I admit it, I’m selfish. I’m an extroverted introvert and find that if I don’t get frequent alone time to regroup- I start to lose it (and it isn’t pretty). Thankfully my husband knows this and not only supports this about me, he encourages it. Recently I’ve been going through some extremely high stress times and he has suggested several times to even take a weekend off, go somewhere and just be by myself but guilt and budget has prevented me from taking that leap. Well a bit of serendipity occurred about a month ago that allowed me to go out of town, by myself, for an ENTIRE weekend.
The guilt was still there, and quite a bit of it. I felt terrible for feeling happy I was leaving my kids and husband for an entire weekend. My stomach clenched a bit when my oldest daughter cried, begging me not to go. I worried that my plane would crash and because of my selfish desire to have alone time, my children would have to grow up without me and my husband would become a single parent.
I felt guilty that I would have the opportunity to sleep in a bed all by myself, have dinner with no sticky fingers pulling on my plate or enjoying a glass of wine by the fireplace in my hotel room. Just kidding – once I arrived to my destination, while I missed my family terribly, I could feel all the accumulation of stress and anxiety leave my body. I enjoyed two full days of doing things on my own schedule, taking a nap whenever I wanted, eating dinner whenever I wanted (one day I at 5:30 and then next at 9:00) and sleeping in until I naturally woke up.
By the second day though, the novelty of being alone had worn off and I wanted my family. Sightseeing went from “Oh my oldest would love this!” to “My heart aches because I can’t believe I’m experiencing this without my family!” I found that food honestly wasn’t as enjoyable if I didn’t have my husband to share the experience (and steal bites off his plate). I spent a lot of time in my room texting my husband and Face-timing with my girls that second evening, instead of venturing out to explore my last few hours.
I recognize that I am incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity and I couldn’t express my appreciation for my husband’s support and encouragement to make this happen for me enough. I realized though, like they say, fantasies should sometimes be left as a fantasy. In the future I may disappear for a day but I don’t anticipate I will be escaping for an entire weekend anytime soon as my real life may be stressful but I learned there is no substitution for my family.