Far From The Land Of The Ice & Snow

Finally, I’m on a vacation away from my normal routine.

 

arizona-desert-blossomI have actually been away from work, home, kids, and everything familiar to me for the past two days. Before I leave town, of course, I always seem to have periods of anxiety and stress. Maybe it’s guilt for leaving my kids behind. I started parenthood as a single mom, and after 8 years of marriage I find myself there again. Don’t get me wrong; my life is blessed right now and I appreciate it… but sometimes the happy details get lost in the fog of worry.

Somehow, despite being a mother now for nearly 15 years, I still find myself wrestling with guilt when I have to go away from my kids. As much as I know that I’m the kind of person who needs some measure of autonomy and independence from the family unit, I still struggle to let myself enjoy it when it comes. I was an only child, and now I’m raising multiples. I cherish time alone, time without other humans relying on me for comfort or security. Somehow, when the opportunity presents itself, I still go into a sort of panic. Before I leave on a trip, business or otherwise, I can feel my stress levels rising steadily. Somehow I always end up considering a last minute cancellation.

Often, because my kids are at the teen and ‘tween stages of life, I also end up mediating arguments between them all the way through my attempts to pack for a trip. This certainly doesn’t help my mentality, and usually I end up in tears, assigning guilt trips. half-moon-over-Of course, my children are both growing into amazing people and they not only survive my absence, but end up reassuring me through words and improved behavior by the time I have to leave. Love overcomes eventually.

Still, it’s a roller coaster every time. From the moment I say goodbye to them, I feel my stress levels coming back down. Once I’m away, after all, there’s nothing further I can do to prepare them or myself for whatever happens. On the plane, looking out the window, I finally realize that there’s truly nothing I can be held accountable for until we touch down on the ground. I’m in the air. I’m going somewhere new (or at least different from the usual). On vacation, I can live in the moment and notice the details with more clarity.

As I write this, I’m sitting in the dining room of a fairly nice hotel, enjoying quiet time and finally overcoming the writer’s block. My children are safe, my responsibilities are waiting for me when I return, and my time is completely my own. Right now, this minute, I am writing. It feels good.

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