As my birthday or holidays would start to approach the last few years and people would ask for gift ideas, I would struggle to tell them what I honestly wanted. I would come up with a list of things that I needed or did want but not THE gift.
What I wanted was a weekend alone.
I struggled to find the courage to be honest about wanting and needing time to myself.
Being a mom is hard. Being a caregiver is hard.
Putting both of those together after barely coping with the loss of one parent seemed impossible. Right as I thought I could not possibly add one more thing to my plate, COVID-19 happened, and the world shut down.
The world sees me as an extreme extrovert. I am the one who was always in trouble for talking, the girl who loves a night out, the type of person who acts first and thinks later.
I am undoubtedly that girl, but I am also the girl who gets overstimulated by the end of the day. I am the one who needs to walk away and have a few minutes of silence to recharge my mental batteries after a loud and crazy day.
So, 2021 rolled around, and I decided this would be the year I asked for what I wanted. I was homeschooling my Kindergartener with a toddler as a teacher’s aid, and the only time I left the house was to take my mom to chemotherapy. I was over touched, over-stimulated, and over staring at the same four walls.
At this point, I knew that I needed to recharge myself for everyone’s sanity.
I said it loudly, I said it proudly, and I finally asked for what I wanted; I wanted a weekend away... ALONE.
Instantly the guilt sank in. Every year, my husband’s birthday list asks for time as a family, things to do together, and here I was packing a bag and running out the front door.
But then I reminded myself that to be the best version of myself for others, I need to be the best version of myself, and I needed a moment of putting myself first.
That weekend taught me that life sometimes could feel like a boat on a lake.
A boat ride on a lake is a great time, with beautiful scenery that everyone enjoys.
But what if that boat was in the middle of the lake and out of nowhere the water vanished.
What would happen to the boat?
It would be stuck.
Is a stuck boat fun? No.
If I wanted to be the boat that could make it around the lake, I needed to check all the safety boxes.
Gas in the tank.
Just like a boat, I needed to make sure my boxes were checked.
Do I want my family to feel like the water in their lake of life will vanish, leaving us stuck? Absolutely not.
As a mom, I know how I act, feel, or the emotions I show feed into the rest of the household. They think it, they see it, they start to act the same way. Happy wife, happy life? More like happy mom, things stay calm.
Asking for the gift you want is not easy. Finding the time to get away may feel even more challenging.
But, coming home recharged mentally, physically, and emotionally was worth it.
It will be worth it. You are worth it.