I spent all of last week in Pentwater, Michigan, at Hilltop Cottage. I rented it from myself to celebrate my 40th birthday with my girlfriends. I spent a lot of time thinking and not thinking about stuff. I have to confess I didn’t miss Twitter, or Facebook, and I sure as heck didn’t miss my job. Girlfriends came in and out all week and then families joined us on July 3 for beach, s’mores, and fireworks. It was one of the best weeks of my life.
The rules were simple: There were no rules and no judgments.
In no particular order, here are some things I realized last week:
- Midwestern friendship circles are hard to break into. People grew up here and raise their families here, so many of their friendships are already established. This isn’t personal in the sense that it isn’t about me. But it is personal to me. Took me awhile to figure that out.
- I found my tribe. Now I need to nurture it.
- I’m lucky that my job does not require me to check-in while I am on vacation. I didn’t check my work email or voicemail once. I don’t think that I want a job that would require me to do so.
- Be generous. If you have something fun- a cottage, boat, convertible, whatever-, share it with others. “Stuff” is just stuff unless you share it. Make memories together.
- Be grateful. Never walk into a party empty-handed. My girls came bearing gifts- drinks, dinners ready to go, and tons of snacks! And then, when they had to go home, they left the goodies with those who remained.
- Be gracious. Spend time with those who feed your soul. Spend real time with them. Look into their eyes. Say thank you for the gift that they are to you.
- Empty the dishwasher.
- Reload the dishwasher. And the ice trays.
- I deserve to be pampered. We can only give what is inside our own tanks. I am worth every ounce of luxury this week provided me and so are ALL OF YOU- especially my fellow mommas. As moms we are quick to celebrate others but not ourselves. This needs to stop.
- I will continue to resist mom-guilt. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for taking care of myself and I will continue to resist anyone else who tries to make feel guilty. I missed my boys while I was away. But I deserved this week. The end.
- 40 is no joke. It is a privilege denied to many. I made it this far. I’m going to work smarter to make the most of it. I’m content, satisfied, and no longer willing to play politics or games.
(P.S. 40 is no joke….detoxing from all the sugar and booze was a little painful come Monday 😉 )