Last Friday I took off for an overnight trip. Alone. Just me. Solo. A three and a half hour drive with no one asking how much farther, were we there yet, or having to stop for bathroom breaks. Sheer bliss. I adore my family. I love them and am grateful every single day for these miracle children and their father. But it's been a long year already and I didn't even look back as I drove away.
There was a purpose to my trip. I was visiting an old friend and her 10-month-old baby boy. Years ago, in another lifetime, we were co-workers. In an "office attire" environment She would tease me about my drab fashion sense and apparent lack of style. She more than made up for my loathing of shopping.
In the 11 years we have been friends, she has divorced herself from an abusive marriage, pulled herself out of the depths of despair, put herself though college and graduate school, remarried (to a man who adores her), moved states, set up urban homesteading, had a baby and is working on simplifying their lives. She's the poster child for How to Pull Yourself Up By the Bootstraps and Carry On. And I love her for that!
Earlier in June she and her son spent the night with us on the way to visit her family elsewhere. She was appalled at the fact I was pretty much living in my running shorts because they were the only pair of shorts I own that still fit me. She had bins of clothes she was sorting through at home with the intent of consigning them. The majority of sizes were what I currently wear. She wanted to give me dibs.
The fun part wasn't so much gaining new summer clothes for myself. It was watching her delight as she pulled out favorite pieces and realized she fit into them and could wear them again. I came home with a bag full of non-running shorts. Cute, fashionable shorts. And she added a few more summer dresses and shorts back to her own closet. With a bin or two of clothes left to take to the consignment store.
Twenty four hours of "girl time"...and I returned to a home still standing, kiddos peacefully playing together and a husband still sane (ish).