By Oretta Croushore, Property Manager for Home Rental Services.
As part of the new year, new you movement, we hear a lot about self-care. It’s sad to admit we have to be reminded to take care of ourselves.
Back in my younger, pre-mom days, I used to turn my nose up at those moms who did nothing but mom. You know the ones. They’re constantly shuttling their kids to activities, making dinner for someone, spending weekends at various tournaments, and for unknown reasons, wearing high-waisted, elastic-backed, pleated jeans. This is the same time period where I would say things like, “my kid will never throw a fit in public,” “my kid will understand that shots are part of life and she will just take them,” “my kid will never roll her eyes at me like that.”
If you’re a parent, you’re laughing and rolling your eyes right now. You also probably realize in 13 years, my precious baby has managed to prove me wrong on every item above (and a million others). Though I refuse to succumb to “mom jeans,” I will admit to losing myself a little along the way. Being The Wife, The Mom, The Daughter and The Property Manager are all rewarding in their own rights, but I still have to hold onto Oretta.
The Oscar Movie Best Picture Showcase
About four years ago, my friend Chelle started posting on Facebook about an event she was attending. She was at a 24 hour Oscar Movie Best Picture Showcase. She posted after each movie, even including pics of her feet up on the chair in front of her. My first thought was “that looks fun, I wish I could do something like that.”
My second thought was tinged with green jealousy. I would log in to see her next post and then feel sad and a little angry. Then it hit me! Chelle has a kiddo the same age as mine. She’s The Wife, The Mom, The Daughter, etc. Why can she do it and I can’t?
The answer is, because she gave herself permission to take a Chelle day.
Fast forward a year later and Chelle posts on Facebook that she has purchased her tickets for the Oscar Movie Marathon. I felt one second of jealousy before I reminded myself, I have the power. I jumped onto the website, chose my perfect seat, and purchased my ticket. ONE TICKET! I got up the courage to tell my family of my plan for 24 hours of solitude at the movies. I braced for the impact. I was sure I would be met with “why can’t I go?”, “why are you abandoning us?” “We can’t live without you for 24 whole hours!” Instead what I got was “cool!”, “you’re going to have so much fun.” “We’re so happy for you!” It seems, I was the only one not giving Oretta permission to Oretta.
Last weekend, I completed my 3rd annual Best Picture Showcase.
Being my 3rd year, I feel like I have it pretty well down pat. I know what kind of snacks I want to take. (A healthy mix of Hot Tamales, Dot’s Pretzels, Peanut M&Ms and Pringles. And lots of water as a result.) I’ve learned a small footstool saves my legs from the discomfort of sitting for hours in theater seats. The crochet project I take has to include light colored yarn and an easily memorized and repeating pattern. A blanket, neck pillow, and hand held fan are all imperative.
I also know exactly which seat to purchase. It’s a single seat, toward the back, near the rear exit. There are restrooms that get very little traffic up there, as well as a place to walk around and stretch my legs. This year, my review after each movie generated a lot of great conversations on Facebook. It made me feel great to see some of my friends “follow” me at this event. I hope if any of them are feeling envious, they realize they, too, have the power. I also hope they understand I will share my snacks… but they can’t sit by me. 24 hours needs a buffer seat. I don’t care who you are.
I’m a movie fan and always have been.
I find that as my time has become more precious, I’m pickier about the movies I see. The Oscar Showcase forces me outside my comfort zone. It takes away all the concerns I have about wasting my time on a movie I might not like. The thing I’ve realized is that it doesn’t really matter to me what I’m seeing. I still get something from the movies, even if I don’t like them.
My biggest take away, however, is the feeling I leave with. You can’t sit through that many movies and not feel a sense of accomplishment. As I walked out of the theater at 4 am on Sunday morning, I felt calm and content. I took ORETTA home and put her to bed. I made sure to call her the next morning to let her know what a great time I had on our date. I want to make sure she and I go out again.
This is a relationship that was meant to last!