Wooded hiatus in only 22 miles

It's well-covered territory in this blog that on occasion, friends ask me to house-sit for them. It has to do with what sis self-amusedly refers to as my being "less encumbered" than most of the people we know. And so it is again that I find myself in someone else's home for a few days.

Since driving the mere 22 miles yesterday afternoon, I've seen not a single person. But that deer that came out of the woods when I went out to feed Aspen The Kitty was pretty inquisitive. I understand that I shouldn't be surprised if I see more of them. Deer, not kitties.

Sitting here in a cozy living room, a brightly-embroidered quilt draped over my legs, somebody else's music serenading me from speakers resting on a mantle amidst photos of children and hand-thrown pottery, I have a computer in my lap. Where I have access to seemingly everything including:

  •   all manner of commentary about our country's presidential race,
  • raves about the latest-and-greatest technological advances,
  • emails from clients and friends alike,
  • a growing list of Must Do tasks at Remember the Milk,
  • snippets from 74 people answering the question "what are you doing?" in 140 characters or less,
  • and so, so much more.

With all this information flooding my brain, it would be easy to think I'm in town, same as always. I have to keep reminding myself that I don't want to take this getaway for granted. I have to keep reminding myself to take little breaks and just walk around outside, enjoying the unfamiliar scene, breathing more deeply than I usually remember to do. What I should be reminding myself to do is take a real break and go for a walk down that path The Princess took me on one summer, to show me Her stream. It's a fearless child my girlfriend is raising, growing up outside of town, confident in the woods. I know they're out there, that path, that stream, a mere saunter from the back door, and I could easily avail myself of the nature that remains so missing from my daily life. Knowing me, though, I'm not likely to take that walk. Not a serious one, anyway.

Because The List Of Things I Must Do seems to grow every time I look at it, as if the tasks are breeding behind my back.

But maybe I will. And if I do, I'll tell you about it. Otherwise, I'll placate the taunting voices in my head that tell me I'm squandering this gift of solitude, by only "taking a turn about the yard" every now and then.

Just writing this embarrasses me. I wonder if the underlying reason for posting this publicly is so I'll shame myself into taking advantage of my surroundings? Hard to say. I guess we'll have to see. Although it's not a good policy, encouraging public shame. Do what you do. Don't do what you don't do. Right?

Meanwhile, I won't shame myself by admitting to just how few of those tasks have actually been checked off so far today...