Last week, when I was talking about the whole buying a condo ordeal, I said, “There will be a celebration and sit-on-the-beach-drink-mojitos vacation in order when all of this is done.” Mojitos got bumped way up after the end of the week sort of went to hell.
I won’t get into too much detail because it hasn’t quite worked itself out, but suffice it to say stress levels were cranking. Thankfully, the weekend’s beautiful, late-Spring weather took a lot of the edge off and we spent a few hours sitting in the park with the warm sun on our backs. It. felt. so. good.
Conversation eventually turned from drama to bigger life thoughts as little kids played nearby without a care in the world, college students worked on their tans without a care beyond the previous night’s party, and a group of much older folks gathered for what seemed to be a weekly meet up, also without much of a care beyond their newspapers and watching the little ones breeze by on wobbly bikes and scooters.
There is really something to be said for taking an hour to go sit in a pretty park when the sun is shining and just be. It’s like a form of meditation that gently clears out the mental clutter and ushers in the larger thoughts. I always find myself coming back to the same questions: will I look back on these last few months and think they were time well-spent? Is this laying the foundation for where I want to be in the future? Where do I want to be in the future? Is it where I thought I wanted to be, or have I changed my mind?
I don’t know why, but it almost feels a little silly writing out these questions. I find that a lot of people don’t ask them, at least not out loud. So many of us are so plugged into work and technology, never fully disconnecting from sharing that latest status update or photo or answering one more email, or checking email just one more time. I’m less plugged in than most of my friends (and I’m the one with a blog), and I still find the frequent checking and attachment to my laptop and phone to be draining sometimes. That’s not to say I don’t also love sharing the little bits and pieces of my day and seeing what others are up to, but I do think it’s important to disconnect, at least as much as possible, with some regularity. Go sit in the park and let your mind wander from the mundane to the exciting…and the scary. It’s a little terrifying to ask yourself whether you’ll look back on the last month/year/5 years when you’re eighty and think, “yes, that was living.”
But we have to give ourselves the space to unplug, reflect, and ponder what might be. We also have to live in the present, which is why I decided to make mojitos now.
Why wait to celebrate until after we’ve endured a bunch of stress? Why wait to take a vacation? Let’s take an afternoon to go sit in the park, schedule that vacation for sooner rather than later, and pour ourselves a cocktail.
Cheers to creating a now, and dreaming up a future, that we’ll look back on and know, wholeheartedly, that was living!
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- ½ ounce agave simple syrup (1/2 tablespoon light agave nectar mixed with ½ tablespoon water)
- 2 ounces clear rum
- 3 ounces freshly pureed pineapple
- 3 ounces sparkling water
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon, packed finely grated ginger
- fresh mint leaves for garnish
- In a 16-ounce glass, add the mint leaves and agave simple syrup.
- Muddle the mint and simple syrup using a muddler or something blunt, like the end of a large wooden spoon.
- Add to the glass the rum, pureed pineapple, sparkling water, lime juice, and ginger.
- Mix all of the ingredients, then fill the glass with ice.
- Top with a sprig of mint and enjoy!
Photography by Aaron Scott