Sometimes a Girl’s Gotta Get Away

Veronica hangs over a cliff at Machu Picchu!

Don’t get me wrong – I love being with David.

We’re pretty much together 24/7 and it’s seldom a problem with us.

We work hard on keeping our relationship fresh (to varying degrees, of course!) and continue to try new things together.

But sometimes a girl’s gotta get away.

The Spawn -
One of many stage shows – aren’t they the CUTEST?

When the chicks were in the nest, our family was very girl-centric.

Our daughters, The Piglet and Decibel, are very dynamic people and, if we weren’t careful, they would overshadow their more reserved younger brother, The Boy.

The men in our family were outnumbered and, many times, outmatched.

When the girls graduated from high school and struck out on their own, I found myself in a whole new world. Sports were — more often than not — blaring from the TV, scores and stats that I didn’t understand (or, frankly, had no interest in) were bandied about until I was blurry-eyed.

Coupled with The Boy being more comfortable discussing personal issues with David, my mommy role had diminished greatly.

I became the odd man out.

David helps The Boy get ready for prom -
Bonding over bow tie issues on prom night!

I’m so glad that David and The Boy had that bonding period; it did them both a world of good.

But I did feel lonely. I missed my estrogen-infused days, when we girls ruled the roost (that’s a little heavy-handed, but we were, as team, a force to be reckoned with!).

Once David and I sold the nest and hit the road, we became very focused on rekindling our relationship, our Nation of Two.

Until that point, raising The Spawn to be happy, healthy, productive adults became our main focus in life and had been – and always will be — our greatest achievement.

But we had half a lifetime stretching out before us and if we didn’t get off of our butts and get to working with each other, that second half could become an ugly eternity. So we got to working.

But sometimes a girl’s gotta get away.

The GypsyNesters

Now we are six years into our grand GypsyNesting experiment, and we are currently in The States traversing the now familiar family-and-friends route.

We’re making frequent trips to NYC to horn in on the girls, and spent a month near The Boy before he made his big move to Alaska. We’re spending time with our parents and siblings, and seeing a lot of our friends.

I’ve realized through these visits that I miss my girlfriends more than I had thought. Sure, we talk on the phone, and sure we banter on Facebook, but having my gals around me in person is not always so easy to do.

And forget about that big, nurturing group of ladies I used to have – now that our nests are all empty, many of us have relocated, or taken on jobs with more responsibly or — gasp — found a new group of friends.  How dare they not wait around for me!

Ann Voorhees BakerAnn Voorhees Baker

And then, in steps Ann Voorhees Baker who invites me to be her guest at Women At Woodstock.

When she first brought up the idea, I literally thought UGH. Is a women’s retreat for me?

It didn’t sound like my thing – at all. Then I looked into Women At Woodstock a bit further and became intrigued. I was first compelled by the locations (imagine that!), but was hooked when I saw the workshops.

This Ann V. Baker lady’s pretty wily and she knew how to hook me! I’m always looking to beef up my writing skills, so the writing workshops are really exciting to me, and the business stuff looks invaluable.

But, oddly enough (and I hate to admit this) it was the estrogen-infused events that made me accept the invite.

Obviously, I need some girl time, STAT.

Come join me and let’s get our girl on! I’ll be at the Woodstock, NY retreat on October 13th, 2014 and there are later ones in Palm Springs, CA and Charleston, SC.


Click here to see how my Women At Woodstock experience went!

YOUR TURN:  Have you ever been to a retreat? What can I expect? Am I overthinking this whole thing?

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35 thoughts on “Sometimes a Girl’s Gotta Get Away”

  1. I, too, have attended WAW on both coasts. What a fabulous experience! A wonderful group of women with no motivation other than learning, connecting and growing together. I have always felt that women have an innate ability to lift each other up and the WAW experience exemplified that. At times I was the one giving the boost, and many other times I was reaching out my hand and receiving much more in return. You’ll have a fabulous time – looking forward to meeting you then!!

  2. I’ve been to several writers workshops, which while they’re not specifically fort women do tend to attract mostly women. I’ve made lifelong friends who share my interests and spent time in Taos New Mexico, NYC, Dayton Ohio and San Miguel de Allende. Enjoy your time in Woodstock!

    1. Thanks Michele! I am always looking to improve my writing but had never considered going to “camp” for full immersion. I’m expecting to come out with the juices a-flowin’!

  3. Never been to a retreat, not sure how I would do. However… I am open to adventure, but I will read about yours first! Have fun and spread your sunshine like you always do.

