Since having a baby, who’s about to turn seven, I haven’t made a habit of taking large blocks of time for myself. Maybe it was me and a fear that I’d harm his brain. Maybe it was a lack of a secure system in place to catch the pieces.  I wouldn’t risk even staying more than an hour’s drive away for too long. Buses need meeting.

This weekend, I stole my life back for 48 hours. What a difference even the permission for the escape gave me. I knew the kid would be taken care of every minute by four family members and a school full of strangers. And I journeyed out for one night at the Philadelphia Flower Show, the biggest of its kind in the world I was told. I really wanted to see it and hoped to be inspired. And I wanted to escape my own daily self expectations of chef and waste manager.

   The former city girl got to go to the big city. And I dug it. I took the train. I love the train. I took pictures of everything that inspired me. I talked to people. I got my nails done. I ate. I saw a play. I walked. I slept in a hotel room. I spent time laughing with my sister. And I let it all pour into my thirsty brain.

I got home yesterday and suddenly, I was behind. I had to usher my Mother out the door. I had nothing planned for dinner. I had to be somewhere at ten this morning after we’d turned the clocks up and my kid’s and my suitcases weren’t unpacked until tonight. I started the laundry. I shopped for and grilled the dinner. I bathed and read to the kid, packed the husbands lunch, and enjoyed almost all of The Walking Dead zombie TV show I like.

Do I resent that these are my home duties? Nope. If I had the chance, would I go again with the knowledge that I would have to catch up when I got home? Yes. What took me so long? I’ll definitely play catch up for a few days but I have more of me to share now with myself and others. And that is why we travel, even if it is tiring and anxiety creating and disruptive. Because we bring back a better version of ourselves with us.

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