living in the moment

When my alarm went off this morning at 6:45, I didn’t even have the strength to reach over and hit snooze. I just laid there, with the annoying default iPhone alarm repeating itself in never-ending cycles, hoping that if I closed my eyes, I’d wake up and it would be Saturday morning again.

That’s what happens when you have really great weekends with really great people. You never want them to end. From dancing in a crowd of 50,000 people at the H Street Festival to kayaking down the Potomac on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I know it’s one of those things my sister and I will never forget.

When I found out my sister and her boyfriend were coming to visit, I decided I wasn’t going to plan anything. My friends always tease me because I like to make itineraries. Scratch that – I LOVE to make itineraries. For everything. Down to the last second. I like knowing what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it. It eliminates the guess work… the “I don’t know, I’ll do whatever you guys want to do” conversations full of polite indecision.

However… I’ve come to realize – itineraries kind of suck. They’re great when you’re trying to organize your work load at the office, prioritizing tasks that need to be finished in order to make deadlines. But the idea of “scheduling fun” just seems ludicrous now. I’m learning how there is a time and a place for everything and that life doesn’t need to be run on a 24-hour color-coded schedule. It’s hard to live and enjoy life when you’re too busy planning it.

So, I tested the unknown waters of a clean slate. I played things by ear… I let loose and let the weekend take us where it wanted to. And it turned out to be one of the best weekends I have had in such a long time.

After a late-night rendezvous at Bullfeathers by the Capitol (total bust), we woke up and went to the Tastee Diner for brunch. Still groggy from our 4 a.m. night cap, we carbo-loaded on flimsy diner pancakes and greasy hangover perfect homefries.

After getting ready, we all loaded in to the car and started trekking to the well-known annual H Street Festival. With talks of five performance stages, the best food vendors from all over the city, tents full of local artists and their works and promises of beer gardens dotting the sidewalks, I knew there was no way we were missing out. We spent the next three hours dancing in the street with strangers, posing with banana-mobiles and shoving our faces with good old-fashioned corndogs. Our feet were covered in dirt and blisters and our faces were red and freckled from the sun…it was an amazing experience and I didn’t look at the time once. Any notions of a schedule were out the window. It was refreshing.

After a disappointing round of drinks at a restaurant called Bourbon, we decided to go to Mathbox for a late night dinner in Rockville. We left the restaurant around midnight after enjoying great food and conversation. Exhausted from our hours of trekking along H Street all afternoon, we called it an early night and passed out at 2.

On Sunday, Rissa decided she wanted to try kayaking. We went down to the waterfront in Georgetown and loaded into our little boats. We spent the next hour traveling down the Potomac, the sun on our backs and the water at our fingertips, appreciating everything that surrounded us. With birds flying above us, and the swarms of golden fish below us – it made for the perfect afternoon.

After Rissa and AJ left last night, I flopped down onto my sunken-in couch and for the first time that weekend, felt the soreness that was present in every muscle of my body. My feet throbbed and my shoulders ached….and I was blissfully content. I spend so much of my time worrying about how quickly time is passing, that I so often forget to live in the moment and enjoy what’s present in front of me. I get wrapped up in checking my phone constantly for work emails or complaining about how we should have been at dinner three hours earlier. I make little things of no relevance seem so much more important than they are.

I’m proud of myself, though. Because this weekend I lived every second to the fullest. I know this because I have the muscle aches and the laugh lines to show for it. Happy birthday again, Rissa.

And another happy birthday to one of my best friends, Alex – the definition of someone who seizes every moment. I hope your day is as wonderful as you are.

Until tomorrow, everyone.

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