I was gifted the day to myself yesterday by my husband (while he stayed home with the kids and their illnesses) Craving some fresh air and an adventure I went to the mountains and skied for the first time this season. I was alone on the slopes all day for the first time in eight years. As I drove up in elevation, so did my anxiety. Would I be lonely or afraid?
I was afraid at times, but only because I put myself in a few precarious situations on sketchy terrain riddled with creeks and boulders that I never knew were under there (don't worry Mom, I was in yelling distance from the trail.) Now I know what "early season conditions" means: pay close attention to caution signs because there's not enough snow yet to cover that which you didn't expect to be there. I was good to go as soon as I took off my skis and hiked back up to the trail.
However, I was definitely not lonely, thanks so social media, I was messaging with my favorite ski buddies from the lift. When I eventually turned off my phone and got used to being solo, I appreciated the solitude. I took the next picture just to remind myself of that feeling of being alone in the middle of great wilderness. I was the only person around for most of my runs yesterday and it was such a thrill. Especially since it's been nearly ten years since I ventured out without my kids or found myself far enough away from civilization to remember how much I like that feeling.
Although being a Mom of young children can be fraught with isolation, you are never alone. In the midst of keeping other beings alive, especially when they start out so helpless, you might slowly forget who you are. I never thought this would happen to me, but I think it's the nature of giving parenting your all. I thought about all y'all moms (and Dads and caretakers) out there who are feeling a bit trapped at home. I wondered what you would do if you had an entire day to yourself to explore that which you adore? What if you could take the day off alone just for you? Tell me what you would do.
I am so grateful to my husband for allowing me to remember myself a little bit more in order to appreciate returning home. Now I know one thing to add to my homework; something that was buried deep under the snow, but early season ski conditions exposed it: I feel like me when I am in solitude.