This morning I had a conversation with a friend who was having to decide between a professional event and helping a relative post-surgery. She knew I’d understand because I’m leaving on Saturday and I’ll leave behind three kids who all have school schedules and mental health issues. I’ll leave them in the care of a responsible adult. They will be fine, but it is entirely possible that me being gone will trigger anxiety and panic episodes. And then they’ll have to deal with that. I may come home to emotional clean up. The responsible adult who is coming to watch my kids had to arrange for eldercare for her mother-in-law while she would be gone. None of these things had to land on top of each other. There were lots of other weeks available. But my experience is that my kids are most likely to melt down when I have somewhere I’m supposed to be.
Life is messy. All the things interfere with all the other things. I wish they wouldn’t, but if I put “non essential” things on hold until there is a clear space for them, then I’d never get to them at all. And some of those non essential things are actually pretty critical. It is true that even if it doesn’t rain, you can draw water from the well. Yet if the rain is gone long enough, the aquifer empties and the well goes dry.
So, barring death or dire circumstances, I am going on a trip. On the far side of it we will all have had experiences that are new and maybe we’ll all have grown. Even if there are emotions to untangle when I return, taking the trip is the right choice this time.