Newsletter editor Lily here.
I’ve always been a very go-go-go person. I grind away at my work. I’m seen as THAT put-together person, the emotionally sturdy friend, the one who never seems to get tired. This was a point of pride for me for over two decades of my life.
And then a year and a half ago, I hit the first real wall of my life. I’ve had trouble getting and staying motivated, I feel a little bit lost, I just don’t feel like doing anything. Zora Neale Hurston once said, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” I feel like the past 18 months has opened up a ton of questions as to who I am and what I value, and now I’m just trying to figure out how to make the next year or so one that answers those questions.
Amongst the many asinine beliefs I had as Someone Who Did It All for so long was the idea that I didn’t really need to take vacations. I prefer staycations, I used to tell people. I don’t need to spend money to feel relaxed, I’d explain. I’m just really stable, I’d claim. I now realize this is a lie. Yes, we all need a break in any form, but sometimes, getting a little time away from your everyday surroundings can make a huge difference.
Five months ago, I got this random idea to get a bunch of girlfriends together and rent out a large house somewhere upstate for a weekend. Even though traveling gives me a ton of anxiety and planning logistics is never super fun, I thought it’d be a little bit of the break I needed from the city. It turns out, all of my friends—who are in the middle of big personal and professional decisions—needed it too.
And holy crap, did the weekend deliver. We found a beautiful house on a private lake in Hunter, New York that had a dock, fishing, rafts for the lake, an outdoor grill, a fully-stocked tennis court, and a fire pit. We roasted s’mores, drank hard seltzers on the dock, played some (really bad) rounds of tennis, and just talked. A lot of friends opened up about some of their biggest life issues that they didn’t feel comfortable telling others in their lives. One of my friends reads tarot cards as a hobby and brought her set to do readings for everybody. We listened to Taylor Swift’s new album on repeat. People who were acquaintances became friends. It was truly a perfect weekend. Within 20 hours of starting the trip, people were already talking about coming back next year and asking if we could add an extra day. They also wanted to see if we could rent the place for a ski weekend this winter.
So yeah, I’d say I’m now a vacation person. But more importantly, the trip was a reminder to challenge the assumptions of how well I know myself and what I need. I came back feeling refreshed and a little mentally clearer. Two days in the mountains won’t solve all my problems or clear all my angst, but I feel more like myself than I did a week ago. And maybe there are a few other assumptions about myself I need to rethink as well.
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- Do you work with your spouse? HOW?
- Thoughts/Best Practices for going back to work after Cancer Treatment?