I turned 30 in June and to celebrate this big birthday I went on my first ever girls trip with three of my closest friends. We spent three full days experiencing just a small portion of what Napa and San Francisco had to offer. That time was so wonderful. For the first time maybe ever I felt really rejuvenated and peaceful.
It is so easy to lose yourself when you become a mother. You forget who you are. What makes you really laugh. What you enjoy doing. What you used to talk about before nap schedules and parenting struggles.
It is even easier to lose yourself when life has included trauma. I had forgotten so much of who I really am in the process of motherhood, grief, marriage and divorce. A huge amount of my identity has been wrapped up in being Olivia’s mommy and her never-ending advocate, even after her death. And in single parenting and making sure my boys feel as secure and stable as possible after the divorce.
This trip was beautiful, not only because of where we were or who I was with, but because for the first time in years I really remembered what it’s like to just be Katie. I laughed. I had fun. I really rested. And then when I came home to my boys I was a more whole and complete person. Ready to tackle single parenting with a newfound love and vigor.
This might have been my first girls trip but it certainly won’t be my last.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Olivia Caldwell, who passed away from brain cancer in October 2013 at 20 months old. We have given $155,000 to pediatric cancer research in just three years. You can learn more and donate by visiting www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.