Vegas to see my other sister and attend a gala with her. My plans were to leave Wednesday. But plans change and unsure if it would even still happen, I changed my ticket and somehow watched my sweet old lab's condition improve, I mean from the brink of death improve and I decided that I could still go. If you want to know what luck is, it is having your lab go from telling you it was his time per his actions to having your mother volunteer to come spend the weekend with the dogs while you can go to a ball.
I wanted a weekend to rest and to be honest, I really wanted to go to a ball!
My intention on the plane was to work. I would write my blog and get some marketing done for my business. But in the chaos, I had forgotten to charge my computer or download the spreadsheet I needed for the marketing plan. So I closed my eyes. And I slept.
I arrived in Vegas to the open arms of my niece, nephew, sister and brother in law. My trips to Vegas are likely different from what you might expect. Strip center pedicure and visit to the neighborhood grocery store on my first night were on the docket and perfect for me.
I went to bed late, and my first night of sleep nearly mirrored the sleep I had from the past month. I had phantom noises from my dog who was safely at home in Texas waking me up throughout the night. Saturday morning was spent working out with my sister, eating the protein muffins I had made and brought with me and hanging with my niece and nephew. And I got in a 30 minute nap. My sister and I got our hair done for the ball and I started to feel like the princess I so craved feeling like for so long.
After getting our hair done and talking to the stranger for an hour and a half while she did it and if it wasn't for the masks on our faces, it felt, dare I say it, normal. Well, special normal, it's not like I got my hair done up before the pandemic often, but talking to strangers was pretty common. We bonded over our love of yoga and being entrepreneurs and as strangers who migrate towards each other do, our mutual need and calling for travel and change.
After the delightful time of being pampered was over, and getting our pictures taken because of the mastery that she did on my hair, we headed home. To a game of Catch Phrase with the kiddos which brought tears to my eyes from laughter, long overdue and certainly needed.
Then my sister and I started to get ready. Over the past year I have heard and read about and seen countless memes from women talking about wearing leggings or sweatpants everyday. I haven't been one of them, I don't particularly find leggings to be a comfortable choice of clothing to wear all day. I workout in my leggings and then I remove them, shower, and usually put on jeans or shorts. I'm in semi-acceptable dress for a workday, even if the office is also my gym, dog sanctuary and just down the stairs from my bedroom. I even started wearing concealer and mascara everyday to help conceal the dark circles that have accumulated due to allergies and restless nights. But what I haven't done, is wear shoes for an entire day, unless I was hiking, and in the past year and a half I have worn heels or in the family of heels, 5 times. Putting on a pair of sparkly shoes with a bow on them, to me, felt like the biggest change of all.
I put on makeup, all of it, from the usual to blush and even, dared to put on bright red lipstick. I was grateful that I could fit into my ballgown that I had purchased for a gala two years prior but hadn't tried on since then. I don't attend enough galas to justify owning more than one ballgown at this point in my life. But even if I did, I love my dress.
We were ready for our night out. A night that included our sequined masks and a copy of our proof of vaccination cards, but a night out, none the less. The lights on the strip were bouncing and glowing, and people walking down the street looked joyful and happy, even under the masks, that were for the most part also halfway under their noses. But you know, they were outside and they were also attempting an evening of normalcy and fun in Vegas.
I felt so happy. I was out with my sister, amongst some very elite and giving people in Las Vegas. I held my head high, my shoulders back and I was glowing. I mean, I was also incredibly uncomfortable as I had eaten more than I had in two weeks due to the bikini shred challenge I was participating in and I have spent the better part of a year and a half mainly barefoot, but it didn't matter. I was in a room with people who also had not been in a room with that many people in nearly a year and a half. We were all a little bit on the verge of tears while soaking in the enormity of it all, the beauty of the room and the hope in the atmosphere.
After a night of yummy food, laughter with the people at our table, pictures with my sister, tequilas and sodas, incredible performances by members of the youth Nevada Ballet Theater and a live auction...which was amazing to watch as big money was put up for some incredible items, we headed home on a high.
Shoes, dress and makeup quickly replaced with pajamas and soft sheets, I turned back into a pumpkin with sugarplums dancing in my head. And, I slept.
Sunday, we put on our hiking shoes and left for Mary Jane Falls to hike up about 1.8 miles to a waterfall, feeling the effects of heels from the night before and those tequilas and sodas slipping out through my pores. And once again, I felt happy. I had intended to work again. But by the time we got home, I decided to nap. Two days into Las Vegas and my third nap including the first one on the plane. When I travel, I usually forgo any mid day rest, but my body craved it and thankfully, my sister knows me well enough to encourage it.
That evening, we cooked out, went to the park, swung around on a spinny thingy (pretty sure that's the technical name), played more games and stayed up late with my sister talking about life, sipping on wine, eating pretzels...basically failing at my #bikinishred2021 challenge, but winning at giving myself what I needed.
And then off to sleep, uninterrupted, restful and rejuvenating.
People don't usually go to Las Vegas to get rest, and to solve the problems of their world with meaningful conversation, hikes, and visits to actual playgrounds (not the playground that is the strip), but I did. I don't usually attend galas in a normal world either, but I did. And all of these things, they gave me back my energy. They brought me a little hope that had been lost. They let me be around strangers and talk about anything and everything and for a moment, for just a moment, life stood still and felt normal again.
I am ready to face the uncertainty again, the restless nights, to do the work, to build my business again. I'm rested enough so that I can be there for my dog, in what is likely his final months on this earth. I have the energy to take on the stress of my 9 - 5, without the promise of what the future holds.
I went to Vegas and in the blink of an eye (in between naps) went from sparkly shoes and a ballgown, to hiking pants and a waterfall, and I got centered again.