Originally written in 2009, the 2011 ski season was not good for this group. Nor was the mountain biking season. Between injuries and general busy-ness, we had a hard time getting together. Having fun with friends, even just one carefree day a week, requires constant vigilance against guilt. But it also keeps life in balance. This ski season, I resolve to take one day each week, just for me, guilt free.
There is a group of women in my town of which I am in awe. These are the women that I want to be when I grow up. They are strong, daring skiers. They are strong, daring mountain bikers. They are good mothers and wives. They are involved in our community, local charities and with their churches. They hold professional jobs. They make time, consistently, to ski or mountain bike every week depending on the season and they do this without any feelings of guilt. This last quality, the lack of guilt, is the quality that I am striving to develop.
Now, you make think that as the Brave Ski Mom, that I am always making time to ski. I am – but almost always with my family on school vacations or weekends. I have a very hard time getting away during the week. You know the routine – there are lunches to make, a house to clean, writing and other work to do, errands to run, volunteer jobs at school, and in my case, a seemingly endless string of physical therapy appointments to undue the damage I do to myself on the weekend.
How can I get away? Even more to the point, why do I feel that I need to get away? Don’t I already have a pretty sweet life? Who am I, asking for more?
Friend Time Versus Chore Time
More to the point, why don’t I feel like I deserve some adult time, some time with friends? Why do I feel that I have to be in constant productive motion between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.? My husband goes on guys’ trips. Why don’t I feel like I can even take a day or a morning with the girls? Why, as the Brave Ski Mom, am I so afraid to be a Brave Ski Woman? Am I so completely defined by my “working” roles that I can’t be anything else?
Just Get Out There
At my husband’s strong encouragement, I finally reached out to a friend who is in the group of awesome women. She didn’t ski this past winter, but she told where to meet her group for a ski day. So one morning, I loaded up my gear and met these women – none of whom I knew well. They welcomed me enthusiastically. They made that ski day so fun, that I began clearing my schedule so that I could continue to go with them.
Two of them even got me out-of-town and away from my family and responsibilities for two days. This was only the second time I’d left the kids home with their father since they were born! Not that I don’t trust him with them – I do. I’ve known all along that they would have a great time together if I would just go away. The problem was, I didn’t know how to go away or with whom. This is because many, many women I know are like me: we can’t figure out how to make ourselves dispensable for a day. We feel guilty having fun without our families. We are not mature enough to realize that the adage “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is true and that the only person who can make mama happy is mama.
What I love about the group of awesome women is that they don’t feel guilty. They feel completely assured that they deserve one day a week to have fun together. They are strong and daring and they are my role models. I hope I can be like them when I finally grow up.
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