Friday, November 11, 2011

The Reset Button

Blissed out--alone--at the beach

After the trip to Mexico, having a cold, hosting a baptism party for 50 people at my home, then a week of Daniel not sleeping well (day or night), I felt utterly depleted – physically, mentally, emotionally. When I found myself crying at 6 a.m. last Thursday, I knew something had to give. I texted Carl and requested to spend the next night away, alone. He said yes—bless him. I didn’t know where I would go, just that I needed to be in a house where Daniel was not, in hope of getting the first good night’s sleep in what felt like a century. I needed to hit the reset button.

Just knowing that a break was on the horizon – the immediate horizon—helped so much. The next day D was pretty chill. (I swear, he’s his most charming when he knows I’m going to be leaving.) I had dinner with Carl, then took off, tires squealing as I made my getaway. I listened to loud music without worrying about waking the baby. Arriving at the shore at 9 p.m., I pumped milk—no escaping that at the moment—watched some silly TV, and went to sleep by 11.

I woke up—pause for effect—9 hours later.

As if it didn’t already feel like the best morning of my life, it slowly dawned on me that no one needed me to do anything. I didn’t have to feed anyone, change anyone, walk anyone. I could just…well, be. It was glorious.

After a quick stop at the beach, I had a blessed breakfast of buckwheat pancakes, smothered in butter, a side of pork roll, perfectly grilled, and bottomless coffee. I poked into a few stores, bought some fudge for my amazing husband. Then off to a massage, where I luxuriated in the feeling of being pampered, of being cared for, with no expectation in return. (Other than payment, which I was happy to provide.) I followed that up with a pedicure, mostly just so I wouldn’t have to move for another hour. I ate lunch at the counter of Mack & Manco’s, watching the ocean through the window, then wandered the boardwalk. I spent a few more precious moments at the beach, just because I can never get enough of the salt air, the crashing waves, the sandpipers scurrying, the sun penetrating to my very heart. I left feeling refreshed, renewed. Yes, reset.

I came home to a sick baby. Poor little guy has his first cold. Which meant another week of very little sleep for any of us. By Thursday, I was ready for another escape. Had I opened Pandora’s Box by my one glorious day to myself? Knowing it’s not realistic, or even desired, to be away one night every week, I had the idea of Carl and I alternating nights taking care of Daniel, until the sleep strike ends. So last night, I was here, with my family, but in another room, where I slept blissfully for 8 straight hours with a loud fan to block any noise. I woke up refreshed, renewed, reset. So maybe the answer isn’t waiting for opportunities for grand gestures to myself, but rather, carving out small spaces for myself whenever possible.

How do you hit the reset button for yourself?


michelle said...

I had a very similar experience about a year ago. I went for a long solo hike in the Pine Barrens, went to a yoga class, spent the night in a cushy hotel - sauna, swimming, steam room the whole nine. Amazing.

A word of caution though, I got pregnant with Ginny pretty much the next day. Restart indeed!

Julie Owsik Ackerman said...

Michelle, thanks for the - ahem - warning.

Miss you!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Good for you! Everyone needs a break--and probably new parents, especially so.