It’s been a week since I came back to the frigid temps of Pittsburgh after an amazing girls’ weekend in Miami. Sigh. It’s made me realize two things. 1) I need more beach in my life, and 2) I need more girl time in my life.
I confess that I’m one of the 40% of Americans that doesn’t take all of their paid time off. Fortunately, my job lets me roll it over year-to-year, but I often wonder what am I saving it for? There’s something ingrained in my psyche about taking days off since I began my professional career. Actually, it probably even goes back to college. I never missed a class until around junior year when I realized that I could miss quite a few before there were any consequences. (I also realized that showing up to an 8 a.m. class in full makeup was completely unnecessary.)
I’ve always felt somehow guilty if I take a day off for “no reason.” If there isn’t some life event or severe illness or scheduled vacation, I feel badly. There is no explanation as to why I feel this way, except maybe wanting to always look like the consummate professional.
What if while I’m gone, the CEO of the company has a question that only I can answer? And if I don’t answer the question within 10 minutes of the email being sent, I’ll lose my job and the company will burn down and I’ll live in a van. And not even a cool van, but one down by the river like Chris Farley (RIP) always warned me about. And Pete will find a wife that isn’t a van dweller, but every now and then, when he drives by, he’ll come share some vodka from a plastic bottle for old times’ sake…
In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve actually had all those thoughts, and they make no sense whatsoever. Welcome to my brain. Now that Pete has assured me that he’ll still love me even if I lose my job, and he won’t let me become a van person, I’m beginning to let myself enjoy some days off “for no reason.” Although, if there’s ever a reason to take a vacation, it’s definitely when you start talking about living in a van.
Besides the sun, sand, and cocktail service on the beach, one of things I most enjoyed about this particular vacation was the girl time. It’s a different kind of vibe than you have with the opposite gender.
Interestingly enough, I went with three ladies I didn’t know that well. Two of them, I have known over the past few years, but we hadn’t had the opportunity to really spend quality time together. The fourth awesome lady was one of their college friends and an awesome addition to the group.
We talked about stupid stuff like the Kardashians and what makeup we liked. We also had some pretty weighty conversations, not only about what’s going on in our lives, but in our minds. A woman’s brain is a BUSY, CRAZY place to be. (See van example above.) I don’t mean crazy in a demeaning way. (Ok, maybe the van example was a bad one.) But when I stop to write down the to-do lists, schedules, and random thoughts – Should I start cutting back on caffeine? What should I buy Pete for his birthday? I really should ask the vet about that bump on Daisy’s ear next time.) – it’s amazing how much information we are bouncing around up there. And to be among other women who know the struggle and are feeling some of the same things about body image or relationships or career, it is completely cathartic.
I loved spending time with these women because even though we weren’t BFF’s, everyone was so raw and honest. There was no judgeyness (it’s a word). We got to know each other at a deeper level. In fact, I learned that Casey thought I was a raging biatch when she first met me. Ok, she didn’t say “raging,” just bitch (which I’ve heard a few times from people and is another post for another day), and still went on vacation with me! She may still think I’m a bitch, but it’s for perfectly valid reasons now.
We spent our days on the beautiful Miami Beach sands.
Ate two amazing dinners. One at Morimoto South Beach.
And then at Hakkasan, where I treated myself to their prix-fixe menu.
The Chilean sea bass was particularly wonderful, and I need more of it in my life.
We did as the Miamians do and stayed up WAY past our bedtime to dance the night away at Hyde Beach at the SLS Hotel.
And we spent our final day soaking in every droplet of sun we could and begrudgingly headed back north.
I encourage you to grab your friends and head off for a trip by yourselves (even if it’s at a bed and breakfast right outside of town). Pete has started doing this with his guy friends, and I plan to be more regular about doing so too. My husband notices a lift in my spirit when I’ve had time with my home girls. And even my boss said that I should start going to Miami every month because that’s how much positive energy I was exuding without even trying! (I just need to figure out how to get the company to finance it.)