I’m headed out of town this weekend for a weekend with my cousin and a girlfriend of mine. I can hardly wait to get on the road, even though I know I’m going to miss my husband while I’m away. It’s a rejuvenating experience that will allow me to come home with fun memories, some tasty new wines, and a greater appreciation for my life overall. I always have a wonderful time when I’m gone, but it’s not something that would make me want to change my life… it allows me to appreciate what others might not.
I went on my first real “girls weekend” when we lived in MI. Three friends and I went to Dresden, OH to spend the weekend doing “Longaberger basket” things. We each made an official Longaberger basket, walked around the Longaberger Homestead, had High Tea in their tea room, and shopped/talked/laughed/relaxed to our hearts content. Two of our companions were vegans, so we tried some vegetarian options for a meal or two. “Having pie” was a priority for our trip, so we made sure to incorporate that into our plans as well. We consulted one another throughout the trip and made sure to respect everyone’s “must do” list as we went. It was a wonderful break from our busy lives as moms and we enjoyed every moment of the weekend… but were all very glad to get back home again.
After our move to VA, it took a while before I felt the need for another “girls weekend”. Moving and keeping up with the boys activities took much of my time and we did a lot of family traveling for sporting events. Spending concentrated quality time with a girlfriend or two didn’t seem as important, so the plan got demoted to a “someday” on my list of things to do.
A few years ago, my BFF came up with the idea of going to OBX for a “Taste of the Beach” weekend in March with her sister and a few friends. Since I’d never been to the Outer Banks of NC, it seemed like a really fun thing to do… we are both foodies and love to cook, so we planned to take a cooking class, make food and drinks at the beach house we were borrowing, and generally be lazy and relax. Again, we talked out all our expectations and “must do” lists – mine was relatively short, since I had no experience with OBX or what was available in that area. We drove down, had a fabulous time, and made plans to repeat the experience the following spring.
The best part of a Girls Weekend, I think, is simply sharing the event with girlfriends… as any woman knows, dishing about personal history and sharing likes/dislikes are things that guys just don’t like to do. Women like to share with their friends… we like to know that we’re not alone in how we approach things in our lives and we enjoy bouncing ideas off one another without asking for a solution. We may already have the solution in our heads, but talking things out with a girlfriend can help to clarify the situation for us. I could drive M crazy by running every little thing by him, or I could chat about things with my girlfriends and then talk with him about the “important stuff”… the stuff that really matters for us.
M likes to say that I’m distracted easily… and he’s absolutely right. I have so many plans, ideas, and general thoughts running around in my head that as soon as something “shiny” draws my attention, I’ve lost the task at hand. This wonderful man puts up with so much from me – he even does the laundry because I can’t seem to complete a single load of dark clothes within a reasonable time frame. Thankfully, he understands my need to talk… to communicate… to simply be heard by a friend. Don’t get me wrong…. I talk plenty to M. It’s just that I feel more able to be quiet after a Girls Weekend. Spending time with my friends allows me to release all those random ideas and thoughts into the universe, without judgment or follow-up plans. I can allow myself to save the important stuff for M and let the small stuff go… because I’ve talked it over with my girlfriends.
So I’m off to a Girls Weekend. I’ll be combining two of my favorite pastimes and enjoying the Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival with my cousin (whom I haven’t seen since 1980!) and one of my dearest friends (whom I rarely get to see even though we live less than a mile apart). I’ll have an 8-hour drive each way to talk and chat and clear my head and I’ll be able to relax, knowing that M will be able to handle whatever may come up at home. The best part is that I’ll come home on Sunday and be totally focused on seeing my beloved M again… rejuvenated and refreshed from spending time with my girlfriends.
See? Everyone really DOES benefit from a Girls Weekend…