I’ve been a lot of widows in my life: a golf widow, a hockey widow, work-travel widow; never a real widow. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. Like this week for example …

He departed for the International Old-timer’s Hockey Tournament in Munich, Germany, a mere 6,300 kilometres and six time zones away, and will be gone for six days. This boy’s weekend was pitched to me some time ago as a fun, international hockey tournament for his group of friends that are adult recreational hockey players. “Great idea,” I thought. “Go; you’ll have fun.”

Of course no one goes to Germany for a weekend so the “weekend” turned into six days, which I should have predicted because his golf “weekend” in the spring is also a six-day event. Some people will say it’s just a coincidence that this tournament coincides with Oktoberfest. Those some people must think I’m stupid. First of all, he left with no hockey equipment, claiming he was just a sub, a call-up in case he was needed due to injury or some other Oktoberfest-induced incapacitation.

And he casually slips me the itinerary as he slips out the door to the airport …

There are exactly two mentions of this hockey tournament in the two-page itinerary – on Saturday and Sunday. There are at least nine references to “free time in Bad Tolz”, “free night on your own”, “free morning on your own”, “dinner and party”, “Munich dinner and beer tasting”, “party at Oktoberfest tent” and finally, in case he’s still at a loss with what to do with himself in Europe, a “free day on your own”. With this kind of itinerary, the risk of Oktoberfest-induced incapacitation is less of a risk and more of a inevitability. I sincerely hope he’s not the only substitute (I fear he might be a little unreliable in that category … with this kind of itinerary).

There used to be a time that I didn’t like to go away for weekends on my own because it was too much work. If that sounds like a paradox then you must be a man. I then decided it was time to take care of “me” and I would plan weekends away but not before I arranged any necessary carpools for all my kids’ sports and activities, left a refrigerator full of meals and out clean clothes away in their closets. So naturally, I spent the first twenty-four hours of my weekend away … sleeping.

Soon after having kids, my husband and I agreed to two trips away without each other the year, and no carry-overs. That was until I realized that most of his weekends away were six days long. In the early days, it took a lot of energy and planning just to walk out the front door (but always worth it). As the kids grew older I got bolder! I now take at least three or four weekends away and still leave a few days on the table! There’s my annual Soul Sisters Weekend with my sister, my sisters-in-law and my female first cousins. There’s my now-annual reunion with my college friends. There’s my annual writers conference (where with writing part is often kind of like the hockey part in this trip of Peter’s). Rarely do my weekends away involve anything golf or hockey-related. But yes, sleeping is still very much a big part of my weekends away!

There’s room for improvement here so am open to suggestions (… and invitations!).

Where to next …?

(photo tophdgallery.com)
(photo tophdgallery.com)

2 Responses to Once a widow …

  • Ugh, 100% behind you on how much work it is to take a weekend away for yourself – not to mention the crushing guilt I have, between leaving the kids behind and leaving my husband to take care of everything alone. Why is it that men don’t seem to have these issues?

    Is your annual writer’s conference the Erma Bombeck one? I have been eyeing it and would love to go. Do you find it’s worth it?

    • In my next life, I’m coming back as a man!
      I first went to EBWW in 2012 (held only 1x every 2 years) and it was a transformative experience for me. Very engaging and supportive learning environment. You will laugh all weekend long. Sells out in one day though so watch for the registration date! Hope to see you there!

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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