“What are you… doing for you?”
The words from Sandra, my therapist, resonated in my mind as I continued to explore the things which I enjoyed doing during my down time. I’ve never been very good at taking time off. Once during a ‘negotiation’ with some bosses, they pointed out the fact that I never use my vacation time, and so I lose it, which, of course, is totally my own fault.
I also would psych myself out from taking time off because I felt like I’d be letting work down because I wasn’t going to be around, or that I’d put some burden on someone else to cover me. Also, I would work like a fiend to work ahead on ‘things’ so that when I left for a trip, everything would be done so that my bosses wouldn’t have to worry about anything while I was out. I lived to work, and not the other way around.
Learning to take care of myself meant to get past the insecurity and the idea I’d be letting someone down if I took time off. I needed to grow the self-confidence to stay, “I need a break…” I needed to find the strength to fight back against a lifetime of programming to shelve myself, putting everyone and everything else before me… to say “I need a Getaway…”
So, as COVID set in, I started to take breaks. I worked like mad through the week to get to the weekend. When the weekend set in – and when it made sense – I’d take the Monday following a weekend OFF so that I might max out my downtime. And, to recharge, I continued to look for new things to do – places where I could do things which brought me joy – and peace.
Once upon a time, I used to love the outdoors. Camping. Glamping. Being outside, cooking food over a fire, enjoying the beauty of the night sky and seeing the wonder of nature. Places far enough away and secluded enough so that I could find some peace, yet close enough that I didn’t have to drive for hours and hours to get to where I wanted to.
With locations near big cities across the country, it was at a GETAWAY HOUSE where I found solace in solitude.
Comfort in quiet.
The wonder of a great campfire… and the soothing nature of the TRUE white noise of life… as it rained/stormed on the overnight of my last night in the woods.
It was glorious… it fueled my soul. As I continued to recover the self-confidence I lost when I made some career moves, while recovering from a traumatic brain injury and two brain surgeries, and at the same time while continuing to put any insecurity I’d been working through from my childhood, youth, or past… my time in those woods gave me something once again I had suppressed…
… the idea that I could do something for me, and it didn’t matter what it meant to anyone else.
I was doing what I was doing, around a campfire or hiking for miles up and down a mountain to see a waterfall, for me. And in doing so, I continued to rediscover who I am, what gives me joy, and a sense of peace with the man I am continuing to become.
So, what are you doing for you? To take care of you? Because it brings you joy? Don’t worry about everyone else, you don’t have to put everyone else first… if you need a place to go to think about it, go to where I found some clarity.
Find a Getaway House and get back… to you.
Next: The present can be found in the past, and the past can remind you of what is important… now.
Photos: Me. Used with my own permission.