This is a 10-minute streamline writing, more about that here.
I have always taken time to be with myself. I find getting away to be therapeutic, kind of a walkabout if you will. Where I get in my car when weather is right and kids are cared for. I don’t have a destination and drive with adventure of moving to where feels right to go. Keeps me in the moment when I return to “home life”, a more predictable way of living with days that are scheduled and mornings that feel the same.
When I was in my early 20’s and pre-kid days I loved traveling; waking up in the back of the van with tinted windows in a town I couldn’t remember the name of. To walk around, get a cup of tea, sit on a bench and meet someone new.
For years I was unable to get away in the way I do now because my kids were young and I worked full time. Yet, I still woke early to do a yoga and meditation practice and light the candle of hope for the day ahead. At night I unwound in a similar way. I lived in California at the time and there was a mineral hot springs retreat where I treated myself once a month. I went to women circles, traded with friends for massages, and have always ached for this amount of self-care. Without, I feel off center and spread thin. At the time, my self-care felt more important then sleep!
Now my kids are 12 and 17 and with their dad half the time, leaving me with suddenly time for myself.
Having kids and working a job day in and day out is tiresome and the need to step away a good one. I try not to make this harder than it can be. First, I make sure the kids have a place to be and I write them off my mental list. Then I pack car and and head in the direction my heart calls. For me that’s the ocean. Where I sleep depends on when I decide to stop the car!
If it’s the heat of summer I will camp outside. In winter, I sleep in a bed and breakfast and go less often. This year I am thinking about flying somewhere warm when it’s -10 degrees below here in Vermont.
I am on my own time which is a privilege and hard to come by. The stillness serves me for weeks when I am back home in the kitchen cooking, helping with homework, and staying on top of my career. My time away means I get to make my own decisions; a process of coming back to myself and my needs and the pace I move at when I am who I can be.
When I leave home I find myself wanting quiet. I don’t turn on the radio for I just need to de-clutter my head, get my priorities straight. I pull over a lot in that first hour and make lists in my notebook of what I want to do upon return. Then my mind is clear and I move in the direction that I feel pulled to go. Is it north or south? Will I go to the beach or for a hike? Do I bring my wet-suit or my chair? Simple questions for me alone to answer.
I think a lot about things, I daydream, I people watch, I remember what it feels like to be Tara. Fully in my body and with presence of mind. This is what I bring home to my husband, children, and clients. A refreshed, internally happy, and centered mom, wife, Tara.
Going away doesn’t have to cost much. I typically go away for 2-3 nights and spend $60-120 depending on time of year and where I lodge. I spend zilch on food for I pack my own and cook what I need each morning for the day. The only thing I splurge on is an iced Americano which I sit and sip and write what you see here now!
Written by me, Tara, in 10 minutes, on September 26, 2017
May all bellies be happy!