Sometimes, You Just Need An Outlet.

I must admit, I have been truly blessed over the past couple of years. I have been working at my current job in technical support for two and a half years. This job has proven to be very rewarding and educational. In addition, I began pursuing a four year college degree by taking some courses online. I started my educational pursuit a year ago. In addition to this, my wife has also begun her pursuit of a higher education. I have come to believe that it is a blessing to have a job. I know this because I have been through more than one period in my forty-five years when I have been unemployed for a long stretch of time.  A person can get a job via a newspaper ad, a referral from a friend/colleague, or attending a job fair and shaking a lot of hands. A career, on the other hand, is something to be obtained through hard work. It has to be earned. So, to reiterate, I have a job and an opportunity to further my career by pursing an education. I am TRULY blessed.

Now , I don’t mean to be ungrateful to be the beneficiary of such huge blessings. Having said that, this also has been known to consume a lot of free time that my wife or myself could use for ….recreational activities. Lately, my interactions with my wife involve her making appointments on behalf of our kids or me (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! I know. What’s the difference?). Another example of recent interactions would entail my wife whispering in my ear to check my email for something she sent me. True to her word, my wife has sent me a research paper she has composed for me to review and help her edit. These interactions go on week after week. As we neared our 18th wedding anniversary, my wife and I agreed to arrange some time to remove ourselves from the great bounty of blessings in our lives. This is strictly a temporary measure to disconnect from the blessings and re-connect with one another. After all, life does go on.

Our getaway destination was facilitated by our older daughter who is engaged to be married next year. She went to a bridal show this past summer. As a result, she got a voucher for a king suite at a hotel in the beautiful Finger Lakes area. This meant that our night at the hotel and the breakfast the following morning were entirely complimentary. As the day of our getaway got closer, I searched for ideas for activities we could do together. The Finger Lakes Region of New York is full of tourist spots to check out. My wife and I were looking forward to our getaway and spending some quality time together. We just need to find the right activity for our quality time. We needed an outlet.

Within less than 5 miles from our getaway hotel, we found our outlet. It was not just ANY outlet for a happily married couple to spend their quality time. It was THE outlet. That’s right, folks. The missus and I went to Waterloo Premium Outlets. This was a MALL of outlet stores located in Waterloo, NY. There were all different kinds of stores there. There was a wide selection of clothing stores for every man, woman and child you know. There is a selection of shoe stores for discount prices on acquired kicks. There was even a store that offered discount prices on women’s AND men’s cosmetics. I know that men’s cosmetics exist because I got my self a rather nice shaving kit (hypoallergenic no less). There was a sports memorabilia store and a book warehouse store RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER. What can I say? My wife and I had a mutually enjoyable shopping experience (a challenge within itself).

Alas, our anniversary weekend getaway came to an end (as all good things must). My wife returned to making yet another appointment on my behalf. I, likewise, returned to discover that my wife would lovingly attach another research paper in my email. We have not forgotten the blessed situation in which we live. Still, we long for the time that we can once again disconnect from our daily duties and re-connect and return to our outlet. OK, that metaphor was mixed up and made no sense but you get the point.