Yes, every once in a while it's good to put on clothes and get out of the house and talk with actual people rather than the fictional characters in my head. (I'm at the point in writing the novel where everyone is really real to me. I'm all - you should meet Sam, he's awesome! - and then realize that Sam only exists in Scrivener.)
So I put on my J. Crew Liberty-trimmed jacket that the receptionist wears on Suits in Season 7 because clearly she wants to be like me, and I headed out for tea.
|/via J. Crew/|
And it was lovely.
I'm awfully hard on Stepford at times. There is a competitive materialism in leafy suburbia that drives me slightly mental (mainly because I'm not winning that game...) And this particular community is hard for me since it's a place where I've faced the very worst days of my life. Add to that, the complicated social position of being the wife of a widower who lived in this town for almost two decades and you get a place that's kind of hard to inhabit. (My advice to widows and widowers: if you've been in a place for a long time and hope to repartner, you'd better pick someone already in your social circle or be prepared to move. There are the rare and lovely birds who will be warm and embracing to you in your new life - and man, do I love these people - but they are not in the majority.)
But yesterday's tea was a reinforcement of what I like about Stepford. It's pretty, it's safe, and the food is great. And it was nice to reconnect with women I see not nearly often enough. We are all facing a similar path: wanting the best for our children, trying to figure out a career going forward, trying to stay sane. There was a whole lot of "me too" in conversation, which is always comforting; particularly when talking about the secret desire to stay inside, cry, and day-drink while the children are at school. These years can be crazy-making and it's good to know one is not alone.
It's also good to know everyone struggles, in spite of the pretty pretty on Instagram. When you go out, it holds up a mirror to your own mask. People seem to see me as someone in the jacket from Suits who spends her day hanging with the Real Housewives and traveling here, there, and everywhere. They do not know from social media that some days, I'm not able to do much more than feed the children and then crash on the sofa with a bag of chocolate almonds and binge-watch Greenleaf. It's good to connect and get real.
Everytime I go to something like this I resolve to get out more often. I won't ,of course, because 1) introversion and 2) laziness. But it's good to note that when I do overcome inertia, things tend to work out well.
Are you a goer-outer or a denner-inner? Do you have to be coaxed outside or are you running around with wild abandon? Do you like to drop the mask once in a while or keep it firmly in place thankyouverymuch?
Dayspring - the faith arm of Hallmark that I love and am now an affiliate of - has a promotion to help us encourage each other. If you sign up at the #EncouragementDare link before September 15, they will send you some cute free printables and ideas.