Why do I need to give myself permission to relax, leave my kids and enjoy big girl conversation? Why do I like to bathe in guilt of doing anything for myself? Why have I only allowed myself 5 days out of 16 years to be away from my mothering duties? My husband gives me his blessing to leave. He wants me to have time off. My children survived just fine. It is OK to leave and for once in my life, I gave myself permission to relax and enjoy life without children. Heaven's knows it was due. Why are we so hard on ourselves??
I would have backed out on the trip if I wasn't so committed with friends. I went with the rhetoric that I "didn't need it", "didn't want to leave", etc. I left with a little tear in my eye. I got there and called home only to find all the family was at my son's first debut with his band at the High School talent show. I missed it. I was sad. I shouldn't have left. Then....something magical happened: I SLEPT.
I woke up without an alarm. It was even 7:30. No one asked me to make breakfast. I didn't have one chore to do or obligation ahead. I got to run on the beach in 55 degree weather. I missed the family but by the end of day one, I decided; I was giving myself permission to enjoy this trip, to relax and enjoy being with women.
I brought a book but by the end of the trip, I had only gotten to page 20. We talked the entire trip. We laughed and cried. We solved each other's problems and gave advice if wanted or not. Women are great at that and I realized how very important girlfriends are. I don't allow myself girlfriends too often. Another thing I will now give myself permission for.
I sat around, enjoying the chilly weather. I ate and shopped and even rode tandem bikes on the Santa Barbara boardwalk. It was delicious.
I came home relaxed but could have spent another 3 weeks sleeping.
I realized how tired I really was. 4 days wasn't going to touch that. I decided to go easier on myself. I am doing pretty good at that now. I am sure it won't last but I am still in a relaxed state and kind of want to hang on to that. I am sure it will end tomorrow with my preschool class but it was a nice few days that will be reflected upon until the next years trip. Yep. I have decided that I will give myself permission to do this once a year.
I came home more in love with my children. I came home more in love with my husband who missed me as much as I missed him. He has been cleaning and helping out more than ever since I returned. Shoot. That was worth the trip right there. He is a pretty great guy. I was surprised that not only was being away good for my sanity, it is also pretty great for a marriage. Going away makes you want the guy even more and that is a great thing for an 18 year marriage.
I am a better person for leaving my kids. They are better kids for me leaving and my husband is a better husband due to my brief absence. Who would have thought?
Tomorrow, I will end my relaxed state and get onto nutrition. Blog to follow. Check back.