I should have been working tonight.

I had cows to milk, this commentary to write, laundry to do, animals that desperately needed practice before the upcoming fair, and many, many more chores on my to-do list for today – all of which seemed to be of extraordinary importance as I tried to speed through the day and cross items off that stupid list.

But I didn’t do any of them, at least until now at nearly midnight as I sit at the keyboard.

I took the night off and went to see a movie with two dear, dear friends. Summer is half over, and yet, it was the first time in weeks and weeks and weeks that we slowed down enough to spend two hours in a dim small town, mom-and-pop theater, munching on salty, buttery popcorn, drinking ice-cold sodas and laughing until we almost cried. Okay, I did cry funny tears, but not at the movie; at my friends and the rest of the audience laughing at us laughing at each other.

Then we sat on my deck, swatting mosquitoes, visiting and catching up on each other’s lives a little bit. It felt so good. So freeing. So needed. There may have been a bottle of wine involved, I cannot confirm or deny. But more importantly, my friends were there. And that’s really all that was required. That and distance from the important tasks and daily minutiae that gobble up our time and attention.

It seems as though a ton of weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Yes, the chores are still there. The problems are still there. The work is still there. But none of it feels insurmountable anymore, like it did earlier today.

Why do we wait to do things like this? Life is too short. As the evening ended, my friends and I promised we wouldn't wait this long to get together again. I hope we don’t.

And I hope you don’t wait to recharge your batteries either. It’s all too easy to forget why we’re here on this earth. It’s not to work ourselves to death. It’s to prop each other up. To do good wherever possible. And laugh whenever we can.