My sister and I ran away from home for a couple of days. We left behind husbands, children, homes, jobs and everything else mundane and went down to the Amish area of Ohio, about 1 hour southwest of here. Other than a reservation at a bed and breakfast, we had no set plans. We had maps and brochures, and ideas of some specific places we wanted to go. We explored, making decisions as choices presented themselves. I can't tell you how many times we had to find a place to turn the car around because we saw an interesting place to stop as we drove past it. We saw GORGEOUS (but expensiive) hand made Amish quilts, along with the usual tourist tcotchkas (Yiddish for trinkets). We tasted our way through Amish cheese stores, chocolate stores and bakeries.
The best parts, however, were the company, and the freedom from routine. My sister and I shared a room growing up, and have usually gotten along. Since we both got married, had families of our own, and live about 45 minutes apert, we don't see each other as often as we 'd like. Several years ago we started having occasional 'sisters' days', where just the 2 of us got together to go on an adventure (like shopping, or a museum our families would not appreciate). This time we had 2 full (almost) days together. We both have husbands and 2 boys (mine now in their 20's, hers in their mid-teens). They don't enjoy wandering in and out of shops. We do. This past weekend, there was no one there telling us they were bored. No one else's needs to meet but our own.
This kind of getaway is very rejuvinating. No demands, except for those we placed on ourselves. No schedule to hem us in. When we got tired, we stopped. When we got hungry, we ate. Of course, like most people with chronic illness, I had to make sure I took my meds, which required getting food and water. It was a change from our routines, which woke up our senses. It got us out of our respective ruts. Those routines and ruts are still there, but perhaps we can go back to the routines with fresh eyes, and fill in the ruts before we fall back into them. That means paying attention to what we are doing, and not automatically doing the same old actions. Just because something has 'always been done that way' doesn't mean that is the best way to do it. Especially with chronic illness, the old way of doing things might not fit your current reality.
Future posts this week will include thoughts and ideas on doing a getaway with chronic illness, and some observations of the Amish way of life including some pictures from our trip.