This week my family is visiting the Outer Banks, North Carolina, something they have done for years. Here is one of many group pictures we take. Every year since 2008 I can't go! My sister and her family, my kids, my cousin, the grand-dogs ... they all abandon me this week, and I always feel a little stranded at home.
What is funny is that although I haven't been able to make this trip for a few years, the week didn't have an actual name until a few days ago. A friend and I were making plans to have coffee together. We hadn't seen much each other for a few months - she had been going through some difficult family losses. I shared my dilemma with her - the one week out of 52 that I get down, because it is beach week and I am not at the beach. And she said ... self pity. "Self Pity!". Yes, I said. That's it!! I could have kissed her, but we were talking by email, and even in person that might have been construed as strange. She said I could blog about it as long as I didn't wallow in it!
I love my friends!
This year, however, I am taking a different approach! Well ... actually, I want to take a different approach! I am going to focus on the free time I have, enjoy the fun things I can do, I am going to walk and walk and walk, and hope that time passes by quickly. I am also not going to watch all the ga-zillions of people outside who are walking their dogs. Last year I seriously considered walking up to a few strangers and paying them money to hand over their leashes so I could walk their dogs!! Would you hand your dog over to a stranger who has the look of someone seeking a fix (a "dog fix"), and who is handing out money so they can walk your dog?? And I am not going to flood my family with daily emails while they are on vacation - written as if the email was created by my grand dog, Meathead - who hates the beach and would prefer to stay home with his grandma that week. Each email I sent as Meathead to his papa got more and more desperate about missing his Grandmother. No! Not this year!! I am going to do it differently. I am going to walk and walk and walk. I am going to cope with this week in an adult fashion, stoically, with dignity and in the company of Johnny ... Johnny Walker, my brand of scotch.
PS - In defense of my family, I am always invited to go to the beach. I don't go because mom can't travel that far and doesn't desire to go anymore. Leaving her home is out of the question. And my husband (who hates the beach) doesn't drive anymore so leaving him stranded at home doesn't feel right either, and Max, our cat, needs his fluids every other day for kidney failure and that is a two person job without question (sometimes it feels like a 6 person job, but we couldn't fit that many people into our bathroom). So maybe "abandon" is a bit over-dramatic on my part.
Maybe the one who is doing the "leaving" is me.