Who knew that a little trip to the Southwest would turn me all sentimental and introspective? There’s a chance this post won’t make much sense. Bear with me; those two days in my old home town feel important and I need to find a way to distill all that’s going through my head.
I spent 4 years in the Valley of the Sun soon after college. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with Arizona, but those years had profound impact – not only did I find a career, it’s where I first learned how to adult. Of course, I moved for all the wrong reasons (a boy, duh), and possibly stayed for the wrong reasons, but I appreciate those tumultuous times, and especially the life-long friendships I gained.
Fast forward a bunch of years, and the twinnie invited me to meet her at a conference. I planned on writing and seeing friends while she worked, and twinnie time when she was free. What I did not anticipate was that this trip would shift me somehow. I found myself in numerous starter conversations with the sorts of strangers you meet while traveling (hotel staff and guests, fellow travelers, the lady in the sauna). In that, I had to address my least favorite small talk question: “so, what do you do?”
Too many people still get that, ‘oh, you’re just a mom?’ look. It makes me want to scream. There is a lot of physical and emotional work in raising kids. There is nothing ‘just’ about it and I’m proud of what I’m doing.
While it’s the most important thing I will ever do, I have recently rediscovered life beyond mommyhood. Starting this blog, and trying to launch a business, I’m busier than ever, but I’m also more content. I’m taking chances, leaping out of my comfort zone, and it’s exhilarating.
The icing on the cake – I’ve finally, finally realized that taking time for me isn’t selfish; it’s an investment. I loved this chance to reconnect and reminisce with dear friends. I came away with a lot to think about (thanks, Squish!) and newfound admiration for the chances I took in my Arizona years and the people who helped me along the way.
Whether it’s a bit of drunken shenanigans (hah, birthday weekend!), or a more subdued trip to AZ, me-time allows me to be a better and more fulfilled Mama for my girls. Hopefully it makes me a more pleasant and interesting wife and friend too, but I guess that’s for you guys to decide. Meanwhile, I’ll be here, juggling my jobs of mom-ing, baking, writing and ideally a bourbon before the night is out.