Every Sunday morning I share a moment from my week and something it taught me or illustrated about motherhood, family life, or simply being a human. I invite you to set aside a moment out of your weekend for rest and reflection, pour yourself a comforting beverage, and join me for Sunday Morning Tea. -Meagan
I’m writing this post from my hotel room in Las Vegas. This is my third year my husband and I have headed to Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show, but unlike the previous two years this year we’re focusing more on fun than work.
I never really thought I’d like Vegas. I’m not into huge, flashy, over-the-top hotels, and my idea of high-stakes gambling is hitting the “play all lines” on the 1-cent slot machines.
But I’ve grown to love this adult playland. There’s something so thrilling about the idea that I can get up in the morning and go do almost anything I could want to do: eat at a five-star restaurant, win money, lose money, go see a show, all within an easy walk from the front door.
Juxtaposed against my usual, much more quiet life, all this excess and possibility is exhilarating, if temporarily. Would I want to live like this all the time? No. But for the moment, for the weekend, there’s something so thrilling in just getting lost in all the freedom and the buzz of energy from the people around me.
I was reminded this morning of an experience I had a few years ago. I attended a conference in New York City when Clara was a toddler, the first time I’d been away from her for more than a few hours. My life was hectic that year. I was swapping childcare with my brother and sister-in-law, so I had extra kids in the house a couple of days a week, plus Owen and William were home half the day.
My home life hundreds of miles away was noisy and messy and full of interruptions. But here I was, that day, striding down a sunny street in Manhattan with the world at my feet, experiencing an intoxicating feeling of power and possibility. I could do anything. I could be anyone.
I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirrored window, looking stylish and almost-NYC in my professional clothes, and thought to myself, “What if this was my life?”
And two seconds later, responded to myself, “Duh. This is my life.” Maybe not every day, maybe not week to week, but for that moment, that day, that person I saw reflected back was…me.
It’s so easy to view the world as all-or-nothing, to think that we must either be and live THIS way or THAT way. That we’re small-town or suburban or city people. That we’re stay-at-home moms or working moms, that we love crowds or hate them, that we’re quiet or the life of the party, that we are introverts or extroverts, that we’re professionals or cookie-bakers.
I prefer to think, however, that there is a time and place for so many ways of being in these long lives we live.
I saw an alternate reality for myself that day in Manhattan, but that girl doesn’t have to be my everyday existence to be part of me.
I don’t have to be all the people I’ve ever wanted to be right now. I can have a little of that ambitious city girl in me, even as I schlep my five kids to the Dairy Queen in our decidedly small town. Maybe one day, when I’m not as focused on my mom life, I’ll have another kind of life entirely.
And the Vegas me – the one who stayed up for twenty-four hours straight on the first day I got here – is part of me, too.
A part who is loving every minute of the craziness…even if I will be glad to get back to normal life on Monday morning