The country mouse goes to town

16 March 2011
Yesterday I did what I tell others to do all the time.  I took a day off and looked after myself.  Around 9am I loaded up my iPod full of music and headed off for the hour's drive into the big smoke.  My good friend Susan travelled down to Brisbane from Townsville with her husband and while he was attending to business, Susan and I talked, had lunch, talked, walked around, talked, moved from the lunch cafe to the afternoon tea cafe and talked.  It was a lovely day spent with a good friend and it did me a lot of good.

I picked Susan up at the Art Gallery and we went to the beautiful West End.  Being Tuesday, a few of the cafes were closed but we found a place that sold fresh orange juice and pink grapefruit so we were happy.  I have known Susan for over 20 years and we've grown close during that time.  She is about 10 years younger than me, her children have just left home to pursue careers and she now has more time to enjoy life.  When she emailed last week and said she'd be in town and could I come in for lunch, I hesitated for a while, then realised I wanted and needed to go. I'm so glad I did.

It seemed like 15 minutes, but a few hours flew by and it was time to tackle the almost peak hour traffic and drive home.  Naturally I got lost. I don't know why they continue to change things as soon as I'm used to them being as they are!  I didn't let it spoil my day, I just turned up the music and enjoyed watching people walking along the streets as I found my way home.  As soon as I got out of the main traffic I relaxed more, then turning off the freeway onto the Glasshouse Mountains road I felt I was back in familiar territory.  I stopped at a roadside stall to buy tomatoes and pears, then five minutes later I was home.  As I drove in, Hanno was feeding the animals.  It felt good to be back.

There were many things I could have done here yesterday but I chose not to do any of them.  That trip into town to spend time with Susan did me more good than anything I would have done here.  I let Jo, my editor, know I wouldn't be working on the book, she just went on to the next chapter, no problems.  Hanno was fine, he worked in the garden and relaxed in the afternoon. The housework I might have done is still there. Sometimes what matters most is the care you give to yourself.  There is no fairy godmother who will come along and tell you to take it easy for a while or take the day off.  Only you know when you need time out, so be kind to yourself and relax when you need to.  No one will benefit if you're stressed or fall in a heap.  I think nurturing is a skill we develop as we age and although we may happily take care of our family and friends, we also have to give a little love to ourselves.  I'm on top of the world today and ready to face the world - or at least my part of it at my neighbourhood centre.  What are yo doing today?


  1. Gosh you're brave Rhonda driving into the city on your own - I know what its like.

  2. It is important to take time out for yourself away from the daily routine of life. How is Brisbane fairing after the floods?

  3. hi
    I am happy for you, I too love to spend time with my friends and when that happens once in a while it brings lots of pleasure and contentment with it...

  4. It's so important to have some time to gather ones thoughts and take time to refresh. We are heading away this week for a camping holiday and I keep saying to myself I would rather stay at home and catch up on some jobs but I know the break will refresh me and when I get home I will be ready to tackle it all again.
    I packed some books I want to read and some stitchery that has been gathering dust in my to-do basket.
    Have a lovely day Rhonda.


  5. True, all true! Thank you for the reminder to take time for ourselves. Today I did grocery shopping very early, then cleaned out the chicken coop. Now, I want to sew a couple of placemats then cook supper. Have a great day, Rhonda!

  6. Hi Rhonda,
    Sounds like you had a perfectly lovely day. As much as I enjoy being home there are times that you just need a change of scenery.There also seems to be nothing like an old friend, one who knows you well & accepts you just the way you are.
    I had the chance to do this in December. My husband,13 yo son, & I went back to Pennsylvania to visit family but also to see my oldest & dearest friend. We have known each other since we were 16. Now we are 2 middle aged women in our 50's.
    This time instead of staying with family we stayed with my friend & her husband. I was able to help her prepare for the baby shower for her daughter's twins. They had been born at only 26 weeks & spent over 3 months in the hospital.What fun it was to share in the joy of my friends first grand babies.
    My friend and I were able to get away to Philadelphia for the day by ourselves. I think the population of the city is more than the entire population of my state of NH.We had lunch at an artsy little place that served herbal teas, falafel, hummus, & pita bread. We never ran out of things to talk about. Also used the public buses, got off at the wrong stop, but lived to tell the story.
    Our husbands who get on quite well spent the day lounging at home & talking about the things men do, ordering take-out pizza with loads of meat, & didn't have to listen to us tell them it wasn't good for them. lol
    We were all sorry to say good bye & wondered why we don't do this more often.

