One of my favorite days of the summer happened last week. It was a special day with my 13 year-old niece, Hannah—a summer date together before school started once again. It was pouring rain, so all plans for outdoor fun got shelved, and we found ourselves at the largest mall in the country, Mall of America.
Being in the moment
For that afternoon, I forgot about office details or tasks that needed to be tended to at home. I was away from my computer and didn’t have to think about the bills. Instead, I got to see the world through the eyes of a delightful teenager who hasn’t even had to ponder the world of adult responsibility. Every moment with Hannah was a pleasure, and it reminded me to move away from the things that bog me down…and slow down and play a little.
We both made a conscious decision to enjoy the rainy day inside. And I knew we meant business when shortly after entering the Mall, Hannah said, “Auntie Michelle, this day is going to be so much fun!”
We ate our Mexican lunch in the food court and talked about boys, our music tastes, Facebook, and the upcoming school year. We walked all four floors (twice!), enjoying the buzzing energy of the Mall and we laughed a lot. We sampled truffles in a chocolate shop (Lindt’s Lindor truffles get the thumbs-up from both of us!). We collapsed in giant oversized beanbag chairs we found on sale. And at the end we got lost trying to remember where we parked.
Best of all was our decision to do an old-time photo, dressed up as 1920’s flapper girls at a bar during Prohibition (see above). We elbowed each other and giggled throughout most of the experience, and it was tough to keep a serious face during the photo shoot (it was funny later when I dropped Hannah off at home and she said to her mom, “Mom, um, we got into a bit of trouble today…but at least there’s a photo to show what happened.”)!
In our own little world
Who knew that when we left the Mall, there had been reports of tornados in the metro area with extensive wind damage while we were inside whooping it up? Not us.
Little escapes can be good. Especially with someone you love and who might be able to unknowingly lift you out of ‘yourself.’ I know that after our outing, I certainly came back to my home and work routine refreshed, rejuvenated, and grateful for the experience.
Plan for that important time on your calendar, and then be open to wherever the car or the wind or your desire takes you. It will give following your joy a whole new meaning.