Nothing came UNGLUED in Vegas.
I somehow, once aboard a plane that took me 2349 miles away from home, became the girl I used to be. Relaxed, carefree, spontaneous, fun and, most of all, NOT WORRIED and NOT UNGLUED.
Where did she come from? It was like peeling off layers of heavy wool, weight-bearing, fur covered, winter clothing and standing in a light cotton strapless sundress - actually I peeled off the sweatshirt at the car, the sweater in the plane and I was left in capris and a flowing sleeveless blouse.....but you get the point.
I wasn't bearing the weight of stress on my shoulders. I was able to LET GO.
My husband and I held hands, smiled, laughed and enjoyed our time together tremendously. We were spontaneous and daring - trying things we normally
wouldn't - Extraordinarily expensive meals that had our taste buds dancing, oysters (not necessary to repeat that one), the High Roller ( world's tallest ferris wheel - a certain feat for me with my fear of heights), several shows, and a glass of wine with a little lunchtime gambling IN the swimming pool - just to name some of the highlights! We just focused on each other and HAD FUN!
It's certainly time our marriage needed. I have forgotten what it felt like to be THAT GIRL - it makes me reminiscent of a talk given by Heidi St. John at the CHAP convention earlier this year. She spoke often during her talk and in one of her books about That Girl... you know, the girl you were when you fell in love- before the responsibilities of work and marriage and CHILDREN!
Oh, don't get me wrong - I LOVE my children! But I know full well part of what happened as I boarded that plane is that somehow - knowing I was going over 2,000 miles away helped me shed 'Mommy Mode' - something I am very rarely able to do. I shed "Mommy" and 'stress mode'!
I am so envious sometimes of my husband - who seems able to do this whenever he wants to. He's able to sit down in front of a football game and turn off ALL sensibility to the world around him. He can, at a moments notice, decide to go spend the day hunting, watching sports, or some other leisurely activity and not seem to know that work is piling up and that he may be needed elsewhere! ***PLEASE NOTE - I'm NOT KNOCKING my husband here - I'm saying I WISH I COULD DO IT TOO!!!!!!
But it's like we women have this knob that gets turned to 'mommy mode' and It Gets Stuck!!
But Can I really avoid that mode?
I already felt it early Wednesday morning.... the day before we got on the plane to come back home. It was that familiar panic when waking in the morning.... knowing that this was the 'last day' of total relaxation - just doing for me - for US . It was that tension of remembering all that we'd have to do the next day and preparing for facing reality that life can't be a Vegas trip every day. I needed to remind myself we still had a day to just ENJOY and that life didn't have to go back to full mode stress just because the trip was going to end.
What Can It Be?
I think this trip has proven that That Girl is still alive and breathing! In fact, she's kicking to get out of that mode more often. But - OBVIOUSLY - I can't board a plane for Vegas every week - so what can I do to balance Mommy Mode with That Girl??
That's a question I don't have an answer for immediately - and I don't think there is a clear-cut answer (though boarding a plane is tempting... it's unrealistic).
However, I do have some ideas that may help me (and you) get started:
First and foremost - I need to remember to put God and my marriage first. Yes - my marriage has to come before the kids. That's a hard one for us moms. But reality is, our strong marriages make our kids strong. It makes us better Moms (and Dads).
Secondly, I need me time. I need to NOT feel selfish about spending some time doing things that are important to me (reading and writing). I don't mean it should consume me and prevent me from doing my motherly duties and providing my children with love and attention. But if I give myself love and attention, I'll be better able to give of myself to others - and feel like me (you know, That Girl) - instead of 'just a servant' - which, without the 'me time' and the time with God and my husband, is easy to feel .
Third, I'm continuing my quest for ways to reduce stress and stay Unglued. It won't be an easy change - and it won't happen overnight. But that's okay - because I think I'm finally accepting that gradual change leading to imperfect progress IS OKAY. And I can forgive myself for those little (sometimes Big) setbacks. It won't be easy. But I can do it.
Who's With Me?