Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trip Guilt

I am so conflicted.

I'm off tomorrow for a six day jaunt to Canyon Ranch in Tucson where I'm leading two workshops based on my book HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH.

I'm going by myself, which is a unique traveling experience for me. And, I feel like I'm racing the clock like a crazy person. Doing even more multi-tasking than I already do.

Aside from packing and preparing for my talks, I'm jumping ahead to projects that will arise when I return, trying to anticipate tasks so I can potentially kickstart them now. And, I'm planning dinners for Seth while I'm gone, his snacks for school, etc.

No wonder I couldn't sleep last night, with all that is going through my head. I jumped up at 3AM to send myself an email on my Blackberry, so I'd get it at my computer this morning and not forget to do something.

Part of me finds the notion of the trip freeing. When was the last time I had an opportunity to really focus on myself, aside from lecturing to singles? As relaxed as I hope I'll be once there, I'm doing a number on myself right now to pack all the right things. I want to seize the vacation moment and read books I've been longing to get some writing....chill....sleep later...and let my creative juices flow.

Yet, I don't want to have too many expectations for this trip. That's a lot of pressure. I need to live in the moment and let things unfold. That's when excitement can really kick in. But, I'm such a planner that I make myself nuts. It's not like this is the only vacation I'll ever have again, though I don't make a habit of going away without Marc and Seth. And, I'm only doing it now because of the speaking opportunity. I am very flattered to have been invited by Canyon Ranch to share my expertise as a dating book author. It is always gratifying to feel like I can help others.

So, back I go to my list making...leaving notes for my husband and nanny re: handling various matters during my time away.

I know things will be in good hands. Yet, it still feels odd to be flying the coop, so to speak. I'll miss everyone, though a little absence can make the heart grow fonder, as they say.

I bet, though, once I'm settled in my seat on the plane, I'll be grateful for some solitude and a break from everyday motherhood. How often as moms do we allow that for ourselves? It's so tough to give yourself permission, even if it's a short break.

We certainly do deserve it, so I'm going to try my best to leave my guilt at the door.

Have you gone away by yourself whether for business or pleasure, since becoming a mom? How was it for you?

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Blogger Kim K said...

I'm away from my 2 daughters (now they're 2.5 & 4.5, I'm 41) roughly 50 days/year. I went on a fun (debatable) trip to Spain when my first daughter was <1yr. While they were still nursing, I pumped and saved milk on all my trips. I used to try and get everything ready for them before I left-- now I force myself to not freak out-- it's better to spend more quality time just before I leave than to leave a freezer full of meals. Their Dad gets PLENTY of help while I'm gone (interestingly, I get none when he's gone, hmmmmm). My career is as much a part of my identity as anything and I want my daughters to know the true me. It's not easy and I'm not writing this with a cavalier attitude. The guilt never goes away. My daughters have learned the difference between 'working at the office' (i.e. I come back at dinnertime) and 'working on my big boat' (i.e. I'm gone for many days) and seem to be OK with both. I believe that the more 'at peace' I am with the idea of going away, the easier it is on my daughters. It's normal, not something to stress over, so they don't pick up stress from me.

6:12 PM  

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