  7. Good morning everyone!

    Linn, the only thing that I noticed were the Citycats still aren't back. They're the public transport catamarans that take people up and down the river. The cats are fine but the pontoons they pick up and drop off from were all destroyed. It will be a few months before they're back.

  8. Sounds like you had a wonderful time catching up with a dear friend. Your right, it is important to take time out for yourself once in a refreshes and recharges the batteries.....great post Rhonda....keep up the good work

  9. I haven't been out for ages, after workmen finished on my reno it was so nice not to have (lovely) blokes here at 7am, then spending my days out choosing basics like tiles and lights, I just wanted to stay home and 'nest'
    But today I'm out to pick up my ex's mother, she lives 45 minutes away, to take her to lunch then to a hospital appointment. She's in her late 80s, and I haven't been with her son for over 30 years, but we're still the best of friends and have a lovely time together. Like Tricia said, there's something comfortable about being with someone who's known you forever, and just accepts you as you are.
    sad to hear the Brissy Cats aren't running yet, they were one of my favourite parts of Brisbane.

  10. Good for you, Rhonda! And you're right - I think the older I get the more I know WHEN I need to "step back" and WHAT it is that will nurture me emotionally or physically (sometimes the same thing)...

    I visited a friend in the hospital before meeting a young friend who asked if I'd consider mentoring her. I said, "Let's meet and evaluate the possibility." It was a good meeting. We'll meet again.

  11. Nothing like a day off. My bestie and I go out once a week. We enjoy each others company ( have for 27 years) and the "rule" is we have a good time and we do. We do a op shop run and then have lunch out at whatever cafe is having a special that day.

    At the moment I am filling in time waiting for the phone call that a new little grandchild is on her/his way. Cooking/ housework is up to date and a spare pear tart in in the fridge for in law entertaining.

    Bub was due Monday - All family are in place. Inlaws come from France and arrived Sunday for the birth of their 2nd Frauzzie grandchild.

    I know your first little one is coming soon also Rhonda - you are in for the best of times.
    Oh Patience -patience

  12. Glad you had a wonderful day! Today is my 57th birthday and I will be stuck inside, in a training session. But my mind will be elsewhere, I'm sure.

    Have a great day everyone!


  13. Glad you had a lovely day out. So nice to be able to share these things with a friend.

  14. Hi Rhonda,
    That was a good day for you indeed. Aren't the 'little' things really the big things...if you get my drift! Today I'm driving my daughters to school, dropping off a boot load of things at the op shop, posting a little present to a friends daughter,making anzac biscuits, taking an hour to continue my learning on the brain, housework (note the order) then pick up time. It'll be gone in a flash. Hope everyone else has a great day too.

  15. Good for you Rhonda! It's nice to hear about parts of Brisbane looking good, we don't hear much now the crisis has passed.

    My day today is off to work, I'll drop Mum to U3A then it's a big day of paperwork and careful dusting as usually Weds is our slowest day of the week.

  16. You're so right Rhonda; sometimes we just need to get out for a change of scenery.We've only been on our small property for a few months and have had just in the last fortnight had carpet layed, blinds put in,an air-con installed and the wardrobe man is here now. My dear Aunty died and I had interstate rellies staying. Aaarrggghhh! BUT today I'm having lunch with a couple of dear friends, then going to visit some young friends who've just had their first baby after years of trying. What a wonderful day it will be!!!

  17. I fully agree with what you are saying. I figure that the housework will always be there when you get back.
    Off to work today.
    Last night was 'me' time. The new Earth Carers course started. It is always invigorating to go out and meet new like-minded people.
    I'm sure your day will be fabulously productive now since you had a bit of a break yesterday.
    Take care

  18. I'm working today but my work is creative so I certainly can't complain! It's great to get out of the house, because the housework isn't staring when you're not there to see it.
    Closing the kids bedroom door helps too, in a pinch.

  19. Rhonda Congratulations on taking care of yourself. It is funny I also took the day for myself I went to the big city and did some hunting through thrift stores, and had a nice coffee and muffin, all by myself. I made it home in time to make My Hero a nice supper, everyone was happy.I am still smiling.
    Sometimes we must really de-stress and take time for ourselves. It is necessary to move forward in life and be happy, ourselves and the people we love.

