I’m an introverted extrovert. That’s a thing, right? If left to my own devices, I prefer to stay home as long as there are adequate supplies of coffee, good snacks, a good book, and reruns of Fixer Upper.
I always have fun when I go out. I laugh, tell jokes, and get energized by being with my friends and their families. It just takes a lot of self pap-talk to get me there.
That’s why it’s vital for someone like me to have that friend who makes social events happen. The one who texts and says “We need a girls’ weekend. Check out these two dates and tell me which works best. Here are 3 Air bnbs, which one do you like?” Um, was that a question or a command? I’m so thankful though, because without that friend, it would just never happen.
Another key factor is having a supportive partner. Check. I’m so thankful to have a supportive spouse. Now, I’m not talking about asking for permission, that’s not really what a partnership is. But knowing when your partner needs a break and trying to figure out how to make that happen is greater than any gift money can buy.
Lastly, to really put the spark on a girls’ weekend, you have to be in the right state of mind. For me it’s a moderate level of frustration with work, kids, laundry and life. Not complete frustration, because if you leave in melt-down mode you may never come back. But I’ve figured out my threshold where I’m simply overwhelmed and need a break. Maybe that’s 2 hours by myself to go to the gym or to Target without a budget (wouldn’t that be glorious??). But on occasion, I need a little more.
This Spring I had the perfect trifecta. The business of spring was in full-force and I was approaching that threshold. A good friend reached out, probably in a similar state of mind, and said, “hey, let’s do this.” The spouse was on board.
It wasn’t a weekend trip to Vegas. There were no sandy beaches or endless ocean skylines. But there was a cute bungalow in the historic district of French Lick, Indiana during mid-week when we basically had the town to ourselves.
And there was conversation. Good conversation. The kind where you start talking about all the frustrations, quirks, and shortcomings in your life as a wife and mom only to find out that your friends experience the exact same thing and you’re not alone.
There was also Hulu binges, a nice meal we didn’t cook, good wine, charcuterie boards, and laughter at how no one really knows how to pronounce “charcuterie.” And goats.
The trip ended and I felt refreshed. I left Saturday morning to meet the rest of my family at a baseball tournament. My husband and kids were late. Something was left at home. I could feel it creeping in… that sense of frustration that nothing ever seems to go right. Except, it stopped. I kicked those feelings aside. Who cares? No one died. Everyone slept in a warm bed last night and has food in their belly this morning. I get to watch my 8-year-old play the sport he loves while the others play with their friends, without a care in the world. Life is good.
The short trip away literally reset my mind. And I think we all need that. Sometimes it just takes a break with some good, like-minded friends to remind me we’re all in this together.