Distractions seem to vie for our attention every day. Attempts to meet expectations cause us to overshoot, undershoot, juggle and crash as we try to fit “it” all in to the same 24 hours. Be it working women, at home moms, or any combination of the two, we are all just trying to get it done. Before we realize it, it seems we often find ourselves caught on the escalator of trying to be “all things to everybody” without consciously realizing that somebody…usually you, me, us…is riding up and down going through the motions of life without truly taking in the beauty of our surroundings.
In essence, we perform. At that point, we often contemplate questions such as where am I and how the hell did I get here? We find ourselves having an extra glass of wine…daily. Or trying to remember when we took our last “nerve pill”. Better yet, entertaining the question of “What would my life look like if I kept driving right past home?” Oh…maybe that’s just a thought that jumped out of my head. Most of you probably have never thought anything so crazy.
Recently I did something like that. We’ll call it at mini time out (I highly recommend them). While I’m talking about this, let’s keep it real regarding the constant messages of beauty and sexuality that are being shoved down our throats in this media driven, appearance based society and we might as well just eat the damn entire bag of doughnuts because it’s just too much!
I mean if you even look up, all the messages tell you this is supposed to be done in stilettos, looking svelte, gorgeously made up and definitely displaying calm and collectiveness through the entire process. Do you remember the Enjoli commercial? I do like it was yesterday.
The lie is that no one gets the fallout from this. The truth is that most often we do. We do it in the form of unconscious self harm, such as half eaten breakfasts, or too many meals. Sometimes it looks like lack of sleep, too much coffee to get “over the hump” , medication, depression, obesity, over exercising or not enough. How about family absenteeism, screaming at the kids or forgetting the kids?
I raise my hand to most of these things at some point in my life…hell…my day if I am totally honest. The reality is that we all have to make our own choices and figure out how to keep swimming upstream while not getting caught in the undertow. We have to define for ourselves what that journey will look like and what we are willing or not willing to allow to cross over our lines because when it is all said and done, the only one who can answer for our lives is us.
I am a firm believer in vacationing alone, which have become my version of temporarily stealing away from the realities of everything in my daily life that woos me away from me. Reconnecting with myself is important but easily blown off as “maybe some other time. It something that too few of us take the opportunity to do.
We all have our reasons. Personally, if I’m truthful, when I do blow it off, it’s because my mental and emotional health is not properly prioritized and written off as a luxury. It is not a luxury. It is a mandatory requirement to keep this train going.
Recently, I had a big birthday, which I found myself struggling to face. It seemed that instead of looking forward to the next chapter, I was facing it with dread. My mind & body were not in agreement with the advancing years that kept creeping up on me and I wanted no part in it. Life had been throwing me crazy curve balls and I was tired of bending.
Trying to figure out how to celebrate this milestone took up more mental floss than I could give it. But instinctively, I knew getting away was mandatory. I scheduled the time a year in advance, but that was as far as I got. The week was quickly approaching, and there was no plan in place. Trying not to get nervous that my time was going to be forfeited to my bedroom hiding from my kids for a week, I shared my struggle with a good friend. It’s funny how when we open ourselves up to honestly state what we need, opportunity arises and obstacles move out of the way. It is a universal law stemming from the Bible all the way to the Secret movement. But I digress. Back to the big Milestone Birthday/Running Away trip.
A friend of mine took the reins and planned my trip less than two hours from my home. I told her that I wanted to do things that I don’t normally do. So what did this amazing celebration include? Drumroll please…. A lot of time alone for me to do as I please, pray and get cozy with myself! Seven full days of just me. If that’s not enough to scare you, every day was spent facing a fear, tackling a challenge – like who am I going to talk to today or where am I going today, solely because I want to? There was an amazing amount of self discovery involved, as well, along with some whale watching alone.
Imagine what we can learn about ourselves when we consciously tune out all the distraction. Learning to love ourselves, to appreciate these bodies we have been blessed with even when our waistlines are slightly larger or skin a bit looser. Taking time to be thankful for the workhorses they are and how good they have been to us. Many have survived, babies, accidents, illnesses and such. Yet they still perform for us day after day.
I highly recommend stealing away for a week, a day or even a few hours if needed, to recharge and remind ourselves that with age comes wisdom and with wisdom more beauty. If our minds and bodies still work, then use them to stay sharp and strong in who we are and what we like, not what we do. It is easy to forget. Happy birthday to me and all who take time to renew, in essence, rebirth a sense of gratitude for themselves.
We must be better lovers to ourselves so we won’t be duped when the pretty distractions of life come along with the promises of fulfillment and satisfaction. Only than can we continue to be anything to anyone because surely we can not give what we do not have.
Don’t be afraid. Breathe in a good dose of the beauty that is you, and rejoice. I did and it smells wonderful. How do you recharge and celebrate yourselves? I would love to hear from you.