It is Mother’s Day.
It is Prom Night.
It is also “Fishing Opener.”
Prom night doesn’t really affect me so much, I’ve just always thought it strange that two events that are so important to women collide with this event that is so important to men. And unless you are an avid mama angler, or your high school is called Lakeside High (home of the Warring Walleye), we can’t do them together at the same time.
I knew that I would be spending Mother’s Day at the cabin because my people are Fishing Opener people….and because I don’t want to miss out on our first cabin visit after a long winter absence. It is also the first anniversary of the day we took possession of the little cabin that made us cabin people, a new holiday that I’m going to write Hallmark about.
Normally, I would opt to stay home and spend the day BY MYSELF PRAISE GOD AND HALLELUJAH BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER but, given the unique circumstances, I will be at the cabin while the Fishing Opener people tend to Fishing Opener business. Never one to squander a day that is all about me, however, I post a request on Facebook to solicit ideas on how I should celebrate this unusual Mother’s Day, by myself at the cabin while my people are away on the lake. Most responses involve books, wine and DIY spa treatments. There is also a suggestion to join the fisher people but I’ve learned that I’m a casual angler at best, like twenty minutes worth, maybe less. I don’t mind baiting my hook or slimy scales — I’ll even touch a fish eyeball on a dare — but I do have a new anxiety about getting hooked in the eye by a twelve year old.
So I make a trip to the bookstore and pack my favorite beverages. I picture myself on the dock in my robe with freshly scrubbed feet, a mask on my face and a good book in my lap while I close my eyes to feel the weak sunshine on my face. Maybe I could even take a leisurely boat ride to one of the many islands in our lake with a picnic packed in jars, just like you see on Pinterest.
But I don’t do any of that.
It is cold. Thirty seven degrees. Outside is beautiful, for a little while. But then I’m happy to experience outside through my window.
I do nothing.
I don’t even read.
My phone runs out of battery.
I sleep the sleep of a teenager. I wake up unwillingly at 9:00am only because I smell bacon and know I will miss it if I don’t get up. The men have already come back from fishing and I stumble to the table just before they finish their second breakfast of the day.
By noon, I am napping again.
I spend two days napping and staring out the window, allowing my brain to clear the clutter and rest and recharge by absorbing the vintage postcard that lies beyond the glass.
For a time, I venture outside to read on the dock, bundled in a hoodie and wrapped in a blanket. But even printed words are too noisy. And my eyes keep moving upward to see the lake. When I look down again to read, I feel like I’m missing something, like a parade going by, so I close my book and allow the lake to be my parade. Then I get cold and go inside to nap and look out the window some more.
I clearly needed this. Our brains are not meant to multitask. Study after study tells us that we are not more productive and that the quality of our work suffers when juggling more than one task at a time. And yet this is what the modern world requires of us. The cavemen generally had one thing to do each day — get food. Okay, they had to keep the children alive but that is all. There were no requests, no need for time management tools, no FYI’s to sift through, no email box to empty (ha! like that’s ever going to happen!), no junk mail to sort through and recycle, no modern junk mail to unsubscribe from, no pings, dings, chimes or chirps that make up the soundtrack of the day, each one representing another line item on the to-do list.
I am barraged by requests via the sound of a chime, a swoosh and an old phone. I change one alert to the sound of crickets thinking that the insinuation of nature will mitigate the pavlovian reach-for-the-calendar motion and accompanying chest tightening I get with each sound. But it is more like an insult to nature, a digital rendering that gives me anxiety instead of peace.
Until I lie there doing nothing, I have no idea how much I need a digital detox. I am not designed to handle so much information at once. My fractured thoughts clutter my brain and race around untethered, unable to close the loop while I attend to the thing that just interrupted me. I need to go deep, work it out, and then tie it up but the fractured thoughts never get to a satisfying close because the new input (pings, chimes, dings) keep me from harnessing them. Things continue to go in but nothing comes out….. and the clutter grows.
Mother’s Day at the cabin is meant to give me the pampering I know I deserve; who knew I would get exactly what I needed despite my best laid plans?
Oh and I play solitaire…..with real cards.
I am napping again by 5pm.
And tomorrow it will snow. One to three inches.