Last weekend I was able to sneak away for a brief and totally well-deserved vacation. When I returned, I found that:
A) my house had not burned down
B) my business was still chugging along and
C) the world had continued to spin on it’s axis…. all without any help from me, whatsoever.
This realization is probably the most compelling justification for my periodic vacations. It’s good to step outside of our daily routine and remind myself that the world will not, in fact, end if we all just take a moment and breathe, for heaven’s sake. I don’t believe that I am the only mother who finds herself tied up in knots about getting kids where they need to be, setting up appointments, and getting supper on the table– along with the ten million other things that need to be accomplished today or tomorrow at the latest. After a while it all starts to feel like a house of cards and that I am the only one steadying the table.
How nice then, to leave everything behind, preferably at some location with no cell phone coverage (and in an ideal world, a burly, yet tender masseuse named Ramone.) For whatever brief period, the world has to get along without me and, go figure, it manages to do just that. Splendidly so, I might add. Not that I’m without bias, here, but I think it reflects well on my character that I am able to face my obsolescence with such a cheerful outlook. Some people can’t bear the thought that they could be replaced…I’m thinking “If I packed a suitcase now, I could be gone by Friday.” Oh, sure, hubby would miss me for a while, but eventually he would be snatched up by some other woman; perhaps a cashier in our local grocery store who would note his cart full of cold cereal, tins of sardines and bags of licorice, take pity on my children and offer to cook them actual food. (Yes, I’m fairly certain that’s all it would take…)
Oddly, I think that it adds rather than subtracts from what I do if I remember that, perhaps, it isn’t so necessary after all. If I am not under the obligation to keep the whole machine running, maybe I could just focus on those parts that bring me joy. Like napping. (No! Wait! I meant “spending time with my children” and, um, “crocheting blankets for the homeless.” Not napping. No sir!) Even though there are so many things that I feel ultimately responsible for, there’s probably a good third of them that I could just release and no one would notice the difference. Things like:
- organizing the spice drawer
- convincing the children that matching socks are better socks
- tidying the boys room. Like EVER.
- straightening throws and rearranging couch pillows
- sweeping the back entry way
- keeping a stash of sneakers for each child exactly once size larger than the ones they are wearing right now
- cleaning under the beds
Heck, not only am I 100% certain that my family wouldn’t notice if I quit doing these jobs, I strongly suspect that, should they ever read this post, they would be surprised to learn that I did them at all. Again, this doesn’t depress me (at least not today) because I feel that what I am offering is kind of a “value added” product. Sure we could all live like animals in a cave, but because I CHOOSE to do all those little extra gestures, we don’t have to. And the best part is, since I’ve proven to myself that we can get along without them, every once in a while, I can throw caution to the wind and take that nap…
yeah. I said it.