Monday, December 8, 2008

Solo in the snow

At the last minute, my friend and usual traveling companion for my much anticipated fun weekend getaway to the far away snow tearfully cancelled due to an upper respiratory infection. Damn. I was upset. Not at her because it wasn't her fault, but at the change of plans...and being forced to go alone. Damn. But, you know, turns out it wasn't such a bad thing after all. Kind of, cosmic meant to be actually. Do you know how many times I've fantasized about driving away, all by myself, checking into a cheap hotel, and leaving all my worries and responsibilities (kids) behind for a few days? Countless times. I was determined to find out if I had what it takes - would I be miserable and lonely and leave that crazy dream behind once and for all or would I love it like I always imagined?

Along with the usual items like deodorant and underwear, I packed my best bottle of red, one wine glass, my favorite chocolate lacey cookies, and my iPod with a freshly downloaded audiobook of the perfectly chosen The Nanny Diaries. The five hour drive wasn't too horrible - it was mostly dark which I didn't like, lots of cops, but the book was engaging and was just me. Aaah.

The newly built hotel in Mammoth was perfect, the room was huge, the bed was heavenly, the view from my balcony was of pine trees and mountains, and Lifetime had a whole slate of cheesy holiday girl-has-man-girl-loses-man-girl-gets-new-cuter-man movies continuously playing all...weekend...long. Yes!
Instead of skiing like many of my work friends that were there, I savor a slow breakfast of a latte and a yummy goat cheese spinach egg scramble, quiet drives through the mountains oohing and aaahing over the scenery and snow, and a victorious quest for a Santa to add to my collection, the discovery of a feared lost R2D2 behind my son's car seat (what luck! pictures to follow...), and a luxurious afternoon nap (I was sleepy therefore I slept). That night I do Patron shots and dance. Yes, me, dance. I haven't danced in decades and it was fun and long overdue.

The next and final day, I enjoy another excellent breakfast at the hotel, pack it up, and slowly head home so I can see my kids before bedtime. I think about the peacefulness and solitude I experienced. I relish it and smile. Even if I'm home and the kids are in school, I still hear cars, airplanes, and the voices in my head telling me I should be doing something productive like laundry, conquering the piles of paper, or work. But, all I hear when I'm walking through the snow covered mountain, alone, is the birds and the quiet. It makes me think a lot, but not in a crazy stressed out way. Instead I think about and appreciate the good things in my life - my wonderful husband who encourages me to be me, my healthy kids, and the too numerous to count blessings. Funny how being away makes you feel closer to what you left behind. You get a lot of perspective from detaching. It should be mandatory for us all at least once a month, don't you think?

So, I'm on the freeway off ramp near my home, and my iPod starts making static, so I turn off the audiobook, and push the preset button for my favorite radio station. U2's Bad (live version) blasts through my speakers. This is one of my favorite songs of all time...ever. I get chocked up, then the tears start flowing. I pull over and let the tears pour down my face as I'm smiling. I made it! I was okay! I was brave and drove all that way all by myself and had a great time and experienced many peaceful almost spiritual moments. I feel like I'm in a movie and the soundtrack is blaring the perfect song for the pivotal scene. What an amazing end to my solo adventure.
"This desperation
In temptation
Let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
I'm wide awake
Wide awake and not sleeping..." (Bad, U2)

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