12 10/23/2012 parenting Alone Time

On Being a Woman on Her Own.

I don’t leave my family often. That is to say, I don’t travel much, and so far, since my children have been born, I’ve been away via airplane exactly three times.

Thrice, in nine years. (Well, it’s actually four times, if you include the time I stayed in a hotel for two nights by myself, but that was about six blocks from my house in the city I live in. So. I’m hardly what you’d call a freaking globetrotter.) There are many reasons surrounding this that obviously have to do with children and lack of child care… blah, blah, blah… what it comes down to is I never go anywhere.
But this past weekend, I flew to Toronto for the BlissDom conference, and managed to come a couple of days beforehand so I could spend some time with my sister (who housed me) and to see each of my parents as well.
The conference itself was fun – very social in it’s atmosphere, with about 500 bloggers in the mix, sitting in on microsessions on various topics, and nibbling on food samples provided by Kraft Canada, Starbucks, and others. Chef At Home Michael Smith was milling about, giving food information about lentils, and prepared to sign his latest book. Chevrolet was one of the conference sponsors, and gave away lots of swag. I won an iTunes gift card in a draw – yay for me!
At the lunch break, Nancy and I found each other, left the Sheraton Hotel, and wandered over to The Bay’s food service counter, and noticed much ado… we each got a slice of pizza and had a seat about 12 feet away from where Jamie Oliver was signing copies of his latest cookbook for a long line of people. I made Nancy snap a pic:
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He’s not nearly as blond as I thought he was. But still adorable.
After lunch, the highlight speaker for me was Jian Ghomeshi, who’s first book was released in September, called 1982, which is a memoir about that year in his life, when he was a ninth grader, trying his best to be cool. (Everyone can relate, I’m sure.) I bought the book before arriving, and actually started reading it on the plane. I’d read a rather rude and crappy review of it in the National Post in the weeks prior, so I knew I just HAD to read it. I’m enjoying it so far, as it’s really summoned up a lot of high school memories for me, in the way of music and people and such. I walked up and sat in the first row, right in front of the microphone (which is turning into something I do now) and let me tell you – besides being smart and charming and driven and whatnot, that Jian? Is eight flavours of Cuteness. He gave a fairly warm and affable talk. He signed my book for me. (If you like David Bowie and Rush and anybody awesome like that at all, give it a read.)
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My friend Marci snapped this one.
There was also a cocktail party mingle-time with many of my fellow Urban Moms, and some of the SheBlogs media team as well. It was really great to meet these fine ladies and gents in person for a change. We had some drinks and ate some chips, and even went out to get a quick bite to eat with some of my cohorts.
Sidenote: During this outing, I may or may not have mock-kissed Sara for six or seven seconds in a bar, in an effort to shoo away some rabid Republican supporters who were trying to chat her up. (Romney? Really?! Please!!) It worked. They went bu-bye.
And such is the thing about being on my own, being ME again. I turn into the biggest ME that I am, since I’ve no children at my side, and my sense of freedom is short-lived. Heh.
I patted a bald men on the head. I told flight attendant that her haircut was fierce. I tell random people how much I love their shoes. Or their scents. I had dinner alone before a friend came to meet me, and started with six oysters and a glass of champagne… just because I could. I was not rushed. I smiled at people, and stared back at people who stared at me. (Well, they totally started it, right?) My eyes and ears were attuned to everything not family-related, and it was wonderful. I compliment people everywhere I go – much more often than in my usual life, only because it’s fun to do, and why not? People say plenty of nice things to me all the time.
Especially endearing are the shy ones, who made a point of coming over to tell me how much they enjoy reading my blog. That makes me want to cry. *sniff* It’s good to be in new places (even if they’re old places to me) and to spend time moving over the ground in the way I like to do it, even when the sidewalks are different than the ones at home. But they’re the same. But they’re different.
It was good to get away. I feel filled up again. I feel full of new stuff that’s just for ME. My conversations. My memories. Delicious, all.
I can’t stop smiling.
Do you travel on your own? You know what I mean? 
  • Tracey

    I remember… thank you so much, Melissa! You really floored me – thanks for taking the time. It was a pleasure to meet you!! Keep in touch, okay? :)

  • http://hellomelissa.net melissa

    Hey! I was one of those shy ones! I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation I know time is precious at these things and we’re all visiting with people we don’t see all the time.
    I don’t comment as much as I should, but I believe in the importance of taking the time to say something nice whenever possible. Saying it in person is just a great bonus.
    Glad to hear you had a great time. Sounds like you packed a lot of activity into those few days. :)

  • Tracey

    It is good to know that in many ways we never really change… it’s a relief, really. Fighting the sameness of the daily grind can be a bit of an internal battle, I find.
    And ME TOO, Jen! I really had a terrific time with you all. And you’re totally welcome for the foot massage – lots of standing on that long and busy day – and it was fairly absent-minded… I totally forgot about that until now! Hee!! Let’s have another party soon… ;)

  • Jen

    LOVED seeing you and everyone this weekend, Tracey. It is great to be reminded that we are still ourselves in the truest sense when away from the lil’uns.
    Oh, and I wish you were closer so I could pop over and get another foot massage…ahhh ;)

  • Tracey

    Oh, have an EXCELLENT time, Shawn! It really is such a good thing to do for oneself. Children and family life is gorgeous and delicious, but sometimes a lady just needs a break to recharge, and see some things with her eyes, and feel some things with her hands that have nothing to do with her responsibilities at home. It’s necessary to strike the balance in one’s whole “womanness” between what she has for herself, and what she gives to others. It makes her glow. xox

  • Shawn Synnott

    Such perfect timing! I’m heading out on my first trip away from my boys in a few weeks and I’m anxious and totally excited at the same time. This reinforced what I have to look forward to (plus I’ll be travellign with 7 of my gfriends)!! So happy you had a great time! xo

  • Tracey

    It’s kismet, my dear. We’re like magnets, you and me. ;)
    And don’t worry about Mr. Oliver – you can totally have him. I like my hands on the likes of Mr. Jack White these days, and THAT’S IT!! *swoons*

  • Nancy

    I still find it amazing that in a crowd of hundreds of people you and I ran right into each other! Love this stuff. But remember, Jamie is mine. Hands off chickie.

  • Tracey

    Yes, Sonya – so familiar, and in the best possible way. I felt totally connected, and love you just as I always did, but it was so nice to see your eyes, and hug your neck, and hold your lovely hands. (Great manicure, lady!) Group hug all around indeed… and Montreal awaits, so don’t dawdle!! xox

  • Sonya

    Totally amazing weekend! Although we are on each other’s email, facebook, twitter all the time for communication meeting you in person felt so familiar!! Your warmth shines through honey! What you experience is a reflection of your goodness. Group hugs all around! See YOU in Montreal. xx

  • Tracey

    Heh. The look on that dude’s faces was priceless… and his friends looked downright scared. That was SOME fun, lady. We will do it again. And I agree with you – I DO need to do more of this stuff!! February, maybe. ;)

  • Sara

    I look forward to our next makeout my democratic, short, lovely, friend. You deserve more and more of these weekends!

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