One of my girlfriends and I recently ran away for a long weekend roadtrip.
That in and of itself is no big deal. I am fortunate enough to travel fairly often - especially considering I work full time and have two children at home. I also steal Sunday afternoons here and there for girlfriend time and “me time”.
I’m no stranger to balancing family and relationship time with friend and me time.
If you would have asked me two weeks ago if I knew how to relax, I would have said “Absolutely!” I probably would have even lectured you about the importance of “learning to let go” and “taking care of yourself once and a while”.
But this weekend was different. This weekend helped rejuvenate me and prepare me for the great balancing act of real life even more than usual.
The difference was that this weekend I had absolutely no agenda.
I didn’t have a list of things I wanted to see (I went to Charleston, and the list of things to do is fairly short). I didn’t have a time line floating in the back of my head, ensuring that I’d get everything done and squeeze as much out of the weekend as possible. I didn’t have anyone else’s schedule to coordinate with - my girlfriend had been to Charleston before and made absolutely no demands on our time.
Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?
It took almost a full 24 hours for my jaw to unclench.
When she suggested we take a thirty minute detour for lunch, I calculated the lost time in my head.
“We won’t get into Charleston until after 4,” I told her.
It took her blank stare to remind me that that’s OK.
When she made small talk over coffee on our first morning and took forever to get into the shower, I made a mental note of the time changes to my imaginary agenda of tourist activities.
It took some deep breathing and an internal smack upside the head to remind myself that the small talk is part of the journey.
By the end of that first 24 hours, I think I was breathing more deeply than I have in almost a decade. It made me see that not only do I keep my household running with my constant organization and time management, but I also let that seep into my down time. I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I felt completely relaxed around my kids or my husband. I tried to imagine how in the heck they could ever fully relax around me!
I came home fully rested and ready to take the reigns again.
But I also encouraged my husband to schedule an agenda-free weekend for himself sometime soon. And I’m hoping that the next time a free weekend - or even just a free day or afternoon - presents itself to my family and me, I’ll be able to show them just how relaxed I can be.