Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting Away

I’ve abandoned my family. Well, just for a long weekend. But, it is the first time I’ve left the children for more than a local hotel overnight to catch up on my sleep. I have a thousand thoughts rushing through my head. In no particular order:

- I hope my husband doesn’t take his eyes off the three- year old and/or one-year old long enough for them to strangle themselves in the window blind cords, run out the door of the house and get run over by a car, or climb something tall and fall from a great height. I am thinking of more potential calamities, but how much screen space really needs to be devoted to this point? I’m sure you get the idea.

- My husband gave me a gorgeous pink sapphire cocktail ring which I created an entire outfit around for this trip. Of course, the ring is back at home - without me or the outfit. I hope it has a great weekend, too.

- This weekend is costing us a lot of money. I’m okay with that and my husband appears to be as well. Probably because I’m not a big spender. But, I really hope that the experience is worth the money.

- On that note, I am putting a lot of hope on this being a “Great Memory” experience. Oh, I do build things up in my head. Sometimes, just to come crashing down. I’m trying to be realistic here. Nothing can ever live up to my expectations.

- The chaos of moving and a baby who doesn’t sleep well have left me feeling the “mommy woes” lately. We aren’t unpacked and the house is usually in a state of intense disarray. When my husband is home with the children, he tends to get them to behave, clean the house to its sparkling finest, and be relatively calm upon my return. I want things to go well in my absence, but not TOO well.

- I have convinced three friends to join me on this trip. I also feel the burden of their experience being wonderful. Will they hate me if all this sucks?

Now that I’ve shared some of my neuroses, I’ll fill you in on what I’m about to embark upon. I recently moved to Washington D.C., which happens to be a glorious three hour train ride from New York City. I’m on my way to the Big Apple.

Who needs a reason to visit New York? But, I have one. It’s kind of embarrassing so try not to judge. It’s Oprah. She called and asked me to come, and who doesn’t jump for Oprah?

No, I’m kidding. It IS Oprah, but only in my best daydreams does Ms. Winfrey have my phone number. Actually, it’s a weekend festival of sorts to celebrate her magazine’s 10th anniversary. I’m an avid O reader and was willing to pay the shockingly high price for a Friday welcome reception, Saturday keynote by Oprah and “lifeshop” seminars with three of O magazine’s contributing writers, Saturday evening event with Oprah at Radio City Music Hall, and Sunday walk for charity.

I’m thrilled to share this weekend with three dear friends. Oprah was really just the catalyst for the get-together. Spending time and getting away from our daily grind is what this experience is all about.

It’s occurred to me that I haven’t really recharged my batteries in four years. Despite the burden of deployments, they do give my husband an opportunity to recharge and reassess without the family around. Probably the fact that he takes good advantages of these deployment “opportunities” is one reason why they haven’t broken him or our family the way they have impacted so many other military families.

So, for that reason, I’m excited to get away, although I will miss my husband and children dearly. I am looking forward to spending time with the woman who will be returning to them - a woman who knows when it’s important to step back and take a moment for herself.

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