Everything ‘n Nothing by Robin Gorman Newman
I suggested some time back to Marc that it would be nice if he and Seth spent quality father-son time, just the two of them. Life is so busy, and sometimes they seem like ships that pass in the night. I wasn’t implying they go away. I thought just spending a dedicated afternoon together would be great.
To my surprise, Marc took it a step further and suggested they visit Great Wolf Lodge for two nights. I thought it was a terrific idea, for more than one reason.
We both knew that Seth would love it, and knowing that tax season is coming up and Marc will be missing in action for months working round the clock, time was of the essence for the two of them. Not to mention for me ….the weekend was to be my last hurrah, so to speak, before being consumed with motherhood when Marc works Saturdays.
With all this in mind, I was excited for them and looking forward to “me” time. On the introspective side, I was hoping my alone time might lead to some self-discovery. It’s not often there is quiet in the house, and I can hear my own thoughts. On the flipside, I wanted to have fun. While I had things in mind, I made no specific plans. My goal was to see what came up for me. To live in the moment and make spontaneous, unscheduled choices. To be true to myself and trust my gut in terms of what I did or didn’t want to do.
What I found was that I wanted to do everything ‘n nothing
A friend said I should bust loose and let my hair down. Go out on the town.
My single party days are long behind me. And, sometimes that feels like another lifetime ago. So, that would have been a fun option. But, I wasn’t being pulled in that direction.
Friday night, I went out locally with a mom friend to see Black Swan, which really spooked both of us. In particular, it wasn’t a great choice since it made me uncomfortable sleeping in the house alone, especially since there is a dangerous predator in my town. So, to say I was unnerved, is an understatement. We went out to eat afterwards, though the movie had left us with little appetite.
Saturday, I chose to chill with my cockatiel for part of the time. Ordered in my fav food…Indian. Watched countless movies on cable. And, for some reason, for which I was grateful, the spirit moved me to do clearing in the house, especially in my bedroom and office. So, I tackled a bunch of piles and files, feeling like I barely scratched the de-cluttering surface, but I made a dent that felt good.
Sunday, Marc and Seth came home early afternoon. I had taken myself to see The Fighter, which I enjoyed, and we all had dinner out.
It was interesting the reaction I got from friends when I shared with them that I was a free agent for the weekend. Shock and envy ranked high. I could hear the wheels turning in their minds in terms of how they might spend “me” time.
The experience took me back to living in my parents house when many a weekend was spent relaxing in my room and deciding what to do for the weekend. Life was simple. I didn’t own a home. I wasn’t a mom. I didn’t have pets. Other than commuting to work in the city on a daily basis, going out with friends, dating, hitting the gym, going on vacation, life felt very safe and under control. Sure, my future was uncertain, since I was not as yet married, and I yearned to know how my love life would ultimately play out, but I wasn’t racing the clock, as I often feel I am now.
When Marc and Seth came home, I was grateful for their presence in my life. There is something to be said for distance making the heart grow fonder.
It’s so easy to fall into pragmatic roles in a family. We each have tasks we undertake on a daily basis. But, we’re people with passions not just mommy or daddy machines programmed for peak parental performance.
So, allow yourself some “me” time if you’re able. Ask for it if you need to. Offer it to your partner or spouse in return.
Think back to the person you were before parenthood. She is still with you…..perhaps yearning to emerge. Let her out. It’s an interesting exercise. How does it make you feel about the present? What do you want or what can you incorporate into your life as it exists today that you’ve been missing?