All right, so I'll admit it: I've signed on to a lot things this semester. It's been a whirlwind sort of semester, full of readings, jobs, coffee, and (some) sleep. So when an opportunity presented itself for an escape from Chambana, I gladly took it.
Back this August, my dad had thrown out this grand plan. The last weekend in September, my brother's soccer team was going to play my alma mater (on my brother's turf) and my sister was having her first family weekend. In a perfect world, I would have come home, gone to the soccer game with my dad and then driven up with him to see my sister. Perfect, right?
Well my 9 AM Monday class and the four hour drive from Wisconsin to Chambana threw this plan out the window.
Onto Plan B, as my grandma would say. I really wanted to see my brother play soccer, especially since he's a senior this year. This is it. After watching him play soccer since he could run, this might be the last game I see in person. Lucky for me, he had a game at Knox College, an easy two hour drive from Chambana.
Sunday morning rolled around, I hopped in my car, turned on This American Life podcast (I was at least nine episodes behind...whoops), and drove. Two hours went be quickly and I found myself in Galesburg, IL.
I had left early enough (and had done my research) so I got some exploring in before the game. I wandered down downtown Galesburg, which was pretty quiet for a Sunday. Regardless, it was a beautiful day outside and it felt nice to be somewhere new.
Internet research had recommended a coffeeshop a block off of the main drag. Innkeepers Fresh Roasted Coffee did not disappoint. The food was delicious (soup is back and I am so pleased) and the chai latte I ordered was a nice combination with my library readings. The only downside was a lack of wifi, but in all reality, it actually kept me on track (aka I didn't wander off into some web pages and not come back to work). So I got a lot of work done. Woot! :)
With an hour before game time, I made my way to Knox's campus. While I had never set foot on campus before, as soon as I drove onto campus, that small liberal arts school feeling set in. I didn't need a map because campus is small enough to figure out where the soccer field is.
When my brother's team started warming up, another familiar feeling set in. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy watching live soccer, especially when it's someone I know. Soccer reminds me of the fall, the crisp weather paired with hopefully crisp passes. My eyes track the ball moving from feet to feet and I feel my mind spinning, trying to anticipate where the ball will go next.
My brother was warming up close to where I was sitting. When a ball went out of bounds towards me (and I naturally went to pick it up) my brother called out, "Thanks big sis."
AHHHH HEART MELTING WITH HAPPINESS.
Sorry -- big sister moment kicking in.
Anyways, the game got started and it was as if I had never stopped watching soccer. I put my phone away and for the first time in a long time, I felt calm and not stressed. Nothing that I had left to do was important in those 90 minutes. I was focused on the game in front of me.
With a few heart stopping moments, the game ended in a 0-0 tie (with two overtimes). My brother and I got about five minutes to chat and after a sweaty hug, we shared a few stories. We laughed and caught up on his life. I don't think I'll see him until Thanksgiving so I was grateful for those five minutes.
I drove back to Chambana, ready to conquer the week. In classes last week, self care seemed to be THE topic of choice. I firmly believe that everyone has their own version of self care. For me, it's swimming, bike riding, long car rides, coffeeshops, or seeing my brother play soccer. Sunday was well spent and I am ready for whatever this week decides to bring me.