After a three year stint of working full-time, volunteering nearly full-time on a Mayoral campaign and tackling grad school - often all at the same time - I had just about one month of downtime before I started getting antsy and looking for the next adventure. I considered going back to school for a PhD, but the Mister threatened to divorce me if I did because he had had enough of my absence. So I started a business instead - two, in fact - the SheHive and a consulting practice.
We probably would have seen each other more had I gone the PhD route. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to go days without seeing each other right now.
Which is why, twice a year, I make it a point to shut down everything and everyone else and spend long stretches on the road, just me and the Mister. We’ve driven the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle to LA, meandered through Nova Scotia, Quebec and Montreal, made a beeline for Nashville by way of Savannah, traveled the backroads to Athens, Georgia, and, just this month, completed a 2,000 mile loop from Vegas to Antelope Canyon to Sedona to Nogales to San Diego to LA to Joshua Tree and back.
When I share our plans with people, they almost always balk at how much time the Mister and I spend in cars, driving, during these trips - but that time alone, disconnected from the rest of the world, is precisely the point. We talk, we bond, we reminisce about our past and we talk about our future. And then we stop someplace, see something amazing, do something extraordinary and then start it all over again with another 6 or 8 or 12 hour drive.
These road trips mean the world to me.
But none of it would be possible without the amazing support of the women that surround me - my friend and neighbor, Susie, who house/dog-sits every time we leave town. My second cousin, Shauna, who not only gifted us an amazing home to stay in, for free, in Arizona, but had a bucket of ice cold champagne waiting for us when we got there. My girlfriend, Lyn, who drove from Oakland to LA to spend time with us. The clients who agreed to put their work on hold while I was away. The KeyHolders who kept the SheHive running in my absence - Kim who served as my out-of-office contact and my proxy for a few classes, Jane who managed the SheHive’s incoming mail and phone calls, Laura who kept the social media going, Lisa who sent all the class reminders and Heather, Lori Jo, Corinne and the many others who hosted groups and classes while I was away. I even had a client, Erin, step in and facilitate a group for the SheHive when a KeyHolder got sick!
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I feel a twinge of guilt about the number of people I had to ask to step in on my behalf, but mostly I am simply grateful for this supportive, amazing community of women that don’t hesitate to step up when and where they can.
It is often said that behind every successful woman is a tribe of other women who have her back. I know this to be true and I am so very grateful for the women who have mine.
Who are the amazing women that have your back? Let them know you appreciate them by calling them out in the comments below.
With much love and gratitude,