I was fortunate enough to get invited to a getaway this weekend with some old friends and new. It ended up being such a
soul-nourishing experience I thought I'd share some ideas you could incorporate.
My friends Sue and Denise are both single mothers and they say that their getaways grew from that. As Sue said, "When you're a
single mom you have to take care of yourself." Sometimes she brings her daughter, and other times her mother watches her.
What they do is cruise Internet sites like "Explore Minnesota" and find places to visit that sound fun. Some trips are planned to be
little adventures, while others are just to relax.
This particular time Sue found a resort that was willing to give her a great deal on a cabin since we're between seasons. Too late for
snowmobiling and too early to enjoy the lake, this time of year has few people visiting and we capitalized on that. Here are some of
the things that we did that made the weekend even better.
- Stress Dumping. When we got there, we were told to rant for 10 minutes about anything that was stressing us out.
Others could say things like "uh huh" but that was it. We were to visualize the stress pouring out of us as we talked. We did a whole
ritual, and I'll post that separately in the next day or so in the Cyber Cabin column. For the rest of the weekend, stressful subjects
and negativity were taboo. You could pick them up on your way out and resume worrying if necessary. :)
- Scented and luxury items. We used one of the bathrooms as a pampering room and it was filled with scented bath
salts, body sprays, mud masks, candles and other props to make us feel calm, feminine and pampered. Denise makes her own
sprays and salts, so we even had things like lavender water to mist ourselves with for an instant fragrant burst of relaxation. Mmmm!
- Mood music. The CD player piped out everything from Beethoven to whale songs, with lots of women artists tossed in
too. Nature CDs were also very soothing.
- Commune attitude. As women, most of us are used to taking care of most things ourselves. It is such a relief to have a
house full of other women who clean up after themselves, help out unbidden and even cook for you or watch your children while you
take a bath! Since we all chipped in, it was easy to keep the place looking pretty and to have fabulous meals. Each of us took a turn
with meals, so we had the energy to make one or two great, fabulous meals (and the bonus of someone else doing the dishes!).
- Girl stuff. We had a bucket of all different colors of nail polish, plus the works for a full-out pedicure and foot soak. Our
little girls had sparkly purple and neon turquoise nails too, and even my one year-old now has some hot pink toenails!
- Tourist stuff with an open attitude. While browsing local attractions, Sue found a B&B "castle" that served afternoon tea.
We all agreed to meet up at the castle on a lake for tea. It sounded wonderful, but we found out upon arriving that tea is just for the
guests and Sue had read the ad wrong. Instead of getting upset, Denise and Jenny toured the house and came back full of stories of
how beautiful it was. Sue and her daughter went back to the cabin, and Barb and I cruised the town taking pictures of houses
- Gang up. By going as a group and renting one large cabin off-season, we were able to have a really affordable trip. I
spent $25 on the makings for the supper I served Saturday night, but otherwise my share for food and lodging for Friday afternoon to
Sunday afternoon was $51.50! That was for elaborate meals and a beautiful cabin. You can't beat that with a stick. Of course, you
have to go with people that you don't mind sharing quarters with (and be pleasant enough others feel the same). Make sure too that
there's someplace you can escape to if you need some solo time.
- Chill out. Sue and Denise love their getaways but they've had some adventures. They've camped through great floods,
had rooms swarming with ladybugs and had other unexpected surprises. Their ability to adapt, look at the big picture and laugh is
what turned those into great stories instead of ruined vacations. My daughter fought sleep Friday night and was a hell-beast for
hours, Sue's daughter developed an earache that required treatment, and Denise got Jenny's car stuck in the mud. We dealt with it,
fixed it, and got over it.
- Make friends. I didn't know half these women before coming along on trips with Sue. If you're feeling isolated, make an
effort to meet some new friends like yourself. Sue joined a club for single moms through her church that has an annual retreat.
Invite a cool co-worker on a casual activity with you like shopping or lunch. Approach other mommies and try out some play dates to
see if you click with them as well as your kids do. Do something nice for people and it'll come back to you. Strike up conversations,
volunteer, or join some local clubs.
It's Monday now and I'm back home, again with a sleeping girl in my arms and a house that needs more cleaning. But I'm refreshed
and recharged from our little retreat, and I've realized how much of that stuff I could have been doing for myself all along.
If you want the lavender water and bath salt recipes, check back later in the week. After seeing them in action I know I'll be making
some up! In the meantime, have a great week and do something nice for yourself today.
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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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