I have never done this before.
5 children and 13 years of marriage and I can count on less than one hand how many times I have “retreated” for the sake of rest. Sure there have been weekends that we didn’t have the kids, but we never went away anywhere. Sure I have had weekends alone at home, but they were always filled with frantic cleaning, organizing, and/or project completion before my family returned. I think I left for the weekend once for a church retreat and once to spend the weekend with my best friend. Never have I done this before.
Currently, I am away on a writing weekend. The sole purpose was to get away from our family space, make some headway on a couple projects I’ve wanted to pursue for several years, and to rest. Three nights away. Two solid days of work. Silence. No chores. No one needing me. No one to tend but myself. And let me tell you: IT IS AMAZING.
This is a huge step for me.
Self care has never been my strong suit. It is easy to forget about myself…..put my needs on the back burner. For a long time it was because financially we couldn’t afford it. The children always came first – and still do! But I see now how much of myself I’ve lost over the years. I need to remind myself that:
1. It isn’t selfish to take time to regroup.
2. It isn’t selfish to need space and quiet to remember who I am.
3. It isn’t selfish to pamper myself in some way – whether it’s a fancy coffee, a movie, a new
outfit, getting my nails done, dying my hair – whatever it is that makes me feel a little bit
pampered and fresh.
4. It isn’t selfish to take care of myself in this way. It is NEEDED.
I need sleep.
I need to feel fresh and new.
I need to take care.
And if I don’t think I need it, I’m pretty sure that my family needs this of me. When I feel rested, refreshed, and worth the effort, I treat my family better.
Pursuing a purpose that seemingly has little to do with my everyday life (wife/mom) seemed selfish. I mean, I barely have time to do the daily essentials like laundry, feeding my family, and educating my children, let alone pursue a hobby.
But writing is more than a hobby for me.
I have known for quite a while that my purpose is to write. I am a writer. It is who I am. Yes, I am a wife. Yes, I am a mom. Yes, I am a teacher, friend, mentor, and child of God. But I am a writer as well. I may not be a good one – yet, but writing soothes my soul. It is my preferred form of expression. Writing is the thing I dream about, the thing I long to spend my days doing, the thing that calms my nerves. Writing is the gift God has given me. I know this to the core of my being. For a long time I put it on hold because of…well…LIFE. And that is okay. But things have shifted in our life to allow me to take up pen and paper again and pursue the longings of my heart.
Within that, I am finding peace and a depth of joy that I didn’t realize would come.
Stopping to breathe and rest has been an extraordinary gift.
What would make you feel pampered (big or small)?
What is it you feel called to do?