Monday, September 20, 2010

Traveling Alone

One of the reasons I came down to Sisters, OR for my weekend retreat was to visit a particular shop called the Stitchin' Post. It is a quilter's dream store. With fall approaching, I've been itching to get back to at least one hobby that I love. Spending a couple of hours mulling over fabric was just the rest and relaxation that I needed.
Three women were working the cutting tables, delightful older women (then me) who laughed and chatted as they worked. They helped me pick out that last color for the quilt that was coming together in my head and then, of course, we started talking about where I was from, what I was doing and for how long. I shared the fact that I was staying down the road at Five Pines Lodge, traveling by myself for the weekend. One of the ladies was slightly taken aback, laughed and jokingly said, 'girls, she going to Five Pine without her husband! I don't know about this one!'
I kept my silence with my own smile that didn't feel quite as real as it had a moment before but refrained from explaining anything. How do I simply tell this stranger that I love my husband and would prefer to travel anywhere and anytime with him. Or share that I have girlfriends that I could easily have shared space and laughter with. How to explain that traveling alone challenges my natural inclination to take care of others and exactly why I need to do it. Not always what I need, but what I needed right now after a summer of managing more than I really was capable of. I found my limits between working full time, taking care of children, staying connected with my partner, managing home and familial relationships. Not quite drowning but I was definitely submerged. Coming away this weekend has been about remembering that I have my own compass heading. It has been an attempt to put the care and keeping of ME back into the line-up of my priorities.
Not exactly the conversation to have with a woman while she finishes cutting my fabric.
A fleeting moment of someone else's comfort zone tangling with mine.

1 comment:

  1. I can really resonate with that experience. I get that reaction many times, especially when people realize I'm not married and don't have children and get to spend most of my time on ...well...just me. What they don't realize is that it is something I "must do"...this "time alone" just as you must take this time for introspection and rejuvenation and to touch the fabrics and absorb their colors and textures. Isn't is great that we get to choose friends who get us? And isn't it fun to watch someone glimpse into our world and look a little...well... confused. :) She may just be thinking about her own solo retreat after meeting you.