Monday, April 14, 2008

Thelma and Louise and Me

Ever see the movie Thelma and Louise?

Well....while I'm not a criminal/fugitive like these two gals....I felt like a stifled suburban mom yearning to bust lose when two friends recently invited me to join them on a jaunt upstate NY.

Both are empty nesters looking to enter the next phase of their lives and reinvent themselves, including moving from Long Island, NY to some place two or so hours away. An easy drive is the goal, as well as a great view, and cool town offering culture, shopping, restaurants, etc.

I had mentioned in discussions with them that perhaps Marc and I might consider buying a weekend condo upstate, if our budget permitted. Nothing definite. (Part of me would love to have an apt. in Manhattan, but it's gotten prohibitive.) I was curious about what the money could buy in a smaller town, and how it would feel to have another place. The last thing we'd want is to have to take care of another home...but a condo in a development might be feasible.

So...when one of my friends emailed me about joining them in their home quest, I first thought...hmmmm.....should I go? Will this be fun? It's a Sunday...would Marc mind being with Seth? We had an appointment with a decorator scheduled (we plan to redo our basement). Could that be changed? (She's super busy, so I wasn't sure.) I was scheduled to do a podcast interview on the phone re: Motherhood Later. Could I do that from my cell upstate? Would I get reception? And....on top of it, these friends mentioned that they might decide to stay overnight, depending on how things went. How would that sit with me, they asked?

After debating it a bit and discussing with Marc, my decision was made. He was totally agreeable to spending solo time with Seth, and the decorator was able to give us another weekend date in April. And, I decided to take a chance on the reception from my cell phone, and advised the interviewer that I would be on the road.

I jumped at the chance...and tried not to feel the need to justify it in my mind!

The reality was.....I SO needed this. And, a few of my close friends echoed that sentiment. Had they been sensing in me a restlessness? Perhaps......I certainly know it's been there.
I find it's so easy to feel stuck in a rut. I have confessed in the past that being a suburban work at home mom isn't the easiest thing for me. I miss the company of others. Though I do have an occasional lunch with a friend and schedule playdates for Seth, it's not the same as working in an office.

Beyond that...what I experienced on this trip was a welcome sense of abandon. On that Monday, we walked down the cool, artsy, retro streets of Woodstock, and I have to confess, I didn't want to go home. It felt so good to be free, and we only stayed over one night. But, that was enough to whet my appetite and be reminded of myself. To be Robin...and not just mommy, daughter, wife, etc.

I was speaking with a friend after the weekend and telling her what great fun I had....and I found myself discussing how I felt a little "guilty not to feel guilty." Does that make sense?

Seth and Marc both said they missed me when I returned. And, yes, I missed them, but not while I was shopping in Woodstock. Should I have? I don't want to overthink the situation. It certainly doesn't mean I don't love them.

Suffice it to say that it's so important to take time for yourself. And, even a quick jaunt with friends can be enough to rejuvenate you.

Go for it, if given the opportunity! It's so important to remember who you were before motherhood...and us moms have the right to enjoy time away. Give yourself permission.
My next trip is with Seth and Marc for spring break shortly. Surely that will be an entirely different experience. We are meeting friends there, so perhaps I can snag a little pocket of time to hang with my girlfriend a bit. We'll see.............

Either way, I look forward to going. But, would also return in a heartbeat to Woodstock or wherever with girlfriends for a quick getaway!!

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Blogger Mary Ellen Walsh said...


Next time, take me with you. Very nicely said. It's something we moms who need time away grapple with.

Mary Ellen

12:21 PM  

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