From endings to bendings (and the permission I needed)

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road..."

~ Helen Keller

For the first time in more than 8 years, I leave home on a plane and do NOT feel guilty.

First I wonder "why now?" and then I wonder "why did it take so long?"

I start by exploring why it feels "okay" to be away from my family this time - what changed? Always this has been a big struggle for me, for my husband, for the kids. The kids. They lay it on thick, giving me frowns and mopes the day I'm set to leave (just what an already guilty-feeling Mom needs). My husband starts to stress over all the things he's going to have to do himself - the lunches, the baths, the practicing, the bedtime dinner, and just plain getting out the door. He tries really hard to mask it so he doesn't place it on me. It still shows. And as for me, my head is filled with really big thoughts like "when I'm dying one day, will I regret having taken this trip??" Honestly, with this kind of pressure it's a wonder I ever make it out the door for a day, let alone a few days or a week.

This time is different.


A month before, I was fired from a job I'd been in for not quite 3 years. Three years is a long time. I know it doesn't sound like it to all of you who have done some really long stints with some really great companies. It's a long time though. When I started, my daughter was just grasping the English language. By the time I left, she was nailing her Grade 1 spelling quizzes. Three years - 36 months - carries a lot of milestones, not to mentioned hurts, tragedies and adventures.