Robert Burns penned the lines, The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]”, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life is that he was right.

A little over a week ago (on Sunday, April 21), I headed out bright and early to spend a week at a workshop in North Carolina. I took my laptop and had great plans to post an entry at least every other night. I knew that internet access was available only in the main building, and I had visions of walking down to that building every evening to relax in the library, write a bit, and work on my online class.

Happily, several things interfered with that plan. First, when I arrived, I discovered that although walking trails link all of the buildings, the “cottage” I was staying in was a good 5-minute walk through the woods on a softly-lit path from the building with internet access. No problem; I was looking forward to the exercise.

Additionally, I found that dinner, served at 6:15 every evening, included wonderful food and fascinating conversation a different group of extremely interesting, fun people. By the time I ate dinner and walked back to my room, all I wanted to do was put on my jammies, read, journal, and visit with my fantastic roommate.

She (my roommate) was another reason my plans didn’t come to fruition. My roommate was a perfect fit for me. We both wanted to read and do some writing each evening, but we also spent time chatting, and I enjoyed visiting with my very interesting, intelligent, and funny new friend. Having a roommate as an adult can be pretty darned awkward, but we immediately and easily figured out a morning bathroom schedule that fit both of us perfectly, neither of us minded if the other stayed up later and kept the lamp on the table between the two beds lit, and both of us enjoyed a glass of wine each evening. Perfect match!

Each evening, then, I enjoyed a fantastic meal (made even better by the fact that it was prepared by other people and all the clean-up I had to do was return my plate to the kitchen) and wonderful conversation, enjoyed a leisurely stroll along a nicely-lit path in the beautiful North Carolina countryside, and then returned to a room to enjoy a glass of wine,, pleasant conversation, and a good book. And instead of sticking to my scheduled plan, as I typically do at home, I simply relaxed and let each evening unfold like the gift it was.

If you have not had any evenings free of rushing and stressing and chores and obligations recently, I hope you will put aside one evening to do nothing but relax and nurture your soul. Then do that again from time to tome. Give yourself that gift.

What would be a stress-free, soul-nurturing evening for you? What would it take for that to be a reality?