I am the first to admit I live a pretty dreamy life. I’ve been married to my best friend and soul mate for over 30 years. I have 3 amazing daughters who love me, allow me to be part of their lives, and continually amaze me with their strength and beauty. I love my work, travel frequently, have a lovely home, garden, a strong family, and incredible friendships.
That’s the pretty part.
The real part – that I’m pretty sure we all encounter in spite of our circumstances – are that sometimes relationships are hard work, people disappoint you, parents or children endure struggles, friends lose jobs, and suddenly, I realize – hey, I’m exhausted. Emotionally, physically, relationally. And even though I know the tools for taking care of myself through yoga, good food, rest, vacations – it’s not magic and I can still hit a wall.
It’s at this point that I initially think, “Really?” and fight the feelings of being drained again. If I can’t make this work with everything I think I do to keep it all in balance – then what can be done? I recently read back through my past blog posts and thought, “Wow, those are really good ideas!” Hmmm….
I recently did a weeklong trip that ended with a couple days off for the weekend at my brother’s home. I felt fatigued the entire time, unable to get a good night’s sleep. Drained. Capped by a couple of circumstantial things, including losing a valued employee while gone.
Arriving on the final flight to Phoenix, I wanted nothing more than to get home to my own space and bed –but the trip had been extended a day, and I grudgingly boarded a third flight alone, late at night, dragging my feet all the way. It’s the same gig: flight, rental car, hotel, meeting, hotel, rental car, flight.
And then, on the flight there, I realized – maybe this is a gift. Twenty-four hours of alone time, aside from a couple hours for a meeting. How can I use this for some concentrated restoration time?
Without a real plan, but realizing a day to restore was mine to claim, I let my husband know I would be going silent for the day (other than a few necessary work communications) and aside from answering pertinent emails, I detached and focused in on my soul.
There was music – the particular Pandora station I find most restorative. Naps. Tears. Writing. A jog (first time in months). Super food – for me, brown rice, vegetables, soy and white wine. And silence. No texting or phone calls. Just me, attending to myself as though I were both patient and doctor.
Extravagant? Perhaps. I am certainly behind at work, and may have missed a few things that day that could have been done. But how extravagant is it when it’s restorative? I finally boarded my plane, almost reluctantly – read an entire Yoga Journal issue, munched on some nuts and drank a Cosmo. And feeling rested.
I felt ready to land with perhaps one final nap first. But here we go. Life doesn’t stop often – but next time I get twenty-four beautiful hours alone, you know exactly what I’ll be doing.