#174; simple joys

In my trying to focus on the pleasures of everyday, I took my day off and ran my errands and then vegged out on the couch with old episodes of  Futurama for the evening. Nothing like sarcastic cartoons lampooning our way of life to lift your heart when you’re feeling down. I haven’t been sleeping well lately in the stresses of everyday life and big transitions and I think napping and letting myself just rest was something I needed, even if it’s not in my nature to do. So my 2nd Appreciation of the Awesome goes to Days Off. Days that you might not even change out of your pjs, that you listen to the radio a little too loudly, puttering around your house with a slice of leftover pizza because you can’t be bothered to cook anything more complicated than that. How do you spend your days off? Do you prefer weekends of busy socializing? Or time spent alone with a trashy romance novel and a glass of wine?

My 3rd Appreciation of the Awesome (even on Days Off I’m over-achieving!) goes to Airport Reunions. Movies have highlighted them (when even Dogma sees the cool in something, you gotta give it props, and what women in the world doesn’t melt at the mention of Love, Actually?), industries have popped up around them, the TSA probably loathes them… But there is nothing like the feeling of getting a plane, achy and tired and cranky and well-traveled, and looking up to see people you love waiting for you. Read more, including some of my favorite airport moments, after the jump!

My mom always brought a Dunkin Donuts coffee for me (regular, for those of you from New England). My nephews always tackle me. One time, in Colorado Springs, after hours without rest or a smoke break (after three airports, a sunrise cab ride, and two timezones) I had the pleasure of meeting my Godson for the first time (he was 6 days old) because his parents decided to bring him to the airport for my arrival.

When I moved back to the States from Rome, my mom surprised me by picking up my long-distance then-boyfriend from his college and making the drive to Boston together (he’d gotten rid of his mohawk and worn a suit, I almost didn’t recognize him!). They both had Christmas presents with them.

One of my favorite trips to pick someone up from the airport, Valentine’s weekend two years ago, my BFF was driving me to BWI to pick up my Valentine and our car (a ’74 Italian Mini) set on fire on the highway! There was Tina-screaming, lots of cursing from my bestie as he attempted to put out the sparking whatever-it-was and fix the problem, and a delayed reunion but goodness did we have fun.

I love how no matter how long or short it’s been, no matter the trip or the distance, my mom will cry when we meet up at the airport, and again when we part. I love having help from family with luggage. I love how uncomfortable my brother looks no matter how happy he is to see loved ones, he hates travel. I love stopping to get McDonalds (I rarely do fast food) or a stiff drink in the terminal.

I love the inescapable feeling of your lungs filling up almost too full with the scent of those you’ve missed. In the winter, everyone wearing their huge coats, pea coats that are too long, big boots and everything is slushy from the weather outside (can you tell I’ve only lived on the east coast?). I love that when I got off the plane in Miami, from spending a summer in Havana for work, I only had the clothes on my back and my dancing heels because my other shoes had gone missing throughout my stay – my mom didn’t even notice.

All your cares, all your travels, your soreness, the stress of strangers and terminals and heavy bags and air conditioning and scratchy blankets and watery cocktails — absolutely all of it melts away once you’re in their arms. Once you hear their voices, shouting and laughing and asking how the flight went and bickering in old ways that only loved ones can. These moments are truly Made of Awesome. I’d love to hear your stories, your favorite reunions, your favorite airports. Let’s take a moment to Appreciate the Awesome together in the comments!

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