Peaceful. Hard to believe that is a word I am using to describe this little spot in the middle of a huge metropolis filled with over 18 million people. Apartments and homes mixed together in an odd puzzle like existence. Filled with people from every imaginable walk of life.
And yet, it's peaceful.
The hustle and bustle exists. In fact we will be out in it in around an hour as we head to Universal Studios for a day of fun and wizardry. But for now sitting in my son's living room, the only sounds I hear are the clock ticking in the other room, the keys being tapped on my keyboard, and every so often the rustle of bags being shuffled on someone's should and the tap of high heels. I am sure quite a few of the neighbors are taking a longer weekend, afraid to face that dreaded Tuesday after a holiday. You know the day, the one that makes up for that day of rest, that makes you pay for it.
Yesterday was a day of complete rest. I can't remember the last time I did that. No television, no rushing around, just hanging out in comfy clothes chatting with my boy. We sure weren't solving the problems of the world. We were simply chatting.
While he played WoW and occasionally talked to a friend as they played, I spent the day just completely unwinding.
I am reading a book called The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. Not exactly the type of book I usually by, but browsing in the airport waiting to come to visit I was struck by it. It spoke to me and where I am in my life. I'm not unhappy, but I feel I could be much happier. Reading this, I've come to the conclusion that she is probably spot on.
To prove it, I spent hours yesterday, doing a very mindless task. I cleaned out my email inbox. For years I have bemoaned the way it is filled with "spam" and ads. The very thing I hate about my real mailbox at home. But accepted it as just the way things are, something I would have to dig through to find what I wanted and needed. The important stuff. And hoping the important stuff didn't get overlooked in the sea of ads and LinkedIn requests.
But yesterday while sitting with my boy, watching him battle, making small chit chat about things that weren't important but were very important, I started the task. Painful at first. I avoid cleaning out that inbox at all costs, it's overwhelming. In a matter of days I can have thousands of junk emails. And I never really believed going through the trouble to unsubscribe would take me off their dreaded lists.
For hours I painstakingly opened each one. Scrolled to the very bottom (I feel I should point out that they hide them well). Grateful I was wearing my glasses and not my contacts, to make it easier to see the small almost invisible links. And unsubscribed. I wasn't mean, I didn't answer their survey with "you are making my life hell with your bombardment of electronic spam". No, I simply said I was not interested in receiving any further communications.
I realized the biggest offenders were companies already getting a great deal of my hard earned dollars. Corporate greed at it's best.
Each unsubscribe making me feel a bit more in control. Ahhh, the power of "NO". After I had successfully hit unsubscribe on what appeared to be all of them, I started sorting out what was left. I am fairly certain I no longer had the need to retain electronic receipts from 2007, for electricity to a property I no longer own. Or communications to my son's high school. After all he is an adult almost finished with his Master's degree.
It was therapeutic. I felt empowered. I felt lighter. I felt, gasp, organized!!
I would love to say I helped my son work on his computer, reality, I kept him company and grabbed things he needed. Because I am about the most non-technological person I know, did my Dad really insist all those years ago that I learn to program? Hmmm... must be a reason I don't play in that world.
Although I do believe moral support should count for something. And my little Chromebook came in handy as he was searching for the information he needed.
Late in the day we decided we needed dinner. And we both felt that it was a perfect night for ramen. A short walk up to Ko-Ryu Ramen was the answer. Beautiful LA night. Cool, clear, slight breeze. Ironically quiet and welcoming.
And the company was perfect. My mom brain was jumping back and forth, remembering many walks with my little boy over 20 years ago, he was always searching for answers to questions, making me think. He's still making me think, but now he has so many answers and ideas. I cherish those times the most.
I am completely in love with the authenticity of the meals I eat here. The taco's the other night were incredible - no mistaking that for any tex-mex meal at home. And the ramen... indescribable. It was absolutely perfect.
I've had a few break through emails, a couple I couldn't find an unsubscribe button for love nor money, those guys now go directly to spam. But it seems my hours of work paid off. It's nice having control. It was fantastic having those quiet, non-structured minutes. I think I had forgotten how refreshing the act of nothing is.
Today, it's time for laughter, fun and adventures. Today we are off to Universal Studios. My mini-trip is rapidly coming to an end. Less than two days left. Every time I leave, a small bit of my heart stays here with my boy, I think that is why I fill it up so much while I am here.