Tomorrow I go away – by myself – for two days. In thinking about it, the last time I did this, it was almost two years ago. And I wasn’t alone. Art and play and wandering with a very good friend were the agenda items. But even that brief time – that time away from home – while not alone, was exactly what I needed. No stress. No timeline. No nothing but exhaling. It’s funny to think about it all. How much my life has changed. Until this time – right now – I have not had both the time and the money to go away alone. When I had the time, I was unemployed and spending time fretting about what I was going to do. No exhaling there – just stress. And then I had the money but no time. Work kept me too busy. Shifting schedules made it difficult to figure out when I could go. Then, one shift creating an opening. And I seized it. So tomorrow, after a lunch with my MIL, I am going away. To the coast – and not coming back until Tuesday sometime. I will have my camera with me. I will have my iPad loaded with three new books and countless other things I have been meaning to watch or do. And I will take my sketch book too. I plan to walk on the beach – meditate – take in the energy of the sea – and just be. No time schedule. Nothing really planned. I just wanted to wander. I want to get lost. And I want to be free.
We find lots of amazing excuses in the world to keep ourselves from doing just this. As a wife and a mom, I can look around my kitchen right now and see the 10 things I should do instead, while I have the time. I should do all of the laundry. I should sort thru the kids’ clothes. I have the project to recover the chairs in the dining room. I have lots to do.
We all need to put ourselves and our needs on our to-do list. Fuck the laundry. There is enough clean clothes for tomorrow. Fuck wiping down the cabinets full of finger prints. Whether you do it today or tomorrow – it will need to be done again. Screw putting the dishes away. One day in the dishwasher won’t hurt anything or anyone. And while I love the kids, I could really REALLY use a time out from them.
I have a very good friend who I love as a sister. I watch what her life has become and I worry about her. She has lost herself. Lost it all behind the kids, their activities, the house work, her family, her husband, and the other projects she feels have to be done. She used to play soccer. She used to do some amazing things for animals. She used to be a 3-dimensional person. But she is lost – and not in a good way.
Get lost. Find free again. Exhale. Be. Enjoy.
And don’t make excuses why you can’t.