  4. Great post. Hubs and I are just gearing up for the 24/7 travel adventure and as a very happy loner, it is going to be interesting. The good news is that we travel well and hopefully will figure it out as we go. I am going to add the Women At Woodstock conference to my list. It sounds fantastic. Thanks for the info and the inspiration.

  5. One of our concerns when we took off for our own great travel adventure in September 2012 was that we had never spent 24/7 together in any meaningful extended periods of time except for vacations and weekends. Luckily we’ve discovered that we really do like each other but I definitely understand the gotta “get your girl on”! I’ve never gone to a retreat either so I’ll be interested to hear your take on the experience.

    1. The 24/7 thing is definitely a concern when you’re just starting out – so glad it worked out for you too! I’ll be sure to report in about my gettin’ my girl on experience!

  6. My mother used to go on retreats with her church but I have not. I did however take off this weekend for some R&R with my BFF, sans hubby and kid. It was just what I needed!

  7. I’ll be interested to hear about your retreat. It’s not my cup of tea – in any sense – but at the same time I can imagine it to be a really great experience. That sounds totally contradictory, I know. Maybe I “need” a little retreat time! 😉

    1. Isn’t it funny how that works Patti? It’s nice when we’re comfy enough with ourselves to admit when we’re feeling contradictory thoughts. And I used to think I was crazy. 😉

  8. Great post and sounds like a great event! My husband and I have been together pretty much 24/7 since 1998. While he’s still my favorite traveling companion I love my girlfriend getaway time every now and then

  9. I was blessed to be part of the very first Women at Woodstock and it was grand! I met a new person who was a great roommate and a lot of other fabulous women. In my coaching, I’ve noticed how prevalent the dilemma of being “successful and lonely” is among all women, but especially older women. Fortunately, I am also observing how many of us are encouraging women to get together. I believe we are in the Universe all together for a reason. I also know that if we follow the ancient patriarchal suggestion that we distrust each other, we are ultimately betraying ourselves. Nurturing our girlfriendships ends up supporting ourselves and improves all our relationships.

  10. Veronica, I wish I could be there to meet you! But I have to do some gypsy nesting of my own and trek off to Orlando and San Diego around the same time with my globe-trotting husband. It’s a hard choice, since I was at BOTH previous “Women at Woodstock” weekends in the NY location. I went off on a lark, not knowing anyone, but figuring that this was the place to make new friends and new connections.

    It was, without a doubt, the best conference/retreat I’ve ever been to. There was none of that cattiness that often happens when women get together — this was truly a sisterhood of amazing, gifted, open women.

    I’ve made lifelong friends whom I keep in regular touch with, and so many of them are extraordinary women who are low key about their achievements (Ann Baker founded a media empire of parenting magazines in the Cleveland area, and is a popular writing and social media instructor at UCLA Extension; and Mary Eileen Williams is a leading Huffpost 50+ blogger and her own website “Feisty Side of Fifty” ranks among the top “Boomer Women” blogs — google that phrase and you’ll see for yourself. She’s currently pitching a TV project to a network focused on boomer living.) These are the kind of women who attend — movers and shakers who are always moving forward.

    The worst thing about Women at Woodstock is that you have to sleep! I was up most nights until 2 am, hanging with people and talking, and then I was up again at 7:30 so I could meet up with them for breakfast and a busy day. It’s like a giant sleepover, and you never want it to end.

    I’m so glad you’re sharing info about WAW with your audience. I can’t recommend the experience enough. You’ll have a fabulous time — say hi to everyone for me!

  11. Veronica,

    I know from personal experience that you are going to LOVE your Women at Woodstock experience. As a fellow blogger who focuses on boomer women, I can guarantee that you will come away feeling that your life has been enriched in meaningful and sometimes unexpected ways.

    I attended both the East & West Coast WAW conferences last year and have promised myself that Women at Woodstock will become an annual gift I give myself. After all, after 50, life becomes more precious and this is a life-enhancing experience, for sure. ENJOY!!!!

  12. I’m going to our friends’ camp this weekend for Girls Weekend. There are three of us that have been friends since high school (some 27 years now!) and we have been doing one or two girls weekends a year at one friend’s seasonal camper for the past 7 years now. we don’t do much – going to a winery Friday night with our picnic basket and listen to some local music act, then out for a bite to eat, back to camper to sit by the fire, and then cards and wine the rest of the weekend! I so look forward to it! I can shut off mom/wife/homemaker/self-employed person and be – ME! It is just the girls and we all feel rejuvenated afterwards.

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