I am writing this post from a glass walled conference room named the “Hollywood Room” named for its view of the Hollywood sign on the hills.  Ahhh…Los Angeles.  Can you feel the glamour?

I am here for a rare work trip.  Pre-Max I was a road warrior–on the road almost weekly–jetting back and forth all over the country in the name of social-justice.  I have traded in that life for the sake of mommyhood and  I am tied to the home office, reluctant to travel, happy to mind the budget and supervise staff and leave the exciting campaign work for others.  I am starting to loosen up on that restriction in bits and pieces–for the right meeting, for the right project.  Leaving Max at home still leaves me tied up in knots even though I know he is held lovingly in the arms of our community–that I am leaving him with more sets of substitute parents than most kids will know in a lifetime.  But now that I am here, this little business trip, the conference room, the morning breakfast with colleagues, the laptop computer that I whip in and out of my backpack like a pro–it all feels a bit like heady–it is a window onto my old life when “Very Important Work” was front and center in my life and I was brilliant and bold and exciting and adrenaline flowed through my veins from 9-5.  Now don’t get me wrong–adrenaline still flows through my veins but the surge comes 5-9–my key hours with Max, my truly very important work.  No matter how exciting the work project, coming home to Max each night is entering a special kind of heaven.

But still I have to admit that I am loving being here.  From the minute I walked into the Echo Park home of my old colleague and dear friend Eddie to a spread of cheese, olives, apples and veggies from the farmers market and good red wine I have been in a different kind of heaven.  Being away from Max, I am more comfortable stretching my brain and wrapping it around the work problems, even as I pine for him. 

And then, after this meeting is over, I will be off to a different kind of glamour.  I am headed out to the desert with five of my dear childless friends for a grown-up weekend.  We have rented a cabin on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park.  We will hike all day and then come home to cook crazy gourmet meals while we drink bottles of red wine and sit in a jacuzzi under the stars.  It feels decadent to think of this and I have to admit my Catholic school girl guilt is bubbling up as I think of it.  How can I call myself a mother?

But what occurs to me as I sit here, as my colleagues stream in, as I need to sign off now to shift gears is that I am more than a mother.  Even though it is my proudest title, it is only one and the other pieces of me need to stretch from time to time.  So let us raise a glass of wine to all of us and our full, juicy selves–the women, the brilliant strategists, the ones who need to stretch their arms up to the moonlight in the desert.

6 Responses to “Of glamour and fullness…”

  1. Jen Ballantyne Says:

    Oh Meg, I love hearing this side of you, I am thrilled for you to taste this again, of course you need to flex your other muscles from time to time, we are all every woman inside and I am so thrilled for you that you are reaching a place in your life where you can embrace the other parts to yourself, now that your beautiful boy is a different age and stage in his life, as he grows up little by little due to the sacrifices and choices you made to nurture him, you can now embrace those other pieces of Meg, you have done the hard yards, made the hard choices, the right choices I believe, so now there will be a special kind of enjoyment when you taste this part of you again, it would be pretty heady stuff, I imagine. I am loving it for you, take care my sweet, dear, very important friend, Enjoy every minute, yoursoulsisterontheothersideoftheworld. xxx

  2. Karen Says:

    Cheers. Welcome to paradise. We should all pinch ourselves from time to time.

  3. Karen Says:

    Lifting my glass to you!

  4. Jena Strong Says:

    Karen took it right out of my mouth: Cheers, Meg! A hot tub under desert stars with a bunch of girlfriends sounds like heaven to me.

    You also really capture something here, that feeling of being out in the world, your own self, working and engaged.

    And I love the 5-9 hours having replaced the 9-5 hours.

    It’s all Very Important Work and you describe it so beautifully. Hope you’re having a fantastic time at J-Tree! xo Jena

  5. KT Says:

    Love this post! Hope you had a great time w/ both the work and play.

    Just left my 9-5 work last week and although enjoying the “calm before the storm” so to speak, somewhat fearful of missing all the grown-up stuff while I’m out on leave. However, as the little man storms through the door at the end of his own Very Important Work(day) I know that I’ll find balance (at least at times!) again. Thinking of you!!!

  6. Maggie, dammit Says:

    Ohhhh, how I love this post.

    Believe me, every single moment spent recharging your soul will make you a better mother. Believe me.