I went skiing. I had an epiphany of sorts as my legs burned and I skied through it. Even for those of you who know me, you might not know what a huge part of my life skiing filled when I was growing up. Since leaving home, skiing has been infrequent and since living in Ireland and then here on the East Coast, 12 years passed with only one small minute on the slopes when Ava was 4 (and I brought Jonny to the top of the mountain for the view and then he actually stopped talking to me for a couple days since he wasn't actually ready for it- being his first ever time skiing). My bad.
Maybe my profound experience on the mountain last week has more to do with who I am as a mama than the actual act of skiing, though I think it was probably a combo deal. First, there is nothing else that can duplicate the feeling of flying and that is what skiing , at it's best, feels like to me. Then, there was the small fact that I was skiing alone- no kids- with a dear friend who was my perfect ski mate and that was all I was meant to be doing. I had no other responsibilities. No other things pulling me in any way. I was free to ski. It actually felt like a retreat and I realized that I would take it over a spa ANY DAY!
The epiphany then? Simple. I need to ski more, or, find other ways to play that make me feel like a kid again- free and easy and strong. It sounds so easy, but I am a conflicted sort of person. I always want to be with my children and husband. I don't like to miss out and I love to be with them. I also really need a healthy dose of solitude for happiness but rarely get or take it. I could easily complain about the money, which is most certainly a factor (skiing can be expensive, we all know), but it has been more of an inability to find my own space to play so fully that is to blame.
This is a ramble, but the reason I decided to post these thoughts is because I did wonder- last Thursday as I rode up the lift with aching teeth from the cold wind hitting my permagrin- what do other dedicated mothers do to relax and recharge and get needed space from the beautiful intensity and demands of a family? What do you do?