Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Breathing again and finding priorities

I did something I haven't done in years.  Years!

I took time off.  I did NOT work for a week.  I haven't had this opportunity in 3 - count 'em - 3 years!  My last real time off was when I went to Geneva with my boyfriend.  I've taken a day here, a day there off since but no significant time doing something I wanted to do.  In fact, I haven't left Silver Spring for more than 18 hours in nearly a year (since my mom fell).

It felt good.  Well, not at first.  At first, I was still stressed.  I was thinking of the money I was not making.  I was thinking of Kid #1's braces and Kid #2's braces and their camp expenses and the cost of their continually growing feet and all of that.

Then I didn't care that much.

In my perfect world, I would have taken them to Puerto Rico (on my bucket list) or a beach but a pricey vacation was out and it was raining all week.  So we came up with Plan B.

It started with our last White House Easter Egg Roll.  The girls have hit age 13 so this was their last time going.  At first they thought they were a little too cool for it until MKTO came on the stage.  Then suddenly Andrew and I were the coolest people on the earth because we brought them there.  That's a good start to vacation.

The following days included a manicure (my first in nearly 15 years!), a day of shopping, movies with a friend - just time to relax.  I could get used to this.

Then we headed north to the Lancaster County area.  We ended up in Columbia, which is a cool if not odd place.  We saw a sad farmer's market (that has such potential!), a building that looked like the windows were all crooked, a few buildings we're pretty sure were haunted and a pharmacy that still serves food.  That was seriously cool.

Downtown Lancaster is super cool.  Who knew?  There's a really cool market (think Philly's Reading Terminal) full of fun people and seriously yummy food.  There are stores near it that wind around to the market itself - it reminded me very much of Pike Place Market in Seattle.  There's a whole area of funky vintage shops and fun people.  We were definitely at home on Queen Street.  As I search for my next career, my girls said I should look here as these were my people.  They were right.

I took them to one of the few non-crowded places I truly enjoy.  I love wandering off Route 30 and just driving by all the Amish farms, the one room schoolhouses and the occasional roadside stand.    I enjoyed all of that more than my girls.  They were, however, fascinated by the selection of Amish romance stories in the bookstore.

Once we got over the "put your phone away" and "are we going someplace in particular??" grumbles, it was fun.  I can't say I forgot how much fun my kids are but it's been a while since I've turned my phone off, walked away from (whatever) screen and just paid 100% attention to them.  Andrew was taking care of the fish and my mom was safe.  I could breathe a bit.

We laugh a lot.  I mean A LOT.  And often at inappropriate times (which just makes me laugh all the more).  It was exactly what we needed.

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