Earlier today, I spent a lazy afternoon eating cider doughnuts and making fun of cheesy early-2000s-era Disney Channel Halloween movies with a good friend of mine. When she had texted me to make plans, her preface was, “I do not plan to get out of my pajamas, so dress accordingly.”
What I later told her was that I’d barely changed out of my pajamas the entire time I had been home, and that when I did, it was only to put on my old, worn out sweatpants that bear the faded logo of my high school tennis team.
My original intent for coming home this weekend was to study, get some writing done, and to celebrate my birthday at home, where I have access to free food and cake. I instead have spent the past couple of days sleeping off tonsillitis, watching a lot of trashy television, and being thankful I even made it home at all.
The six hour drive from SLU campus to my current “hometown” of Redding, CT, is not an easy one to make alone. Between the Adirondack roads and several very crowded highways, there are a lot of opportunities for accidents. I always take a breath of fresh air when I finally get off I84 and onto the local Rt7, and am relieved of most of the tension in my shoulders. So at 7:35pm this past Wednesday, when I was less than 20 minutes from my house, I was not expecting the sedan in the lane next to me to attempt to pass the car in front of him without checking their mirrors. In an effort to not be rammed into by the driver, I swerved to the left–and into oncoming traffic. With an intense amount of swearing, frantic steering wheel turning, and braking, I managed to avoid hitting anyone and to get out of the way of the ignorant sedan driver (who, for the record, still cut me off as soon as I had braked enough to be out of his way). When I pulled into my driveway soon after, I was still shaking and couldn’t get my key in the front door.
I had never been quite so relieved to walk into that kitchen or be tackled by my overly enthusiastic dog.
Responding to a near serious car accident by way of bumming around the house for three days isn’t quite the carpe diem reaction I would have expected myself to have. But I’ve spent the first half of this semester being so busy and running myself so ragged that I have been sick more than I’ve been well, and have re-crafted the art of surviving on caffeine. I could very well have not made it home Wednesday night, and I would have had a rather miserable final few days. Which is why, one I had finally stopped screaming expletives to the sedan driver and the world at large, I told myself I needed to take a chill.
So, yes, when I return to SLU tomorrow night, I’m going to wind up cramming for an oral Italian exam and kicking myself for not finishing a workshop piece, but I don’t really mind. Still being behind on my work is well worth being able to spend three days in sweatpants and being grateful that I made it to my house in one piece.
I hope all of your breaks were just as restful as mine, and that the restfulness was not brought on by tonsillitis or an idiot driver who didn’t check his side mirrors.
See y’all back on campus tomorrow!