12 things i learned on my weekend away

Fred the iguana

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1. Banana Malibu Coladas are just as yummy as they sound.

1.a And they make for a sort of awesome picture.

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2. Men make assumptions about women of a certain age (as in my certain age) who are sitting at a bar at a Caribbean resort with a girlfriend.

2.a Men who make assumptions about women of a certain age who are sitting at a bar at a Caribbean resort with a girlfriend tend to be sorely disappointed when said assumptions are way, way … um .. WAY off the mark.

2.b My husband is kinda awesome.

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3. It’s really nice to read a book that has absolutely, positively nothing to do with autism.

3.a Books that end with the words “To be Continued …” should come with a warning label. Cause that’s crap.

3.b So I will now be buying this in March.

3. c And wondering when on earth I’m going to actually read it.

3.d. And fantasizing about taking another trip just so I can.

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4. I will miss my kids. A lot.

4. a They will be OK.

4.b Face Time is the best invention ever. Not counting Hot Stone Massages. 

4.c It’s sorta hilarious when I’m on Face Time with Katie and I ask her what time she got to bed at her sleep over the night before and she says, “What, Mama? I think we have a bad connection,” and I can see her just sitting there so she lies down on the floor to hide from the phone and starts giggling.

4.d. Ten is an awesome age.

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5. Hot Stone Massages are better than Face Time.

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6. I need to take care of my body.

6.a. When my friend, a fellow autism mom who has three kids and is in fantastic shape says to me over dinner one night, “Well, we have to live forever right? So I eat well and I work out because I just can’t understand why I’d allow myself health issues that are preventable with diet and exercise,” it will sound so damn unbelievably simple and make so much sense that no matter how many times I’ve heard it or read it or even said it before, something in the universe will shift and for the first time in my life, I will truly take it in and absorb it.

6.b. I will look at food – and everything – differently from that moment on.

6.c. I will be immeasurably grateful to her for saying those words out loud.

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7. The world will not pause because I’m away.

7.a. I may come back to a mountain of crap that I have to deal with.

7.b. Mountains of crap are a lot easier to deal with when I can close my eyes and remember what it felt like to have a Hot Stone Massage.

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8. My husband is kind of awesome.

8.a. Yes, it’s a repeat.

8.b. Without him, this never would have been possible.

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9. My family can function without me.

9. a. That’s a good thing.

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10. Even after two days away from home, I will still not be more interesting to Brooke when I walk through the door than Blue’s Clues.

10.a. That’s not really true, even if that’s the way it appears.

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11. When Katie comes running through the door moments later, she will make me feel like a soldier returning from a year’s deployment.

11.a. Welcome home sign and all.

11.b. She will have gotten me presents.

11.c. When she hands one of them to me, I will be a little taken aback and momentarily wonder what the heck Luau did.

11.d. It will all make sense when she then says, “I wasn’t sure if it was a real diamond or not, but then I remembered I was in Claire’s and so I figured it wasn’t, but I still thought it might be really expensive – ya know, like twenty bucks, and then I found out it was $5.50 and I could afford it and I totally had to get it for you cause it’s a heart! But I’m pretty sure it’s not really a diamond.”

11.e. And then I will melt in a lump and tell her that it’s the most fabulous ring I’ve ever seen and then she will look at Luau and say, “Daddy, you could have saved a lot of money on Mama’s engagement ring. Just sayin’.”

11.f. Ten is an awesome age.

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12. I will be a better mom for doing this.

12.a. This doesn’t have to mean a trip to Puerto Rico.

12.b. This can be as simple as taking a walk, reading that book when it comes, taking a bath.

12.c. Doing this is what fills our tanks for the journey.

12.d. And since we have to live forever, those tanks better be full.

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13. I will be really, really glad I went.

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Thank you, Jersey, for making this happen, and thank you, Luau for making it possible. I love you both. 

Ed Note: For more on The Year of the Oxygen Mask, check out O2, The Oxygen Mask Project - To care for others, you have to take care of yourself as well.

