I didn’t take any vacations when I was depressed.
Just never thought about it, in the first place, and it does take some effort to decide to step away from your routine, to research places to stay and ways to get there. To develop a budget and to arrange for childcare, if said children aren’t coming along. Not a lot of effort – not what I normally would consider to be prohibitive – but when I was depressed, it took effort I could barely gather just to take my son to the park, or to smile at my daughter when she got home from school. The vast majority of my energy was poured directly into the kids, and what was left was split between m husband, the house, and the occasional other person. I just couldn’t be bothered to try and exert any extra effort on my own behalf. It just didn’t seem to matter enough.
As the depression lifted, I slowly started remembering that I deserved a little time and energy, too. And, in that magical math that seems to appear in parenthood, somehow when I spent some time and energy paying attention to my own needs, I was left with even more energy to spend on my kids and husband. An odd, self-fueling sort of function, that.
At first it was little things: remembering to get a hair appointment, or taking a longer, hotter shower just because it felt good. I’d never stopped going out to lunch with Jenny and Carolyn, or spending an evening or so a week knitting and ignoring the television with Gretchen, but now I was more engaged in the whole experience, looking forward to it, less willing to allow complications to convince me to just cancel the whole thing.
And then, sometime in there, Gretchen suggested another weekend away in Martha’s Vineyard. It took me about four seconds to realize, yeah, that was a really good idea. I couldn’t afford to pay for the hotel up-front, this time, so she did, and the plans were laid.
Over the next few months, more vacation plans arose: an overnight in New York City with Carolyn and Jenny, to watch Jon Stewart do his magic. A weekend in that nether region of New York between the City and Albany, in Rhinebeck, for the Duchess County Sheep and Wool Festival (and by this time, I was able to afford the hotel myself, thereby evening up with Gretchen). A long weekend in Paris with my mother and sisters.
Spoiled? Perhaps, yeah. But also optimistic and enjoying life in a way I just couldn’t, six months ago.
Madhouse time, which means some of the people listed below – and, as a gentle warning, to you people listed below, in a couple weeks the kids will be back in school and I’ll have a bit more time to myself, and I’m already planning to return to the tendency of only linking to those who actually play along, instead of copy-and-pasting the same list week after week – have joined in on the same post topic… click and see:
- Be This Way
- The Three Bucketeers