Given the choice between a week down in Florida for a little rest and relaxation with family or a week alone at home working my new line, chose the work.
Not really sure if it was the home alone or the work that was calling me, simply knew I needed some down time, and self-care.
Twenty-six year old daughter wrote a college paper about the benefits of living alone, and her belief that all humans should experience living alone at least once in their lifetime. I’ve never had that, went from living with my mom to living with my man.
When our oldest son was applying to college, I traveled alone with him to Wake Forest for accepted students day. He stayed in a dorm, I was in a hotel. I remember barely leaving that room, I craved sleep, and solitude. Couldn’t even gather myself to go for dinner, bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the vending machine, ate them in bed with wrappers strewn, and called it a night.
This next memory is bazaar: when he was a baby and we had twins 18 months behind him and I was very pregnant with my now twenty-six year old I was in the kitchen trying to feed them all and had this urge and desire to go to the hospital so I could give birth, have a room of my own, and be served 3 meals a day on a tray.
This beautiful twenty-six year old woman has struggled, suffered deeply, has been vulnerable, emotional. During the month of November, she was in the ER twice by ambulance in one horrific day, and when safely home I was serving her 3 meals a day on a tray. Mental health issues, so complex, and scary threatening. Husband and I assembled a recovery team, and she recently posted to her Instagram thanking her tribe for helping her to get back on her feet again, with the caption mental health matters.
Mental health matters. Three words, and you can go from black to white in a heartbeat, while longing for grey, that in between time when it might not be good but certainly not bad.
This struggle wasn’t new, or shocking, simply this time heart-wrenching. Sarah in college had husband checked into a Boston hotel room for weeks at a time, working remotely, to get her out of a locked bathroom door and into a classroom. Her older soul sister was married this August and she stood by her throughout and stood strong; three days after she basically flat-lined. Oh, we look good, we dress well, we photograph well, and we work. We work at it all. Getting out of bed, making the bed, getting dressed for the day, you name it, sometimes not easy, and some days it might just not even happen.
November had us on tag-team, no alone time for Booie, none whatsoever. December brought in family, and tons of dynamics. I could just feel her trying to opt-out. We held it together, just barely. Early January sent them all home, and she finally, slowly, painstakingly, stabilized.
Mid-January husband likes to go south, as she’s not working, or driving, she went with. I chose not, wanted some down time, some quiet, a little self-care. They had father daughter time, without me there she cooked, regained some confidence. I cooked too, alone; stock, and soup.
In those eight days I met a friend out once and learned a new line by trying on 188 pieces of clothing in all different sizes on a Saturday afternoon. Manicure, pedicure, haircut, and facial, no one to answer to, no place to be. Cleaned out the laundry room, the cleaning closet, polished silver. Changed the beds, and washed and ironed the sheets. Clocked 17,000 plus steps in one day without ever leaving home. Sometimes drank wine alone with my lunch, sometimes went to bed by 8 pm.
Mom always told me that to care for others we need to care for ourselves. My daughter, my life. Any of my kids, my life, my breath.
I write here, I think, for women. As women we love, we give, and at times, run on empty. My sister in northern CA knew I was home alone, and she said, ‘you’re not even blogging’. No, no blogging, we were running on low, and needed some self-care.
Booie, love you forever. You are beautiful, and one in a zillion. Love your honesty, love your struggle, and love your soul. You teach me what’s precious: you, and your life, and of those around you. Keep the faith, please. xoxo