I always remember this little quip from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, because there have been, and still are many a day, when I would love to do just that.
Between my two careers (advertising and fine arts), my poor aging and suffering mom (who lives with us), my wonderful and supportive husband who went through hell with cancer treatments, two buildings to take care of (our house and the office), the yard work, the cooking and cleaning, the bookkeeping for multiple checking accounts, and about a hundred or so other things that pop up out of the blue during the week…. I want to run away! I am sure that I am not alone in this guilt trip. Every working mom suffers the same scenario.
When my kids were little and when I felt like I was falling into a vortex, I would climb all the stairs up to the Victorian house attic. It was quiet up there. It was my little sanctuary. It was the best when there was a rainstorm beating against the roof. This was where I would cry or curse or just sit staring at the rafters while I sat on the floor of this huge hundred-year-old house. It was soothing and free and I sat up there until my hubby put the kids to bed. He had much more patience than I ever possessed and still to this day does.
When the kids got older the attic thing didn’t work. They could climb the stairs and there was no way to lock the attic door from the inside. So….
I would call my girlfriend Donna and we would go out for coffee. This was a cheap night out and we were always surprised that the donut shop didn’t throw us out after three or four hours! We would make sure that we didn’t go home until we knew that our hubbies had the kids put to bed. It was a nice little escape. Not free, but didn’t break the budgets we were always on.
Then there was the Zombie Mall Walk.
No, no… this wasn’t a Zombie Apocalypse, but rather the working moms who looked like Zombies after working a crazy job and dealing with the juggling of the school nurse calling in the middle of the board meeting! We were easily recognized. The drawn face, the gray skin, the shuffled walk… oh yes, we were Zombies! We would walk the mall and window shop. We would recognize each other but never talked to each other. It was a silent code not to be broken. We just walked. I can’t even remember buying anything half the time because we didn’t have a brain left to figure the sales tax!
As the kids got older, it got a little better.
Now they were escaping us! That was good except now you had to worry about what the heck they would be doing out there. So the escape patterns changed drastically. Now we were escaping to our house waiting for the phone to ring or staying up late hoping that they would be coming home within curfew. It never really ends I guess.
Well the kids are all grown and most are mothers themselves now. I never had the money when I was younger to REALLY escape… like to an island with beautiful beaches, but now I get to travel to all parts of the country to teach pastel painting in workshops that last anywhere from three to seven days. It is tiring because I’m the instructor, but well worth it. I might even be able to teach in Italy next year! And I have to say that the only reason I am able to do this because I have the most supportive husband in the world. He has always held down the “fort” during my antics and I want to publicly thank him for helping me to escape all these years.
I love you David and thank you for all you do to allow me to leave without worry.
It’s been an adventure for 38 years!