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Motherhood: Mother takes off on spiritual quest "T" minus 10 days

Packing essentials
E. Prada

Women are fantastic at multitasking. One might believe this to be a blessing, yet another might argue it is a burden. In the course of a day we can go from the supermarket, to work, to the pharmacy, and the gym, all without keeping a list. How often can we say the opposite sex can remember all the stops, purchases required, and dinner ideas for the week ahead? So it should come as no surprise that my upcoming trip, and prolonged absence from home has me considering making all sorts of extended lists for the family I leave here. Is it codependency? Or is is just being a mother?

Today I attempted to start packing. Costco has some great buys on hard shell Samsonites, but I was frozen in my tracks as I tried to think of what should one really take along to start a new chapter in one's life? Knowing books are my life, the most recent purchased book comes with me, and my old favorites are imperative. Fortunately, electronic technology makes it much easier to pack my favorite authors, my favorite music, and my writing. What else? Make-up, perfume, lipstick, and I'm still stuck. At this point no one knows what the future holds. Can a woman my age expect reasonable employment abroad? Will I fund my spiritual quest making wedding cakes? Yet the thrill and excitement of finally daring to start something so refreshing makes the packing seem so inconsequential.

The news has now been shared with most of our children. We have six kids. I have two, my husband has four. There are 3 adult children still living at home, and a grandchild. My husband is still somewhere between "This will be good for our relationship and our future." and "I don't know what the heck to think, this might be the end." I love my family, but I know I have to love myself first, and I don't remember how to do that too well anymore.

The eldest son in our family, and my first born was interested in knowing what my husband thought of all this. The ambiguity in my husband's response was enough for everyone at the table to realize the subject had to end there. My daughter seems to be in denial, as she gropes with a reality she was not ready for, and my stepchildren don't seem too disturbed either way. So back to packing.

Motherhood is so all consuming, that when we do find the courage to step away and be a "different" type of mother a sense of guilt and confusion arise that would make Dr. Joyce Brothers run for a Xanax. Mothers are an incredible type of woman. We will cut our left arm off to save our child, yet we will also sever all ties with a child if it is in their best interest. Maybe that is where I am now.

I'm somewhat worried about Costa Rica. I spent an extended period there back in high school. Went my first year of college there, and met and married my ex husband. But that was 33 years ago. It was a different world.

This is my favorite time of year in San Bernardino. Costa Rica is in peak rainy season! However, Costa Rica does offer some advantages for me. It is affordable on my limited budget, I will be able to obtain socialized medical care, the natural setting, flora, and fauna will help me with my quest, and most importantly, Wi-fi everywhere!

It is "T" minus 10 days now. Come with me and live my experiences, write to me, ask questions, follow along. Subscribe to my column and articles. We will all learn from this.

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