I finished reading and then just sort of stared off for a while, thinking. Thinking about what I would do with 2 days completely alone. Thinking about the last time I had done just that. And realizing that the answer was………….NEVER.
Yes, I’ve had my share of “Mom’s Days”. And I did a teeny amount of business travel, way back before kids. But I don’t count those.
What I was now thinking obsessing about was 2 days away from home, alone. No plans, no schedule, no reservations. And I decided that I wanted to do this. When and how, I didn’t know. But even just thinking about it made me giddy with the possibilities.
And then we had “one of those” months. And though it wasn’t quite earth shattering, it was just enough of a game-changer to add just enough stress to just about push me to the edge of my reserves.
You know about reserves, right? As a mom, they are in endless supply. Till one day they’re not. And then you’re running on fumes, thinking you’ve still got it all under control because you have to. Because EVERYONE is counting on you. Because no one can do it as well as you.
But I eventually broke. And Mike saw it coming and asked what he could do. And I told him I needed to get away, just for a night, to clear my head and fill up those reserves.
So last Saturday morning I packed up and drove off, checking in to a hotel near Union Square Park.
I took the subway to Brooklyn to check out Dekalb Market, a unique flea and food market – unique because it operates out of a collection of salvaged shipping containers, and houses a working farm too. The combination of the gray skies, brightly colored containers and overall grittiness of the setting made for a totally engaging morning. It was a great beginning (the Robicelli’s cupcake didn’t hurt).
And then I started walking.
I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge – one of my very favorite things to do.
I walked through lower Manhattan and was treated to things I don’t often see.
An awesome break dancing troupe.
A historic fire house, inspired by a French chateau.
And a quirky store that had the greatest selection of tape ever (yes, I bought a box).
And then I crashed, surrounded by my lap top, magazines, DVD’s and garden sketches. It was messy and wonderful.
Next morning I ate breakfast in my room and worked (in bed) for a few hours. I wasn’t sure about how I wanted to finish my day, but it was a glorious afternoon so I headed up to the High Line. It was packed with tourists, as I knew it would be, but there were a few pockets of peacefulness nonetheless.
And then I went home.
It may not seem like a big deal – I was only gone for 30 hours – but it felt like so much more. And in many ways it WAS more. I didn’t have to “work backward” from a nap, or a meal or a departure time. The day was completely open–ended, allowing me to change course, backtrack and linger – without any thought to having to be any place else.
I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Some good:
Most, not so much:
I viewed the city from vantage points, and during times of day that I don’t normally get to see:
And I was quiet. Even in the thick of all the people, cars and noise, I didn’t have to talk – or listen. I got to just be in my own head, and I walked and walked, and thought my thoughts till I could actually feel those reserves filling back up.
My dear and very wise friend Kerri talks about this concept often – about the need for all of us, but especially moms, to make time for ourselves. And I listen, nod vigorously and agree wholeheartedly. And then never do it. And I have only myself to blame.
After dinner I told Mike all about my weekend, how great it was, and how much I appreciated it. He suggested that maybe I do it a few times a year, and my immediate reaction was, “Oh, no, no no. That’s way too much. Once a year is perfect”.
Okay, maybe twice.
I’m curious – whether you’re single or not, with kids big, little or even all grown up – do you make it a priority to give yourself “you time”? And what does that mean to each of you? I’d love to know.
Click here for more photos of my NYC adventure.