I had a hard week last week, for a lot of reasons...not least of which was losing my child temporarily. Anyway, my thoughtful husband recognized that I needed a break in a bad way or I was going to end up taking a longer leave of absence within the confines of a mental institution. As of 1 pm on Friday, I was banished from the house for a period of 18 hours or so. I had a massage booked at 1:00 and a hotel room reserved for the night; the rest was up to me to figure out.
Now, I know how badly I needed some time off because I packed a bag and left the house without one iota of guilt. Normally I would feel bad - no matter how ridiculous that seems - for leaving my husband in charge of his own children for one night. This time? Not so much. I knew he wanted me to truly relax and disconnect and I decided that the best way to show my appreciation for that would be to just enjoy myself.
And enjoy myself I did. I had a lovely, excruciating massage that went a long way towards restoring my shoulders to their intended position rather than hunched up around my ears. I wandered the aisles of Whole Foods, browsed Barnes & Noble and sat outside drinking chai tea and reading my book in a criminally gorgeous fall afternoon. I met a very close friend for happy hour and chatted about everything under the sun for a couple of hours.
And then I holed up in my hotel room with snacks, wine, trashy magazines and HGTV. I stayed off the internet, only checked in briefly after I knew the kids would be in bed and was asleep by 10:00. I returned the next morning truly feeling like a new woman.
I, like so many mothers, am not always the best at meeting my own needs. I spend such a huge amount of time and energy on meeting the needs of small people, trying to be a good partner, and really prioritizing being a good and reliable friend but I rarely show myself the same respect and support. But I am really trying to change that. I am coming around to the idea that the better my own health - physical, mental AND emotional - the better equipped I am to be successful in the ways that are important to me.
Partly I feel like Chris and I have reached a place/phase in our relationship where we can truly support and encourage each other. I'll be honest and say that there have been phases where time and energy have been in such short supply that we've found it difficult to encourage each other to do anything beyond trudge through the monotony together. But with slightly older kids and the more effective division of labor we've settled on, we have the space to really support one another. We're coming up on our 10-year anniversary in the spring and I'm happy we'll celebrate it in such a good place (you know, since we can't celebrate in a really good place, like the Bahamas).
I think at this point C is probably a little worried about just how MUCH I enjoyed my little mini-break...