As I continue my quest to fifty, I must tell you; I have been so busy being a mom that I have put myself on hold for quite some time now. Vacations with my husband have been obsolete over the years because of funds and time. I have poured myself into raising this family, supporting my husband, and fighting for the rights of an autistic child (the last being a true fight). I feel like I have climbed mountains, swum with the sharks, and even gotten bitten a few times along the way. It is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. But actually if you look at it, I had my Karlie when I was 25, how much living had I really done? It has actually been the last 25 years that have impacted my life and made me who I am today. I am a strong independent woman who has not only raised this amazing young woman, but I have remained true to my marriage, supported my husband in every move (and his demanding job), raised two typical children who have not wanted for anything, and tried to be a good sister, daughter and friend along the way to all of those I love. Needless to say, I am exhausted.
In February, Ed and I celebrated out 25th wedding anniversary. We decided it was time to take a well deserved vacation. Choosing the spot was difficult, but we settled on a resort in Arizona. It was a fabulous week, but it took me so long just to let go. Let go my fear of flying across the country; let go of the fact my autistic daughter might need me; let go of the fact that it had been so long since I had been on vacation with just Ed I really didn’t know how to behave. I must let go and just live! I began to prepare. I began to run the stairs at work so on some off chance I might actually climb a mountain…”hill”… I bought the appropriate clothing. I set up all the contacts for Karlie in case she needed some support. And I kissed the dog….. Ed and I set off on our vacation… 25 years in the making. It was February so my journey to 50 was in full swing by then. When we got to AZ we jumped into our rented Mustang convertible (reminding us of the one we had before kids) and off we rode. Winding through the mountains and flying down the road leaving all our cares in the dust!
Our resort was nice, but it was not the place we stayed that made the vacation memorable. It was the food. Our dining experiences and long nights spent fireside were amazing. The views, the waiters, the wine and the exquisite food made the whole trip amazing! It was the wine tastings and star gazing, laughing and hunting for the perfect vortex. All with the man I have spent the last 25 years married to. I love this man.
On the last day, Ed wanted to take one last hike. As we started up the mountain (hummmm mountain? Hill?), we really figured we would go about half way and run back down to catch our flight. But as we continued up, I was determined to make it to the top. I was turning 50 this year…I decided that I must make the journey count. So we continued. Every step I took, every rock I climbed made me think of my journey. I was leaving the past and the hardships behind and I was pushing myself to a new me. Ed wasn’t pushing me. I was pushing me. I was beginning to see that this life could actually be mine and I was not about to let Ed talk me out of making it to the top. He was ready, but he was worried I was getting too tired. NO WAY! My journey had just begun….When we got to the top there was a small trail leading to another part of the mountain. It looked like it was not traveled much. I was curious. We took it and I was amazed at how much farther it took us…to the very top!