Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the overturned leaf

In my last 1000 Gifts post, #458 was about turning over a new leaf - and I said I would write more about that the following week. Well, I'm a bit late but here it is anyway.

Okay, so about this's not just any old leaf you'd just simply find laying on the ground. It's a leaf from a totally different tree from a totally different forest - from somewhere halfway around the world. That's how unlikely it was that I would find it...and turn it over.

But I did.

So what was on the other side of this leaf?'re never going to believe this, but I chose to give up my annual weekend at home all to myself. You know the weekend where Les takes the girls camping every year? Yup, I forfeited my quiet weekend at home to go with them.

No, this is not an April fool's joke {in July}. It's the for real truth. And I still have a hard time believing that it happened myself. But it really, really did.

The girls have been begging me to go along with them for years already, but I always just laughed and said "no way!" So when they brought it up again this year, I was fully prepared to give my regular response when another one slipped out:

"Actually I'm considering it," I said.

I'm still not quite sure where that came from, since I hadn't really considered it at all. At least I didn't think that I had. But regardless, I spoke those words and they took it to mean that it was a done deal. And I didn't lead them to think otherwise.

I know why I said it at the time though. See, ever since January I've spent oodles and oodles of time by myself. More than ever before. With both girls in school full time I'm by myself most every day all day. Whether I'm at work or not, I'm by myself. And with Les' old job - which had just switched over a mere two weeks before this conversation came up - I was also by myself most evenings too. So I suppose I felt that a whole weekend all to myself didn't quite hold the same appeal as it once did.

But I didn't really think this all the way through...

By the time our weekend arrived the girls had been home from school for a couple of weeks AND Les was of course home now every day for supper and all evening. Translation: I went from having almost all day alone to having ZERO alone time. Turns out a weekend all to myself would've actually been pretty wonderful.

But I had already promised my attendance at this weekend so I didn't feel right backing out. Besides, as the days of preparation were among us, I realized that I didn't actually face the weekend with dread. In fact - I was actually looking forward to it. I know - go figure hey?

But by the time I was finished all of the prep and packing on Friday, loaded up the truck all by myself, picked up Les from his job site, headed out on the drive (which included a long stretch of twisty, windy roads not very good for my motion sickness) and got the tent and everything set up...I was exhausted and just wanted to go home.  :P

I strapped on my Big-Girl Pants though and decided I was still going to keep my positive attitude about the weekend and enjoy the experience. Afterall, the girls were so pumped that I was there with them - they both clamoured to sit next to me at the fire, wanted to walk hand-in-hand on the treks to the bathroom, and they kept saying how happy they were that I was there.

So the weekend was one grand success...right? had it's glitches. Basically I was just reminded of how much I really dislike camping. Like I said earlier, by the time the prep work is done and I finally get out there - I'm completely beat. Add to that two terrible nights all in a tent together (with snoring, sleep-talking, sleep-crying [?], restless kids thrashing about) all the while trying to tell yourself in the middle of the night that you don't have to make the long walk to the bathroom...well, everyone wakes up sleep-deprieved and feeling a little cranky.

Then there's the bugs. The second night I did discover the beauty of ear plugs, but before that all of my tent experiences come with hearing every single flap of an insects' wing, every single "footstep" of a bug on the outside of the tent canvass...seriously, my ears hear it all. And then waking up in the morning to find a daddy-long-legs infestation right outside your tent...gross!!

And aside from all of that, everything is just harder when you're camping. We didn't have an electrical site so keeping food and drinks cool - on such a HOT weekend - wasn't an easy feat. I had Pepsi twice that weekend, but only had minimal amounts of each can as it didn't take very long for my only slightly cool drinks to heat up. Living out of coolers and duffel bags - even if only for a weekend - is just really not my style.

There were lots of good moments though, don't get me wrong. The family quality time, of course. Sitting by the campfire (my most favorite part of any camping experience), time to sit and read a book in the shade under my beach umbrella, the playground that was right across the road from our campsite, no rain to dampen our plans or force us to spend any parts of the day trapped inside of our tent, and of course the beautiful scenery.

So yes, there were many positives to the weekend as well. As a whole though...let's just say I am making no promises that this will become the new norm. There were many times over the course of my time there where I found myself thinking things like: "Right about now I could be in the mall"...or "Right now I could still be deeply sleeping in my comfortable bed"...or "If I would've stayed at home, right now I could be freshly showered or enjoying the wonderful invention of air conditioning." 

I found that no matter how good of an attitude I had about it, I really did miss the refreshment that a weekend all to myself does bring. Especially considering that I also did not go on my annual girl's shopping weekend this year. Granted, that's far from a weekend ALONE - but it is another kid-free weekend that I'm used to having as a break from motherhood.

But I can't go back and change anything now. What's done is done. And the important thing is that I made a huge sacrifice to spend some quality time with my family and make some memories. Memories that will probably have to last them several years...hee hee.

So there you have it - my overturned leaf.


pam said...

"Big-Girl Pants" made me smile. :)

PS. I don't recall even hearing anything about a girls' weekend this year - was there one and I missed it? (Not that I've been a regular attendee - I think it's probably been about 4 or 5 years since I've gone!).

TammyIsBlessed said...

I'm glad that they were so pumped to have you come along and that you had a relatively good time ;)

I wouldn't feel at all guilty about going back to how it was before though - I think the fact that the girls have a whole weekend to spend with just their dad is fantastic.