Burnout. It’s something that most women experience. (I’m sure men experience it too, but I'm speaking from a women't perspective.)
I remember my first real burn out. It was in April of 2002. I was 38 years old, had 3 daughters (then ages 15, 12, and 10), a husband and a business that I ran along with my then husband. Trying to be the good little “helpmate” I helped him with his lifelong dream of running a commercial steel erection company. I thought I was invincible. I was a great mom, wife and business partner. I made sure everyone was taken care of and had their needs met. But as my oldest daughter’s 15th birthday approached, I realized that I needed a vacation or I was going to explode. I had planned to go away the day after her birthday, but every day things got more and more unbearable and before I realized it, it was the day before her birthday, I had a full-blown falling out with my then husband and before I knew it I had packed a bag and was driving myself to the beach. While in route I called him and told him he needed to pick up the kids from school because I was going away for a few days. His response was “huh”? I hung up the phone and turned it off. I ended up in Cape May where found this beautiful hotel where all the senior citizens were hanging out. I called my mom and told her that I had to get away and asked if she would make sure my daughter had ice cream and cake. My mom didn’t ask any questions, just said ok and told me to enjoy. She was the vacation queen so she understood.
I checked in and went to my room (It was a beautiful room with an ocean view, living room area and kitchen area) I headed for the beach where I got a beach chair (didn’t need an umbrella because the sune felt good) It was kinda breezy and just warm enough to enjoy the beach without a jacket. I just sat there for hours. I watched the sun set then walked the “boardwalk” and ate. Then I found a discount book store and spent about an hour there. (It’s funny how I can remember all the details of this trip).
When I got back to my room I was exhausted. I took a shower and went to sleep. Got up the next morning and turned on the TV and they were advertising full body massages “right in the comfort of your hotel room”. So, I called, made an appointment, and a few hours later I was enjoying a full body Swedish massage! I felt better after that. It was my daughtr’s birthday and I planned to go back home after a few more hours on the beach. Well, After the beach and a meal, I went to take a nap and woke up around 1am. I had missed my daughter’s birthday, but boy oh boy did I feel great! I don’t think my daughter ever really forgave me for that. I know that if I didn’t go at that moment, I would have gone off! Maybe one day she’ll understand. Maybe she already does. She’s turning 25 next week, so that was 10 years ago.
That wasn’t my first getaway and it wasn’t my last. It wast the most exotic or exciting, but it was the most memorable. I had let too much time go by before taking time out for ME. I learned a valuable lesson. Ever since then, even if I can’t get to Jamaica, or the Bahamas or even Cape May, I can get to a spa somewhere and treat myself to a massage, body wrap or some other relaxing service. It is so important for our mental, spiritual and even our physical well-being.
Ladies, we are the backbone of our families and we must take time for ourselves so that we can continue to be the backbone that our families need us to be.