Have you ever been sitting on a beach watching the sunset and look down at your glass of wine, almost empty and think, “Oh no- I’d better fill that up before I run out?” From there you either reach into the picnic basket for the bottle of wine or look desperately for the waiter. There is nothing that will stop you from enjoying this beautiful sunset.
If you’re a wise woman, the cup itself is irrelevant, the wine is also unimportant. The cup you are refilling on that beach is YOU. You are taking the time out of your day to sit, peacefully, gratefully, and replenish yourself. The idea is that you are supposed to take time for yourself- to enjoy life and slow down for an hour or two. Do the things that are important to you, and putting yourself first, over all other commitments.
Refilling my cup is something that I have recently learned, and am still trying to figure out. Recently, I was working on a Tuesday from the top bunk of my hostel. All settled in to start making my phone calls for the day. My bunkmate walks in- freshly showered, starts doing her makeup in the mirror as I start clicking away on my keyboard. We start to chat about this and that, the typical hostel chit-chat. She asks, “Would you like to join me for dinner? It’s my friends birthday. She lives here.” I look up from my keyboard, and take off my screen glasses- I ponder for a moment that this would look like- immediately I envision a large table of drunk 20 somethings, with random boyfriends and girlfriends all sitting over plates of Kebabs. But she’s peaked my curiosity, “Where are you planning on going, and what time?” I ask- thinking I should try to be sociable. She says, “We’re going to this Russian restaurant called 1924 across the river, I’m planning to leave in about 15 minutes. It’s been here since the Bolshevik Revolution.” Russian food- I’m in. No third questions, no wavering- I have a soft spot for the best Vodka in the world, and oh-my pierogies. Anyone that has chosen such a restaurant must know what they are doing. I close my laptop and let the pretty young Australian guide me.
We spent the whole train ride, the walk to the restaurant getting to know each other. We remind each other of our names again because, in good true form, the information wasn’t critical until we decided to take a step forward into friendship. I ask her about her friend- apparently, they met on a weekend get-away. The birthday girl is American. We arrive at the restaurant – very posh. Smells like oak and cologne that you can’t even buy anymore. The restaurant is dark- dark booths of leather and maybe 15 tables. We sit and quickly try to decide on drinks and dinner. I share my stories about Moscow and Sochi- my absolute love for Russian culture.
Over the course of the evening, we touched on birthdays, traveling, being an expat, bad hostel roommates, politics, and love. We stuffed ourselves with all kinds of appetizers, entrees, fabrigie egg desserts, and more vodka than I’d care to admit. Towards the end of the evening, the birthday girl pointed out that we were having a really hard time saying “No” to anything.
And I just laughed. I laughed so deeply, I cried tears of joy. There was inner peace. I was surrounded by women that were part of my “cut of the cloth”- so to speak. I felt connected and understood. And damn the food was good.
When I laid in bed that night, I thought to myself how good it was to just sit and enjoy the good company. How I felt refreshed and revitalized. Almost like someone had refilled my cup.