oh, sanity

Oh, Sanity! Where have you been?

A weekend of peace and self-determined plans gave me an ounce if it back.

The weeks leading up to this trip had me thinking a great deal about a person’s need for breaks, regardless of gender or their job. I was rather bothered and, the more I thought about it, angry to realize some people (um, other husband’s) would be bothered by the idea of their spouse vacationing without them, even to the point of fighting or not allowing it. After a simple bit of logic with my spouse, he agreed that I should take a break. I pointed out that he had been a numerous trips lately for days at a time and I would appreciate the time to myself – to sleep without interruption, to eat a meal without getting up and down to serve anyone, to do a few activities of my choosing for as long as I like, to use the bathroom without having to worry about what a little toddler was exploring. And like that a promise was made for a whole week!

Sure there are lots of concerns. Can the family financially manage it? Can the other spouse take time to care for the children? And if those are issues, such as they were and are for us, the trip can be (and was) shorter. Or childcare can be found so it may not necessarily be the spouse watching over the children. But beyond these issues, I have tried to figure out why it would ‘not fly’ in other people’s homes, as one person said to this idea. Why? Because it money spent on one person and the other misses out? Because a spouse might cheat? Because a spouse thinks that the other one is not working that hard at their job? Would the feelings be the same if it was the husband wanting a mini-vacation or day away alone? Everyone working either a ‘real’ job or who is home with kids (or both!) works hard. And if someone wanted to cheat, they would find the time one way or another. Really, what real reasons can someone give for a flat-out refusal to a request for a break? Serious. Maybe I am overlooking something… Any reasons out there I am overlooking?

Sanity savers are important for everyone. Yes, everyone! Mike and I have found ways to exchange time with each other so we each feel we get time to ourselves or with friends. I have Sunday knit nights with the ladies after the kids are in bed. He goes golfing occasionally on Saturday mornings with a friend. If I want to run an errand alone, he will play with the boys. And this time, since he had business yet relaxing trips alone, I got a weekend to myself.

I finally settled on a weekend at a country B&B, Tryon Farm Guest House. I shopped at every antique shop I could find, visited Lake Michigan, and changed my plans on a whim if I wanted.

 

driving north through Indiana

Most of my highlights are my feelings of concern being let go. While shopping at my first antique shop, I kept feeling the ‘pull’ of children. Typically I cannot linger to take in all a shelf has to offer or I have to pass all the breakable nooks. I had to shake that feeling off and realize I could take as little or as much time as I wanted, looking wherever I was interested. Later on the trip, when I decided to pull off to a trail head, I just did it. I did not have to be concerned that it was 5:00 and the children would be hungry. Typically, on a family trip, we would have had to either plan the trip out better to have food with us or miss stopping right then. Because I could go on a whim, I felt such a rush making my way up the dune and saw a great sunset.

 

antique shop in Chesterton, Indiana

The trip was also time for me to reflect on my family, myself, and everyone else in the world. Oh, I know that sounds big, but when one can follow their ideas uninterrupted, you can get beyond the day-to-day picture and mull over bigger issues. Time to reflect is good. And again I will say it – it is good for everyone.

 

near the Tryon Farm Guest House, Michigan City, Indiana

My highlights of the trip:

  • lounging in a feather bed in the morning
  • having an utterly beautiful gourmet breakfast prepared for me and not having to worry over the prep or dishes
  • finding some sweet treasures – bead stringing beads for Elliott, a wool blanket to keep Oliver warm, an apron and bracelet for me, a lovely ornament to add to our unique holiday collection, and more interesting cloth napkins for everyday use
  • finding utterly smooth rocks at the lake to admire or make into rock houses, people and animals for the boys (uh, yes, rocks for Christmas!)
  • running up Mount Baldy at dusk at Indiana Dunes to catch the sunset shimmering on Chicago’s buildings
  • grabbing a late night chicken marsala dinner at a little Italian joint and watching it made from my table (I saw the mushrooms chopped, I saw them coat my chicken!) and savoring each bite
  • seeing alpacas up close and taking home a small bit of them (in the form of handspun yarn!)
  • trying and loving a small town café’s invented Honey Nut Latte

 

 beads for Elliott

rocks at Lake Michigan

Mount Baldy with Chicago in the distance

Here is hoping everyone gets the break they need and deserve.

(Oh, and on a totally separate note… my smart phone saved me so many times when I got lost, when I needed a place to eat, when I wanted to find coffee or antiques. Normally I curse my dependence, but my phone proved its worth this trip.)

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7 Comments

  1. Michelle said,

    November 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Diana, I am so happy for you. And bless Mike for having the wisdom to see that you needed and deserved this. So glad you got to go. :o) Love you.

  2. Noelle said,

    November 9, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I totally hear you, and I’m really glad you got some sanity-restoring time 🙂 I had an hour to myself on Friday (Jesse came home early so the kids could nap instead of run errands with me) and spent it sitting on the floor at Barnes & Noble, lap full of urban homesteading books. It was lovely.

    I know the hangup I keep having is the financial issue. I totally feel like I “deserve” the break, and am really jealous of all the fun places Jesse gets to go (last weekend he was in New Orleans, got to eat all kinds of great food….he had the temerity to say “It was just really nice to take a break, you know?” Uh, no, I don’t know actually….) I think because I spend so much energy trying to conserve our family’s finances, it seems like a huge luxury to spend money on a vacation for myself.

    My friend and I have been talking about the unpaid labor of the stay at home caretaker lately, and I wonder if that is part of the problem. If you’re not paid to do the work, many people have a hard time seeing the value in it. Society certainly doesn’t value the caretaking that is provided for free by family members, whether that is raising children or nursing elderly parents.

    That said, I really will be due a long weekend away in the next 12 months, as Jesse is submitting to conferences in Oslo, Paris, and London this year. I’m trying not to die of jealousy 🙂

    • montessorimama said,

      November 9, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      It is so hard when they are ‘paid’ whether it be a requirement or they are actually compensated to go. Actually right before I was to leave, we realized how utterly bad this was for finances, but the deposit was paid, so off I went!

  3. Tracey said,

    November 9, 2010 at 3:57 am

    You are so right about needing and deserving a break! I used to get my daily break while running and I miss it so much now that I am pregnant. Reading great books and becoming absorbed does allow me to take a mini break, but actually going away sounds dreamy! I do think that I would miss everyone so much, so I’m torn. Did you run into seeing something and thinking “wow! E/O/ or M would love that!” and wishing that they were there with you?

    • montessorimama said,

      November 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      That is what the camera phone was for! 😉 But yes, I saw lots of things, and thought what things the boys would enjoy if they were here… on another trip!!

  4. Amanda said,

    November 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

    OK Diana this is the best entry ever! I had to read it again because it just sounds so amazing 🙂 So happy for you for taking this trip, you certainly deserve it! Well we all do of course, but way to make it happen! And kudos to Mike too!
    Someday soon I hope, Asher won’t be attached to my boob at night and we won’t be always behind on everything…. sigh… right now I feel guilty even for knitting every few weeks because that time will have to be made up for in the following days, later nights for all of us 😦 it suuuucks.

    • montessorimama said,

      November 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      Oh, I was waiting for weaning because of things like this! I hate to think how busy you are, but then remember, that total in PayPal 🙂


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