Strawberry juice on my sunglasses.

I went on a short road trip this week to see my daughter at college.  It was fun.  Two days of restaurant choices and conversations about shoes and girls not as cute.  I felt young.  Included.  Part of that weird morph that doesn’t stress over tomorrow.  I was sad when I had to leave.  I gassed up my car and drove out of town.

I thought, maybe, I could hang on to the feeling for a little while, but my phone started ringing as soon as I blew a kiss to the city limit sign.  Someone wanted to schedule an appointment to update my alarm system.  My husband needed me to proofread a document.  Family members called to see how the trip went.

I felt myself segmenting and a part of me I enjoy start to disappear.  I say that because I have an uneasy feeling I am not fun in my everyday life.  I will be in the middle of a discussion with my daughter and I’ll hear myself.  Bossy.  Self-certain.  Too controlled.

” Whoa.  I don’t like that person.” I’ll think.

I will correct and then promptly forget.  Five minutes later I’ll do the same thing with my husband.  My friends.  The nice lady trying to squirt me with perfume at the mall.

I made a conscious effort to try and take some of my daughter’s lightheartedness home with me and stopped to get a drink.  Something I saw advertised.

A strawberry, vanilla Sprite.

I’m just going to tell you.  It’s delicious. It tastes like summer vacation and I am addicted.  The best part of it is the little bits of strawberry.  Sometimes, they are so big they clog up the straw and you have to blow big bubbles to get them unstuck.  It’s almost impossible to feel serious while doing this.

So, there I was enjoying this little moment of fun when I realized it was over.  The drink was gone.  My phone was ringing.  Me dissipating.

I took the lid off hoping to delay the end and found the entire bottom of my cup covered in gorgeous red strawberry pieces.  I was determined to get every last one.

75 miles an hour and no spoon.

I did it though.  It involved tipping the cup and giving it enthusiastic taps on the bottom.  It was tedious and probably unsafe, but it worked.  I got them all.

And then– I was ok.  I returned the phone calls.  I acted responsibly for everyone who needed it from me and I tried not to be the un-fun version that seems to show up way too often.  It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I had strawberry juice on my sunglasses.

Maybe, that’s the secret to everything.

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