I don't get out much.
This is not hyperbole; and when I say "out," I mean beyond the country road that runs between my house and the farm where I work. It's a beautiful drive and I consider it one of the perks of my job that I get to see a bucolic panorama on my way to work everyday instead of, say, freeway overpasses, strip malls and fast food restaurants. But I can go months and never leave the road where I both live and work.
The reason for this is partially logistic. We are three adults with two vehicles going three different places. At any given time, someone has to stay home while two are at work/school.
I've come to realize, though, that the other part of this is that it's just easier to stay home and I've found I'm susceptible to the easier path -- not very rewarding, but safe. So here I found myself at the end of a summer with my world shrunken to a 10-mile stretch of road.
So when my friend (and former co-worker at the farm) Susan suggested I come and visit her at her new apartment in Maryland where she and her husband moved last July, my knee-jerk reaction was to politely say, "Yes, we must do that sometime;" and if she pressed me with a specific date, there was always the answer, "Dirtman is working that day and needs the car and Heir 1 has school..."
It's not because I don't want to see Susan and Larry. In my head, I'm constantly updating her on what's going on at the farm and in my life. But her invitation brought me to the realization that I had not driven myself anywhere (other than work) in over a year and I was actually having anxiety over something that I usually never gave a second thought about.
It is always easier to give in to the anxiety than it is to overcome it and I've been spending way too much time on the easy path.
Dirtman and Heir 1 were very cooperative about juggling rides when I announced that I intended to drive to Maryland on a Saturday afternoon (really, only about an hour-long trip) and meet up with Susan and that I was going to do this all by myself (was that an attitude of relief I sensed?).
I was, of course, rewarded for my bravery. It was wonderful to see my friends again and, of course, Susan cooked a terrific meal; and we talked...and talked...and talked...
Oh, and did proper homage to Brandy. How can one not do proper homage to Brandy?
And then, without a second thought, I headed home...with a bagful of homemade cookies for my very own...and we all promised we'd do this again sometime soon.
I mean, it's not like it's a big deal or anything...