Soul Weekend 2011

I believe in traditions.  I believe in claiming things as annual events with vigor even if it’s the first time you’ve done it.  My Bestie and I have a ton of traditions, things that we started doing and just didn’t let go of.

Soul Weekend is one of those things.

Every labor day weekend Olivia and I have soul weekend.  Soul Weekend started 5 months after my huge, messy break up and consequent move to the Bay Area.  I was broken and empty is a lot of ways.  A weekend that was focused on feeding my soul and happiness was exactly what I needed.

 

Soul Weekend 2009

Here is how Soul Weekend works:

  1. First, you block off a specific amount of time.  A weekend, two days.. whatever you have.  Maybe it’s the planner in me, but I relax best when I block off chunks of time to be unplanned.  Our Soul Weekend’s have adjusted to meet us where our lives are; this year there was no sleepovers because at 7.5 months pregnant my own bed is really the only place I can sleep.
  2. The first thing we do is make a list of the things that sound good.  Make art, bumble, read a book, visit a museum, dance party, drink wine, or plan a picnic.  We always paint mugs at a ceramics place.
  3. Then we just do them.  Or do other things.  Or follow any whim we have to a new thing that wasn’t on the list.  We follow our hearts.  We explore new towns; generally with a coffee in hand.
Soul Weekend 2010

Each year we are both in new places.  The first year I was still in the aftershocks of my break up, last year I was processing my mom’s cancer and our relationship… this year was more for Olivia.  She’s been having a tough time with some family things and I was so happy to just be able to sit with her.  Process with her.  Remind her that life is beautiful and that sometimes your friends can step in and carry you when you need it.  We talked about how next year, Miles will be here… and we will take him along.  He has a soul that will need tending to also.

Soul Weekend 2011

What I learned, Soul Weekend 2010.

“Well, what about yourself don’t you know yet?”

Olivia asked me this repeatedly over soul weekend.  It took until sometime on Sunday, while frolicking in San Francisco, for me to stop trying to come up with an answer.  I finally got it. The answer is “nothing really”.

I know exactly who I am.

I know who I am.  {Let me pause, to repeat this}

I’ve spent so much time this past year and a half NOT knowing.  Soul searching.  Having deep conversations.  Ripping out stitches.  Identifying every single scar.  Redefining and categorizing. 

Olivia helped me do this.  That’s what a soul mate best friend is for, in case you didn’t know.  We processed.  We cried.  She carefully coaxed me back.  Provided a safe place where I could be broken and hysterically laughing in the same breath. 

But I get it now.

I am perfectly imperfect.  With conflicting truths living happily together in my body.  I know exactly what I want, who I am, and how I got here.  No excuses.  No need to apologize. 

This soul weekend, I got to just be.  It was perfect.

September.

Fall is my favorite.  And even if we didn’t get more than a couple days of “summer” here this year… I can feel my soul sigh with relief with the coming of Fall.  And before you tell me it’s far to early to be celebrating fall, I would like to point out that last year I did my Ode to Fall post August 20th.  At least I waited until September this year.  So bite me. 

One of the first things that happens in Fall is Soul Weekend.  Oh Soul Weekend.  Soul Weekend is with Olivia.  Every Labor Day weekend we spend the whole 3-days doing the things that restart and center our souls.  There is copious amounts of coffee.  Long bumbling walks.  Painting.  Dance parties.  Car drive serenades.  Reading.  Napping.  Laughing (usually some tears too). 

Soul weekend has become a sort of homage to the amazing friendship we have.  We’re soul mate best friends.  We find ourselves in each other.. two people looking at the world through one heart.  I am more myself around Olivia than anyone on the planet.  

We’re also going to the de Young museum in Golden Gate park to see the Impressionist exhibit.  Impressionism is my favorite.  I love Renoir more than life.   And I am really excited to see this Degas:

I love fall.

Sweaters.

(cute, right?!)

Tea.

Football.

Cool and dark evenings wrapped in a warm blanket.

Apple pie.

The smell of cinnamon. 

Pumpkin anything: beer, pancakes, pie, muffins, lattes.  I’m all about it.

This summer has been great.  Full of traveling and friends.. but it’s also been hard; cancer, loneliness, and heartache.  

My heart is ready for Fall.

What are you looking forward about Fall??