  20. Country mouse..I like it. I have been given some 'names' by people lately...'old fashioned', 'a country person'...(I live in suburbia?) and ' slap dash'...( in regards to how I plant out my garden) mind you, I think all the names were given in fondness...( I say, I think?)
    I will take them all on board, because I guess I am...I have been a city girl, walked the walk, talked the talk, spent whole pay packets on clothes....gone out all the time, had the right shoes, the right bag and driven the coolest car....
    Now, I am a mum, at home, three children later, vegie gardening, making my home, caring for my family...and I am 'old fashioned', 'a country person'..not so sure about slap dash, maybe 'relaxed' is the word...
    and I wouldnt want to be any other way..........x
    I too had a impromtu coffee invite this morning, so I went, snacks for the two year old, and $3.50 in my purse for a coffee...its been a long time, for the coffee and for the chat with a lovely friend...I enjoyed it immensely.......x Suzanne

  21. Rhonda, glad for this post and glad you took some time to yourself. I also have a hard time doing that. But.... i just finished those dreaded taxes that we have to submit this time of year and now feel exhausted. So later this week I am treating myself to a day out plein air painting at a lake about 2 hrs west of us. Been waiting all winter to go.... and I am going to enjoy myself :)

  22. Sounds like you had a perfectly wonderful day. I worked at the store for 6 hours this morning came home and took a nap as I did not sleep well at all last night. Perhaps tonight all the dogs will have a quiet night so we can sleep. We think some deer or a fox was walking about the neighborhood. We've seen more wildlife here in the city limits since the developers have come in and clear cut the woods all around us. I'm hoping to have a peaceful day on Friday when I'm off. Anyone got some tips for split fingers? Mine are a mess from removing labels from pegs and then putting the new labels on. At one point my right thumb split and was bleeding all over the place. I have them all bandaged for the night with some Neosporin. I was wondering if anyone has used those rubberized finger tip covers made for quilting?

  23. Don't know how I landed on your blog, but I'm glad I did! Just the kind of place I love! Karen

  24. Good to take time out.
    Today I meet one of your fellow country women who I belives hails from brisbain. She is teaching me how to crochet a pair of gloves.
    wonderful post as always have a good day and don't forget to tell us when tho book is published!
    all the best

  25. I have a day like that planned for tomorrow, with my oldest and dearest friends. We start with lunch and talk and then afternoon tea and talk and on rare occasions we have been know to end up having supper together. It's our version of a health spa day. The upside is that I can walk to the part of town we meet in.

    Glad you had a good time with your friend and you found your way home again.

    Pippa xxx

  26. I couldn't agree more Rhonda. So glad you had a great day.

    Blessings Gail

  27. A good reminder. I left all the housework one day last week when my two big kids were at school and preschool, and took the baby for a lovely outing to Spotlight and a big Vinnies! We had such a wonderful day. You're right. No guilt. Embrace it. It's always awesome to come home again, we're lucky about that.

  28. I am having an enforced rest after a sudden-onset infection from a rose thorn digging the back of my hand yesterday saw me in A&E last night. The first night out OH and I have had in years, and we spend it in A&E!!! Rest and antibiotics are easing the infection now . . .

    I'm glad you had a great day out with a good friend - however much we love our own four walls, sometimes it's good to get a break from them and some different "me-time."

  29. Making bagels, washing sheets, making up a batch of yogurt, cooking homemade pizza for tonight, crocheting a blanket, and reading this lovely blog.

    I think it's awesome you have an iPod. :-D

  30. There is nothing like going away from your home for a day or a week and when you return you feel an ahhhh moment. Driving up the driveway your home seems like a little bit of heaven! :) Our own homes are the best place in the world to us. Getting away for a little visit once in a while recharges our batteries.
    Even the word home brings back fuzzy feelings. I am glad you got to reconnect with your good friend. I have a friend from childhood I have not seen for years and years but we started e-mailing recently. Such fun!! Sarah

  31. Sounds like you had a brilliant day! Good on you for taking a day off to enjoy yourself. I am definately going to follow that piece of wisdom as I'm very guilty of never giving myself any me time.



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