Recently I was thinking back about life before kids and recalled a conversation with a friend who reminisced about what she did with her time before-family. “I spent an entire weekend framing a picture,” she said.
We all know that singles wake up whenever they want. They skip meals. They’re self-absorbed for days on end. They don’t have to share. They are known to disappear and be seen by no one for hours at a time. They complete tasks.
It seems to be human nature to not use the time we have while we have it, and then long for it when we don’t.
When I think back to my single days, I remember a lot of puttering. Wandering from room to room, perhaps cleaning up but who would care if I didn’t (my office desk was an organized mess then as it is now)? I would disappear into the woods for a run accountable to no one with a return time. I cooked a lot, the kind that involves a new recipe, a glass of wine, an apron on, and the right music.
The closest I’ve been to a solo weekend since kids was when Tim and I left the kids with our sitter and checked into a hotel for the night. We played tennis under the lights almost until midnight, missing dinner hours at the hotel restaurant, and then ordered room service from our in-room jacuzzi and then watched bad TV until 3 a.m. It was utter fabulousness.
But with a family, how does the situation even arise to get a whole weekend to one’s self? Do we check into a hotel by ourselves? Or ask our family to leave for the weekend and leave us behind? For women know we cannot putter with others in the house.
When I asked friends about what they’d do with a weekend to themselves, they said:
Katie: Go on a wild food harvesting trip.
Dara: Live life on my own time schedule. (Not) have to alter my natural rhythms, or desire to do things when I feel like doing them, as opposed to accommodating others’. Feeding my soul is mostly time spent on the bike or running in the woods.
Deanna: Get a fancy hotel room, pack some healthy easy foods and a handful of cozy clothes and slippers and books! I want to enjoy the quiet (kids are so loud!) and my books. Watch some Netflix and take a jacuzzi bath. Maybe do a facial. Sip warm beverages. Take walks somewhere beautiful. Just relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Whatever that thing is that we long for, let’s promise each other we’ll do it. Soon.
When the pandemic is behind us, I’m going to send my family away for a weekend of fun, top off the cat and dog bowls, put on a pretty dress, curl up in a chair with a pile of books on the floor, drink cups of strong coffee topped with thick cream, and get up only for the bathroom.
What about you? What would you do with a weekend? Do tell!
A beautiful array of ethnic and multicultural authors in this New York Times list of 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers.
Have a good weekend.