I’m starting the new year off with a bang by crossing something off my life list! I’ve always wanted to take a little trip alone, completely alone, and I am. Right at this moment and for the next few days. I’ve only been on my own for about 15 hours and one thing I’ve already realized is that this trip needs to be longer. So many things to do and to not do that I’m wishing I had a few more days. But I’m going to soak up and enjoy every moment of these few days that are just for me.
Do you think this is selfish? I worried at first, but I’m realizing this is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve also been overly concerned about what others might think (a ridiculous habit of mine that I’m finally getting over), but if anyone has a problem with it than they need to try it first and then we can talk.
I realize not everyone has the opportunity for something like this…and I really haven’t for the past 45 years. But I’m in a place right now where it works for me…my girls are older, my job is flexible, my husband’s job is reasonably flexible, I have a bit of extra money, and no one is in crisis mode right now. Somehow it all came together for me, it was my time. I promise if it is important to you than your time will come, too. Be patient, plan, and then when the time comes recognize it, grasp it, and be grateful for it. I did, and I am.
Now, a few tips for creating a getaway of your own:
1. Realize that you deserve it. So often we feel unworthy of good things in our life for one reason or another…especially as wives and mothers. But caring for ourselves often helps us recognize how worthy and deserving we are of all the good things that life has to offer. Remember that, everyday, and make caring for yourself a priority and a way of life. Along the way you will discover that caring for yourself makes you a better caregiver for others.
2. Don’t overplan. Although this has been in my mind for a long time, I didn’t actually make definitive plans until Friday morning, and I left Sunday afternoon. If I had thought about it too long I would have talked myself out of the whole thing. If your life isn’t very flexible than you might require more planning, but keep it as minimal as possible.
3. Don’t overpack. Bring only the basics items so you don’t have a lot of extra stuff to focus on. You want to use your mind for other things. I noticed when I unpacked that basic for me meant 7 books and no extra jeans…maybe you don’t want to go quite that basic.
3. The purpose of a getaway alone is to reconnect with yourself spiritually. Consider this a time to remember who you are as an individual. You might be at a place where you aren’t sure who you are anymore because your own life is dictated by the lives of so many others. Use this time to find out and remember who you are on your own. Some of my plans to reconnect are long walks in the snow, some yoga, a stack of books, my scriptures, a journal, and prayer…and lots of silence and space to think deeply.
4. Reconnect physically too. Eat your favorite foods, sleep when you feel sleepy and wake up when you’re not tired anymore. Pamper yourself with a long bath or new products or a different hairstyle. Brush your hair for as long as you want, lavish on lotion, paint your nails, whiten your teeth. I brought a few new products to try, and I’m going to deep condition my hair and give myself a mani-pedi.
5. Have fun. Plan a few places to visit so that your getaway doesn’t get too heavy. Some favorite places I’m visiting are a bookstore, an antiques store, and a restaurant that serves authentic Terahumara food…so good!
Most importantly though, do whatever you need to! I knew a couple who would fly to another state to get away from their growing business and catch up on sleep. That is all they would do is sleep and wake up occasionally to order room service. Maybe you are dying to become a photographer and you want to spend a few days learning about your camera and basic photo editing, then do that. Maybe you have a stack of books you are dying to read, or a poem you want to finish, or days of skiing or hiking you long for. Do that instead.
Whatever you do and whenever you get to do it, relish every moment of being alone and celebrating the amazing individual that you are.