Try relaxing on the #210 or #10 freeway going west into Los Angeles.    Not a bad drive IF you can figure out the best time of day or night to avoid traffic which backs up at the slightest disturbance or construction which seems to be never ending.   Our monthly trips into Los Angeles to visit family have become very stressful for me.    There is the 1.5 hr. drive, almost always in traffic.    If I drive my spouse gets nervous, if my spouse drives I absorb his anxiety, so either way it is not very enjoyable.    These trips are usually to see our son and grandchildren.    So, we arrive at their home and IF we are lucky my son can spare an hour in between appointments and jobs to have lunch with us.  To avoid more traffic we choose a restaurant close to home.    Bear in mind it has to be economical as we are now on a budget which doesn’t allow for taking six people to lunch at a higher end restaurant.    So, this time it is “IHOP”.    You guessed it, the poor people’s restaurant and of course like poor people everywhere the service is the same grade as going to the Department of Motor Vehicles and standing in line an hour, only to be told that the attendant is going to lunch.     So, we ordered and then  waited approximately 45 minutes for our food.   The children are hungry and getting noisier by the minute.   My spouse and I are both hungry and grumpy .     They bring the food, however, fail to  bring the condiments so finally my husband gets up to find the waitress. Needless to say the aforementioned is great for the digestion.     So we take a Tums  and leave the restaurant, drive the family back to their home, drop them off in front, say our goodbyes and get back on the #210 freeway for hopefully no more than an hour and one half to get home.      Are we relaxed?   Have we have a good time?     Time to Go AWAY!    
A few days ago I wrote a blog about going away emotionally and psychologically when you just can’t withstand whatever is going on around you any longer.    A fugue state.  I’m not going away to a “fugue state” however, an inner decision to not subject myself any longer to the travails of traffic and the stressful life of a young family has definitely been made.    At 75 years there comes a time when making the effort to be with family, see family regularly, attend functions of children to let them know we care about their lives and achievements is just no longer doable if I am to maintain my own peace of mind and sanity.     Going Away at this age is about moving to the outer circle of their lives. My way of starting to say goodbye. Still time to do some of the things on my “bucket list”.     See Paris, spend time with my friend in Mexico and attain some fluency in spanish, dress up and go to an opera, etc. etc.     Many things are on my list and I won’t manage to do them all, however, paying more attention to what I want and need to do rather than worry about making sure we are involved with the family will allow me time to do some of the more important ones.       I am a person.    Of late I feel like I’m caught in some prescribed  role of “mother, grandmother, wife” and have been robotized to fit that role.    
So, wish me well friends as  I AM GOING AWAY.    


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