In thinking of four favorite means of self-care or refreshment, and a fifth that is, so far, still a dream, here are my first impressions:
1. Reading on the couch. Usually that just means looking at a magazine, but might also mean a novel. Currently I'm trying to get into Jane Stevenson's Empress of the Last Days, the last in a trilogy that includes The Winter Queen and The Shadow King, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. This one, unlike the others, has a contemporary setting and I'm having a little trouble getting involved in it--but it's still nice to lie on the couch and try.
2. A wonderful dinner out with the Scientist, at one of our favorite restaurants, or one of the new ones we've wanted to try.
3. Exercise. It is so hard to get up and get out of the house to exercise. Why, when I always feel so much better after I do it?
4. Singing. By Thursday night I am so tired in body, mind, and spirit. I look forward to going to choir practice that evening, because I feel better when I sing.
If I could cheat and add 4 1/2 I would say "travel". I am deeply grateful for the dream that will be coming true in late April, the vacation of a lifetime that includes, among other wonderful destinations:
5. A week in Tuscany. We will be roaming slowly through the Chianti region with a minimal agenda, other than tasting lots of wine, eating things like artisanal wild boar salami, gazing over the hills, and pinching ourselves to be sure that we are really there.