Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Yup…I’m  back on an airplane heading to Florida.

I am now on a first name basis with the Jetblue flight crew and they have me seriously considering applying for a job.

This time I am not flying to a CF event, there is no book signing and Marc is not sitting next to me.

I’m flying solo, baby.

This year has been such a transitional year.

Eric is thankfully doing very well with his battle against CF, dare I say, we are defeating the evil mucus monster with amazing medical advancements.  He is now a sophomore at Marist College and his social life is in full swing…which will be another blog at a later date titled : "Eric, REALLY???"

Seriously though, it is such a heart’s relief that our discussions are not about doing his treatments but about can he wake up before 1pm, and does he really need to go out 6 nights in a row? 

Before our eyes, Marc and I have become basically empty nesters.  At 42, we have completed the task of getting married, building a home, raising our children, and establishing our financial future.  Now we look at each from across an empty dinner table asking ourselves,
“Now what?” 

Time continues to fly faster than I appreciate and family and household responsibilities have become less. We have found ourselves with more time to choose to do what we want, to go where we want, and to live life how we want. I still believe in living with purpose and meaning but have no idea where to go from here.

My whole life I have prided myself on being a good mom and a good wife.  I was and I am.  My individual desires I happily placed on the back burner until I felt my responsibilities to my family were fulfilled. Over the past 20 years I have tried to spread my proverbial wings by attempting to have a job or go back to school.  However, each time I began to soar, CF and all its ugly interruptions of doctors, hospital stays, and daily CF needs forced me to stay grounded.  Being a mom always came first. No regret.

When Jena “moved up” and Eric started college my world changed. In essence, they both fired me independently. So here I stand with my "box of mom" in one hand, pink slip in the other mumbling,
"What do I do now?"

Before I bring out the tiny violins, don't get me wrong.  I still fight like mad against CF with fundraising events, national public advocacy, speaking engagements and book signings.  I got a "paying" job at the same college Eric is attending so I can be a safety net for him should he need his Mommy.  I still support Marc, his career, and making sure we find time to be together, just the two of us.

I raised my family. Check.

Our future is financially sound. Check.

 I’ve supported my husband with his career for 20 years. Check.

But what about me, Margarete? The one without all the labels of mom, wife, employee, and in-law attached. Um… un-check.

I feel like I’m missing something inside.
I miss that connection with independent me.
I miss “girl time” and I certainly miss Jena.

I have been craving that lately.  Maybe it’s an estrogen deficiency in me or maybe I am just tired of hearing about motors, hunting, gambling and golf. 

Without Jena…in so many ways I am lost.

Enter my girlfriends.

You know the ones I am talking about, the ones that will have wine FOR dinner with you on a Tuesday night.  The ones who will tell you when you are in a desperate need of a pedicure, and will call you at a moment’s notice, anytime of day or night, because they know you need that understanding ear or that kick in the ass.

There is no substitution for true girlfriends or really good wine.

So here I sit on Jetblue flight 5352 heading to Orlando.  Me and some fabulous girlfriends of mine are meeting there for a long weekend of “Martinis and Bikinis,” chocolate and sweet potato fries, and lots and lots of giggles.

Make-up is completely optional but complete honesty is not.

I need this.
I need them.

This IS purpose and meaning.

Sometimes you have to get away from the responsibilities of family and labels of who you are to the world and just be who you are to yourself….a fierce and fabulous female who wants a little escape of personal freedom and a lot soul-filling estrogen.

I love my girls.

And I thank God they put up with me.

I hope you take a little time to lose yourself with your girlfriends because you know reality will always be waiting for you when you get home.

Go crazy…peel off your label and see how it feels.