I started this post off with the intention of writing a witty Not Me! Monday post with MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. I had ideas for writing about how I had not missed my kids while they spent the weekend with my sister and her husband and daughter so that CandyMan and I could celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary alone. It was my surprise anniversary gift to him.
I imagined the funny things I’d say about the lack of dishes or the echo I heard in the house, or the fact that I had forgotten what it felt like to be truly relaxed. But when I sat down at the computer, after putting my kids to bed for the first time in 3 days, I felt strangely calm, relaxed, and un-funny. So I am taking a slightly different spin on my intended Not Me post and taking you down a slightly more serious approach.
Scientists claim that one of the best ways to relieve stress and be a happier person is to find a personal “happy place.” In fact, scientists report that the brain can produce its own antidepressants and going to your ‘happy place’ truly works.
I found my Happy Place last year. I took a path that I had passed weekly on my way to Target and Walmart, the theaters and Kohls. I had seen the trail head many times, but I had never taken the time to find out what was beyond the road. Until last year. Set back from a main road, and only a 20 minute walk from the parking spot, is a little piece of heaven. The moment that I saw this spot of ground, I knew I had found my Happy Place:
Since I typically have several kids tagging along (and I rarely have an extra hour on my way to Target) I have only made the trek a handful of times, and never without kids OR with my husband.
So is it any wonder that when I was making plans for my kid-free anniversary weekend with my husband that I thought of my Happy Place? After a night out on Friday, sleeping in and yard sale hopping on Saturday morning, I suggested we go on a forest picnic at one of my favorite posts in the world. I brought my camera and he brought his video camera.
As if not having to put kids to bed for two nights in a row wasn’t enough.
We didn’t even have to do a single load in the dishwasher.
No one cried, no one made a mess, no one demanded that I make them a sandwich or complained about my dinner being gross.
I haven’t vacuumed since Thursday. I was on vacation.
Saturday stretched on for ages. I wasn’t exhausted or irritable. I didn’t even have a headache.
I slept in. I showered when I wanted to. I painted my toe nails on Sunday morning instead of bathing kids for church.
I sat in church and heard every single word spoken.
I didn’t even bring a single crayon to church.
I took a nap on Sunday afternoon.
And then I picked the kids up. The date was over, the Happy Place long gone.
As much as I enjoyed my extended Anniversary date, it is nice to be a family again.
The hugs and the kisses, the “MOM! I missed you so much!”
And I can say truthfully that it was wonderful to see them again.
The only thing the weekend has left me wondering is whether my happy place is really the stream in the woods….or simply a quiet place without kids demanding things of me every waking minute. CandyMan enjoyed my Happy Place, too. I think it’s simply been too long since we simply relaxed. Particularly together.
The weekend was rejuvinating. Parenthood is hard work.
And I’m already planning my next trip “home.”
Do you have a Happy Place? Where is it for you, and how does it rejuvinate you?
© 2010, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.