Aaahhhh…the getaway. One of my favorite things. Always has been. It’s the reset button we all need. The 100% charge on your phone that makes your life complete…for the next 10 minutes at least. My heart beats just a little bit faster thinking about one, and the night before leaving it’s almost impossible for me to sleep. It’s short, sweet and highly necessary. Think a morning quickie.
Don’t confuse the getaway with the vacay…(so sorry, I cringe too when I hear that word, but the rhyming! It was too good)…the two are totally different. The ideal getaway is a one or two night maximum. It’s essential. It’s not an obligation: a wedding, a funeral, a planned family trip or work. It’s for your personal sanity.
When I feel like I’m stuck on the merry go round (and my merry go round is pretty fun) a near future getaway is all I need to deal…better. It could be a few months out, but just knowing that it exists, that the tickets are booked and plans are confirmed, allows me to not totally loose it. Loosing it can happen when the little one insists on pouring her own cereal and the whole box ends up on the floor. Then, because it’s not over yet, she throws her arms in the air knocking over her drink. The sticky liquid creeps across the table into brother and sister’s “space” and cue three screaming, unhappy children. The sun is barely up, it’s only Tuesday and we’re running late. I take a deep breath, try not to cry or completely freak out. Soon enough, I’ll have a getaway.
Maybe this is sounding a bit selfish to you. Maybe you’re thinking, “that’s what you signed up for”. And I did. I signed right on the dotted line for all of it. I dreamed about being a busy, working mother long before it ever happened and making it happen was a journey in itself. I stood on my head, prayed, herbed, balanced chakras and attended doctor appointments galore in order to have my treasured three. I am grateful every day that I’m a mom and a working one on top of it.
I’m happy rushing from appointment to appointment with Trader Joe’s and Target runs sprinkled in between. Negotiating a deal on speaker phone while weaving in and out of traffic? Absolutely. Give me purchase contracts and listing agreements. Mix them with tile samples and paint fans, and my desk is complete. Impromptu coffee dates? with friends? Yes please. But nothing beats the rush on the days when I actually time it just right and swing into the pick up line…with snacks. I’m far from super woman, but that victory gives me a little lift.
The getaway doesn’t have to be extravagant. Those of us who admit we need one, will take anything. Think reading a great book, a hike, a run or just driving in the car alone, lost in music. I happen to have a pretty fantastic one and I don’t take it for granted…not for a single second. My getaway most always involves a few of my favorite people. My regular spot is San Diego but I’m willing to go anywhere. I’m plugged in the wall, happily recharging the second we’re on approach and I can see the ocean. The minute the doors open and the salty air hits me, everything is right in the world. One of my best college girlfriends is right on time, pulling toward the curb with her signature smile and happy wave. I know the next 24 to 48 hours are heaven. Literally. Pick me up and I’ll go anywhere and do anything. I just don’t want to make a single decision or think…too hard. If the loftiest choice is white wine or something sparkling, I can handle that. For a mother of three that literally brings tears of joy to my tired eyes.
The getaway goes out to the ones we love…thank you R.E.M…and if you love anyone, do them a favor and leave; because you’re better when you come back. You’ll be more calm, centered and inspired. Ready to take on the world again! My pleasing personality and thoughtfulness might have actually been missed; and there’s not a single thing wrong with anyone missing you. You prove your place in the world when you’re not there.
Don’t even say it. I know what you’re thinking…you’re too busy. There’s no time to get away. Let me tell what I think of that. Who isn’t busy? Every single person is so unbelievably busy, it’s exhausting. Even the people who are sitting around seemlessly unstressed with nothing to do are super busy. So go. Go alone. Go with the one you love. Go with a friend, a group
of friends. Just leave. I know it’s hard to get out. There are loose ends to tie. Work stuff, family stuff, stuff in general. But with a little planning, life will go on without you for two whopping days. When you finally walk out the door and you’re en route to the desired destination, you’ll feel the release. It. Is. So good.
Leaving gives me perspective and time to remember who I really am. It ignites my creativity, gives me new ideas for work and makes the moments when the entire box of cereal is all over the floor, bearable. Getaways make for better days. Driving home the other day, with my three in tow, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” came on. While it was an instant “getaway” for me to college days…was this hip hop classic really appropriate for two 7 year olds and a 4 year old? The scene in my rearview mirror stopped me from cutting Biggie short. All three were feeling it. My son shouted to, “turn it up”, my daughter kicked her head back and shrilled, “this is the best song ever” and my youngest was eyes closed, pumping to the beat. For the next three to four minutes, we all got away.