On Thursday, I'm headed to Kentucky for the Kentucky Writers Conference. Saturday, I'll be at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest. Apparently R.L. Stine attended this event years ago, and while I'm not famous like that, I'll be certainly be among good company. Including Lauretta Hannon. I adore her.
I've been planning for this event for a while. Thinking and preparing. I even bought a few new clothing items because my boss informed me that I looked like a band of gypsies could live in my pants with me.
But when I thought about it over the weekend, the thing I'm most looking forward to is not the chance to talk to new people and potentially sell some books. It's not the fact that I get to be around other people who like to read and write. It's not even the fact that I get to have dinner with some really cool people that I'm dying to meet. All of those are really awesome, mind you, but the thing I'm most excited about?
Forgetting my real life for a few days.
No work. No demands from anyone. No pressure. No trying to figure anything out and no trying to make anything better. No cooking and no cleaning. No going to the stupid freaking gym (which I simultaneously hate and love SO BAD). None of this. NONE.
Meeting people who I have things in common with. Who think I'm interesting. Who actually want to meet me and talk to me. Leaving my towels on the floor and someone else picking them up (okay, I don't leave my towels on the floor. Whatever). Dinner that I don't have to prepare or clean up after. Long talks with close friends which aren't interrupted by someone needing something. I might actually get to sit down through an entire meal. I cannot remember the last time that happened, but I'm fairly sure it was sometime in 1997.
I get to be some version of Stephanie that I don't normally get to be.
Don't misunderstand. The version of me that I get to be isn't so bad. I love being a mom. Most of the time, I really love my job (Fridays and the day before Holidays notwithstanding). I love the stupid gym. I generally enjoy routine.
Sometimes, though, I think it's very healing to do something different. To have time to yourself. To not have to worry about everything and everybody for a few days and to just be...yourself. Even if you are struggling with who you are supposed to be.
I probably won't dance on any tables or anything, though.