I’m getting prepared to leave for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s always a week long trip for us to my mother-in-law’s house and with the kids it is a strange combination of relaxing and utterly stressful.

This year, my husband and I have gotten a real treat. My mother-in-law had promised us a weekend getaway some time this fall since my husband and I have both been so stressed with work. Unfortunately, her work was out of control and she was never able to come to take care of the kids. To make up for it, we’re going to drive to her house tomorrow, drop the kids with her, and then go on to a hotel for a two night two day mini-vacation just the two of us.

I. Can. Not. Wait.

We found a place about 40 minutes from their house with hiking trails, a spa, an indoor pool, and a whirlpool bath in the room. It’s primarily a golf resort (we don’t play) and it’s the off season so we’ll be getting the room cheaply. I have reasonably high hopes that this will turn out well.

One bump in the road was that because it’s the off season their onsite restaurant is closed until 11:30 am each day. That means no breakfast. When I called and asked what people do about meals the lovely woman told me that we could drive into town (18 miles away) because there are lots of restaurants there… like Applebee’s, Outback, IHOP, KFC, and pizza places. I very politely thanked her and hung up the phone feeling slightly panicked.

Then, after a minute, I remembered a couple of things:

  1. I could prepare and pack breakfasts and lunches ahead of time and pack them in a cooler and put them in a fridge in the room.
  2. I could check the menu at the on-site restaurant online since they would be open for lunch and dinner.

I immediately found the menu online and realized that while it’s not great, it will do. There are plenty of salads on the menu and I can always order a turkey burger with a side salad instead of the fries and just throw aside the bun. Then, I put a reminder in my phone to make oat bran muffins today to pack.

I’ve just finished making and packing up in single serving bags of chocolate oat bran muffins for our breakfasts. I’ve packed tea, apples and pears, and in the cooler we’ll have plain non-fat Greek yogurts. Suddenly, the prospect of breakfast in our room seems down right romantic and wonderful!

For the lunches I’m packing salami and cheese, hard boiled eggs, crudites, a rotisserie chicken, and these awesome low carb 100% flax seed crackers I’ve found and adore.

I’m reminded of an old maxim from Overeaters Anonymous: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

I’ll admit that some days I just hate the idea of having to figure out what I’m going to eat all day long and then make it ahead of time and then take it with me. It can be a hassle and I think to myself that I wish I was just like all the “normal” people who can grab anything when they get hungry and not worry about it. I especially don’t like the mornings when I have to pack lunches for my kids and my husband and myself and also pack up my breakfast.

But this morning my husband told me not to pack a lunch for him and when I asked why he said because his day was so jam packed with meetings that he wouldn’t have time to each lunch. For many reasons (some healthy and sane with others not so healthy and sane) I did’t like that at all. I told him that I would pack two protein bars and an apple in his briefcase and he could eat them in the cab from one meeting to the next. He usually protests having to carry food with him, but he relented and I could tell it gave him some relief and he appreciated my insistence.

I do that because I love him and I want for his needs to be met. It will make his days easier and, therefore, it will make him happier and less stressed. It occurred to me that if I love myself I would be willing to do the same thing to meet my own needs.

Yes, sometimes the work is a drag, but for today it feels awfully good to be taking care of myself and being prepared.