This weekend, after waiting about 13 years too long, I finally took my "alone" time. From Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, not once did I cook, clean up after someone else, make any decisions in regards to anything child or family. Though the weekend was a scrapbooking retreat with 34 other women, I found myself able to leave the group at will and find complete silence and solitude. To say it was amazing, is an understatement. I also have to admit it was completely strange and somewhat unnerving in the beginning. What do you do with that SUDDEN aloneness? What do you think about first and how to you soak it all in? Though it was interesting, it was absolutely priceless for me.
I did spend MANY hours getting to enjoy my passion of scrapbooking and being creative. That time was VERY enjoyable and MUCH appreciated, but it was the "other" time that did me the most good.
Our location was a small Christian retreat center and they welcomed us with TRUE southern hospitality (how great it was to hear a southern accent WAY more pronounced than mine EVER was!). I packed a bag full of snacks (ones PURPOSELY chosen for me to enjoy without having to share with my kids....evil, I know!!!) . I was amazed that I very seldom reached in that bag unless it was after midnight. Shannon and her SMALL crew provided us with such excellent food and snacks that I never had the chance for the "munchies" to hit. Not once did I have to decide what to cook, actually cook, or wash a single dish. I didn't have to referee kids bickering or refusing to eat...and not once did I have to cut up someone else's food! I didn't even have to clean up any spills or messes. Even the "act" of cleaning up and re-packing my belongings and scrapbooking gear was a breeze since I kept things organized as I went along. No little "hands" messed things up in the process or destroyed anything.
I admit that I looked forward to this trip with such anticipation and couldn't wait for my "freedom". It was something Kevin greatly encouraged me to do even though the $115 was a difficult stretch budget wise. Fortunately, I was able to pay $40 down and then $5-$10 a week until the balance was paid. When I left Friday, I did have a few minutes of panic and regret. Kevin called as I was pulling out of our subdivision and he was met with tears because I didn't want to leave once the time actually came. Between his pep talk and my getting a few miles down the road, it didn't take long to find my excitement again! :)
Coming home I was met with an empty house. It was strange walking in. However, Mr. Superman had been to work. Most of the other moms at our retreat, will be welcomed back with destroyed houses and loads of work to do to get things back in order. Not me! Blessed beyond words. I was met with a mostly clean house, .laundry in process and a roast and veggies cooking. Yes, superman had TRULY visited our home. Fortunately (or unfortunately....not sure which), reality set back in. Once they got back home (15 seconds after I had taken in my last load from the car...), I was greeted by a great big round of hugs and kisses quickly followed by bickering and chaos. Yes, life is back to normal!!!! The real question is....am I back to normal or am I changed? I look forward to waiting to see what that answer will be!