sitting in my tiny, spartan hotel room in arizona before the sun comes up, about to embark on some self improvement at a retreat, if i am to be truly honest (and when in my blog have i not been truly honest??), i'm wondering what part of me thought this was a good idea three months ago when i booked my ticket? five days of intensive searching and learning will begin in about 90 minutes with a bunch of complete strangers and i am anxious, fearful and frankly, down right pissed. why did i leave the comforts of cozy hohokus with everything and everyone that i know and love for a shithole room at the best western with nary a loved one in sight? if i was one of my kids, i would want my lovey right about now, but i'm not, so i guess i am on my own for the next few days.
as i boarded the plane yesterday, my extremely accommodating and understanding husband (he's on morning (noon & night) duty the next five days when he's supposed to be at his desk at 6:30am which makes that a little tricky) gave me a hug and a kiss and ensured me i was going to crush it. my kids squeezed the life out of me with their hugs, the younger two shooting mournful puppy dog eyes while asking why i couldn't "learn to be a better, calmer person" at home rather than leave them for five days. and could they climb into my suitcase and come? it was all i could do not to let my own fears combine with theirs and send me to tears. but i held it together, found myself a bag of pretzels & a diet coke, the new kelly corrigan book to read on the plane and headed to my gate. truth be told: i wanted to cry. i wanted to stay. i wanted to smuggle them into my suitcase so i wouldn't have to be alone. so i wouldn't have to be quiet with my thoughts. so i could have something to busy myself with. but down to the gate i trudged, sad, scared, excited, hopeful all mixing in to create a emotion-filled madwoman looking for answers.
my new year's resolution was to slow down. to be more present. to quiet the noise and find more peace with myself and for my family. a tricky proposition given i have four kids, a husband and a cafe & catering business that sometimes makes finding quiet a near impossibility. but i don't believe that's an excuse. i want to learn what is enough. i am searching to unlock the question i have been striving to answer for 44 years: why do i need to do, to be? and i plan to find some of those answers this week for myself. i will benefit from it. my kids will benefit from it. and i gotta think my husband will enjoy a less wired, more serene partner around the house not barking orders like he's my sous chef. so here goes nothing. hold down the fort back in chilly nj for me while i am listening to therapists and meditation experts and doing downward dog more than i probably care to. my fabulous crew has you covered with tasty hot dinners and fresh food pumping out all week. next time you see me i'll be all pema chodron on ya.