As a child I rarely went on sleepovers. I distinctly remember one sleepover at a elementary school friends house. I was the only non-girl guide at the sleepover and I think I may have been the only one that had not yet slept at a friends for a night. On many occasions I slept over at my cousin’s house; they had a bunkbed that intrigued me. And on a couple occasions I went camping with groups I was a member of. Outside of these rare events, I do not recall partaking in sleepovers. I remember, or perhaps imagined, my parents telling me that I had a perfectly good bed at home to sleep in and thus did not need to sleepover at another’s house. They are correct! Why sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag and be somewhat uncomfortable when I could stay out till the end of the party, be picked up by my parents or brother, and come home to sleep in my own bed without any pressure to wake up at a particular hour, eat breakfast in a half-dazed state with people I cared about only once I was moving and ready to engage in the day, or pretend to like certain foods that I really had no desire to eat.
Over the years, like most things, my sleepover habits have changed. It is not uncommon to have friend(s) over and stay the night, to spend weekends with friends, or travel with peers. A part of this is my current location and stage in life. I have had the opportunity to live in various settings for various reasons, to travel for pleasure, work and conferences, and have in a similar manner to my parents lived with an open door philosophy. Happily, I will welcome family and friends into my home for dinner or the night.
Similarly, I am also slowly becoming more comfortable spending time at others places. A couple weekends ago a friend and I got to spend the weekend together. In the past it has usually been weekends in my space but this particular weekend things were different. I got the pleasure of spending quality time with a friend in her space. Like most get togethers we had great discussions, good food, and a little adventure. It was a chance for her and I to see parts of Vancouver and area that neither of us have seen before, to get outside into the sun, and share in multiple desserts.
Our hike was not only muddy, a little challenging, but it was also filled with great conversation and many moments of reflection, individually and collectively. The best part of weekends with dear friends is that silence is welcomed, that internal thought is encouraged, and a sounding board is just steps away when needed. The cherry on top is when one knows when to crack the perfect joke to lighten the mood.
We ended our day with my favourite meal – a meal of its own and one that should not be undermined. Clearly, I am talking about Earnest Ice Cream.
After an evening of relaxing, sharing in a cheese platter with a new friend, and sleeping much later than either of us are used to our Sunday was filled with just as much excitement. We wandered the streets of downtown Vancouver, shared in lunch, and indulged in a dessert that will not be forgotten.
Our dessert desire took us to Mink Chocolate. I am not even sure I have words to explain the s’mores. My only suggestion is to not overdose on the chocolate. Mink Chocolate s’mores and drinking chocolate at the same time was a bit much for my system, yet, I would not question a return trip for either one on its own.
Fifth Step – sit in awe at the amazing s’more you just made, dripped all over the table and your shirt, and devoured within moments.
Step Six – walk off your chocolate coma as you return to your vehicle and head home to change into your pyjamas.
Truly, spending a weekend with a friend was exactly what I needed even though I did not know that was what I needed. Sometimes adulting is challenging and returning to those “childhood” activities is the perfect re-energizer. In those moments that things seem unsettled or even just that feeling of wanting a friendly face to spend a little time with, do not overthink calling a dear friend, setting certain responsibilities aside, and finding joy in life. For we only live once and our day’s are limited – our health is determined not just by us alone but by the connections, support, and care that others provide. Enjoy time with those around you, make time for those you care for, and do not forget to live life to the fullest!