I am a person who loves to escape my life.
In my younger days, I was the girl who used to get in the car, pop in a cd, fill up the tank and drive.
The songs were sometimes sad. Making me cry. Tears would pour down my face, blinding me as I drove.
Or the songs would rock my world. The volume blasting and I would sing my heart out. Woot! Woot! I felt alive and awesome!
This release of emotion, both sad and crazy were pure therapy for me. And life always felt better once I put the car back in park.
For a long, long time now music has been absent from my life. And, so have those spontaneous road trips.
I really noticed this a few months ago, when I decided to put on some old music while cleaning the house…and I sang…loud…and danced…hard.
It felt great!
I felt joy and release and happiness within minutes of this explosion within myself, and I realized how much I missed doing that.
Why did or had I stopped?
I don’t know.
Isn’t that weird?
Time has just gone by and I forgot to listen, sing and dance.
So, I am starting to play more music again…and I am playing it loud!!
My son is loving it 😊 He is looking at me probably thinking I am going a bit nuts, but he’s totally cool with it.
And last weekend I spontaneously planned a weekend getaway to the mountains with my husband and son.
The feeling of approaching another weekend and working through Friday night not drinking just seemed so…. unwelcomed.
So, onto Expedia I went and the road trip was booked within minutes.
With one excited family on my hands, we were off. As we got closer and closer to the mountains, I began to feel more and more free.
But…here is what I also discovered about myself during this trip.
I can’t run away from drinking.
Because, as we were driving into the mountains all I could see was billboard after billboard advertising alcohol, and how drinking and the mountains were one in the same. I had never noticed that before. Basically, what I was being told was that my experience was going to be less than enjoyable alcohol free.
I could feel my anxiety about my expectation of this trip shifting slightly. I was beginning to feel a little nervous, but kept it to myself.
And as we unpacked our luggage, I was acutely aware that no wine or beer was brought out and poured…our typical ritual of unwinding after a journey.
My husband and I looked at each other and felt lost for a bit. So, we decided to head out to eat.
Going to a steak house and ordering Coke instead of wine still seems so off to me. My husband had a beer and I could smell it from where I sat. I felt sad for a bit. He saw that. But I know that this is my problem, not his.
And as I looked around the restaurant, all I could see was alcohol at almost every table.
It is the first question the waitress asks you as she seats you…”what would you like to drink?” I almost feel freakish asking for pop…or water. At least with water it looks like I am trying to be healthy…but honestly, I need something with some flavour. It’s almost like a treat for not getting wine. Water just doesn’t cut it right now.
And then once we were back in the hotel room watching hockey, I swear every commercial was a beer commercial!!!
Ahhhhh!!!!!!! Is it just me????
It’s like when you are wanting to get engaged and all you see are engagement rings on the hands of every girl. Or when you are trying to get pregnant, all of a sudden all you see are pregnant women.
I guess the same is true about alcohol.
When I pointed it out to my husband, he said he never even noticed it before. But once we both started to pay attention it was absolutely crazy how much alcohol is linked to almost everything that is advertised as fun. Making you feel less than if you even think about doing anything without drinking your way through it.
So, we talked it out.
I almost gave in…again.
But day 50 was the next day, and the BIG question was…did I want to go back to day 1?
So, I sat with the feeling a while and then I had to move.
So out for a hike we went and let me tell you, my 43 year old body is still feeling it.
But, what a way better feeling it is to know that I worked my body to goodness, instead of drowning it with badness.
And as we drove home, I felt peaceful and proud of myself.
My old self would have totally given in to the moment and come up with any excuse that would stick as to why we needed to drink in order for this road trip to be any fun.
But my new self looked around, saw the love of my family, and chose to stay present.
Walking through the front door of our home I felt more energized than before we left. I had breathed the fresh air of the mountains into my soul. I worked on slowing down and being in the moment.
And the lesson I learned?
Road trips will always be a good thing for me, and now my family. Escaping your life is sometimes a good thing.
A necessary thing.
It enables you to reflect and reconnect with yourself, allowing you to shed a few layers and lighten the load. So, if you are feeling a bit worn down, overwhelmed or just plain bored… go fill up that tank of gas and get driving.
Your soul will thank you.