I just returned from a quick vacation with two of my oldest and dearest friends. Years ago, when two of us had newborn baby girls, we declared that, for our 40th birthdays, we would go on a trip together. Just the three of us. Four years went by in both the blink of an eye and an eternity but somehow we found ourselves staring down the barrel of That Age (me first, damn it.) this year. Along the way we’d imagined where we’d go. A dude ranch, a spa, somewhere close to home, somewhere very far away… and ultimately, in July of this year, we kind of haphazardly landed on Jamaica. None of us had ever been, we all had passports we could dust off, and we were all available on four consecutive days.

Fast forward last Thursday and we giddily and kind of unbelievably boarded a flight headed for Runaway Bay. Doesn’t it even sound incredible? Runaway Bay. Dear real life, I’m going to be placing you on pause for a long weekend. I’m running away with my friends and just reconnecting with them — and me, honestly. No lunches to pack, no reading logs to sign, no clothes to fold, no uniforms to to remember, no emails to return, no deadlines — just sweet free time to do whatever we felt like doing.

It was glorious and just the right amount of time away. In our real lives, though we live no more than 30 minutes from one another, we seldom can find the time to see each other more than once every other month or so. And even then, there are children and time limits and it’s just how life is. It’s the life we all want and love, but it was really amazing to just focus on these friendships and not feel the least bit guilty about neglecting something or someone else.

Is this even real life?

By the time we returned (in the wee hours of Tuesday morning), I felt brand new. I couldn’t wait to see my family. I missed them so much. I appreciated how awesome my husband is. It’s easy to forget that stuff in the gritty day-to-day. But when you take a moment and step back with clear eyes, it’s almost crazy how obvious the little things are.

Missed these goons.

Missed these goons.

Life? Yeah, it’s good.