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36 thoughts on “12 things i learned on my weekend away

  1. DOAM I am so glad that you did this for yourself and ultimately for your family as well. And 6.a. is my most favorite of all 13. Nutrition is the key to healing and staying alive (and remember the gut is the 2nd brain), I preach this all the time. Make time for yourself and plan your meals AND time to excercise, it will come full circle!

    • Well said Sheila and so very true , my family and son are evidence of this .
      DOAM start with small changes weekly and before you know it you there : )
      Good Luck to you , your right we have to live forever ; )

  2. So, you’re family is kinda awesome. You are truly blessed!

    I’ve been thinking about how my diet and allergic reaction to exercise is really kind of…well…child abuse. How can I treat my body and health so poorly when my children rely on me to be here?? MUST CHANGE NOW.
    I think Im going to take some of “this” time from now on and add that diet/exercise thing to the daily list of stuff to be done.

  3. *happy sigh* (ok, and slightly envious, but totally not if that makes sense?)

    Since a getaway such as you had is definitely NOT in my budget, I definitely need to find some ways to create *something* for myself which fills my tanks. *dons thinking cap*

    BTW, I can’t decide if I like 4a or ALL of 11 best. And yes, you do have an awesome and very supportive husband. I love that about him! (Hi, Luau!)

  4. Great post! I’m glad you had a well deserved vacation and recharging/reframing! 11e is one of the best things I’ve read in a LONG time! I’m still laughing! And in regard to ALL of item 6… Do I sense another soon to be marathoner in-training?

  5. I love this post for so many reasons…it gives me hope, like so many of your posts do, but this time the hope is for me…I know that I can do this, too.

  6. I’m very surprised that no one noticed that the title is “12 things…..”, but you listed 13! hehe Weather it was one thing you learned or a million, all that matters was that you know how blessed you are through all the insanity of daily life, you were able to take a minute (or weekend) for yourself to recharge those batteries! You’re right, we have to live forever… too bad we don’t come with Energizer batteries! By far, my favorite thing you learned on this list is “13. I will be really, really glad I went.”. I need to be “glad I went” ANY WHERE – riddled with guilt whenever I leave my son, even to go shopping without him. It’s ridiculous how co-dependent I am on him! I’ll get there… eventually… it can be done! Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  7. Loved this whole post!!!! So glad for you, totally long over-due and well deserved. Hopeing to take the advice of your friend too……. so hard to do, but totally necessary!! So happy for you!!

  8. So glad you had a wonderful time! I to am taking the advice to take care of me. I’m doing Zumba and eating better.

  9. oooooohhhh…that drink with the pineapple looks nice. i hope it had a secret ingredient (booze). very glad you were able to travel, read a bit, get some serious decompression time.

  10. Im a firm believer that us mamas need our time away. sometimes I feel like I do it too much. (girls night tonight, tomorrow night is book club, double date friday night and an overnight away with friends saturday to sunday!) but I do need a full tank right? thank you again for your wonderful point of view!

  11. Yes, 6a is awesome. Food has always been my vice, especially since my daughter’s diagnosis. Not surprisingly, all the chocolate and other crap I have eaten to “feel better” has resulted in nothing but weight gain. I’m going to try to heed your very sound advice. So glad you put on the oxygen mask!

  12. Taking time for YOU; sharing adult time with a true FRIEND; reflecting on your own physical health and nutrition = MIGHTY MENTAL HEALTH!
    Autism kicked me hard in the ass yesterday. Brought me to my knees….again! Honestly, I needed your post to remind me to put on my own oxygen mask first – then and only then – am I able to help others.
    Thanks again Jess!

  13. My daughter bought me a fake for Christmas. It was the best present because she said I deserved to have nice things.

  14. Little did you know, you have a big fan in PR who is now really psyched that you’ve been so close by AND feeling guilty about the fact that I only go to the beach a handful of times a year… After eating better and exercising more, going to the beach more often has just become my ‘belated’ new years resolution.

  15. Pingback: This is What I Do « DragonMommie's World

  16. I finally found time to read your two vacation posts and I’m so proud of you…and so jealous. Perhaps a vacation is in my future (even if it’s so the Westin down the street).

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