I ventured up to San Francisco yesterday, an hour and a half up the coast away from my babies in the middle of the day. It’s been a struggle to make sure I have enough bottles on hand for Evvie so that I can actually be away from her for more than a couple of hours. I work from home and nurse on demand and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted, to be living that in and of itself, isn’t something I could have, nor would have dared to dream for.
The walls of this house and the confines of the water-licked town that we live in have been caving in on me. The routines we set forth are arduous and heavily scheduled, I forget to eat lunch often because it simply doesn’t take up a pink box within my calendar peppered with alerts and constant repetition. The stacks of “do now” are collecting dust and getting stale on my desk next to a cup of tea and an unearthed set of keys I’d been looking for in a harried, hectic state.
I have a couple of really busy, crazy weeks coming up that involve travel and work both with and without the family. It was time to bust my way out of this unhealthy cycle of doing Just Enough to get by and not really doing anything great in the meantime. I needed some fresh air intensely and desperately to give me and this creative, cyclical mind of mine a reboot. Booking a hair appointment as far away as I could seemed like the only answer as I try to navigate my way through the muck and the fray, the stagnating dips in my life that come and go but don’t ever escape without leaving a mark of guilt for time wasted during my babies’ most important moments, their everyday life.
I drove with the windows down and the music loud and sang my heart out for over an hour before getting to the city. I didn’t think about much, I belted out the complicit rust that had caked itself to the gears of my psyche through my lungs in the form of off key aria and arpeggio. It was glorious and ridiculous, but nothing compares to the sense of freedom a car with four doors and a set of wheels will provide.
The foggy atmosphere and steep, windy streets of San Francisco were once home to me during a time of my life when I could have really used a guiding light. I was scraping my way through art courses at a fashion design school, equally disappointed and surprised that the hobby I was looking to turn into a career had taken on the form of hefty and rigorous expectations saddled with a student loan debt. It wasn’t fun or interesting any more, it was a job and clearly not a job I wanted to have on my t0-d0 list for my life, let alone the next day. I remembered these things as I drove and looked for a parking spot, this place that had been so pivotal then and even now as a mere tourist. I desperately needed the fresh air and life that this beautiful city breathed into my mind and repertoire.
As challenging as it can be to break the patterns of a comfortable routine, I didn’t realize how desperately I needed it. I have a creative mind that begs for new inspiration, something that my children and family provide me with endlessly, perhaps not every facet though. Breaking out of the normal everyday to do something for myself wasn’t an easy decision but it was just what I need to come back home to care for them and myself even better. I walked by dreamy walkups, shopped in quiet and quaint bookstores and boutiques, and ate an amazing dinner by myself at a vietnamese restaurant.
I’m still figuring out, aside from being with my children, what fuels my mind and my heart on a very personal level.
What fuels you?
There is something about sitting down to meal alone while out of the house that is invigorating to the soul and mind. Focusing only on the delicious food on your plate and thoughts in your head that seem to get clouded with never ending to do lists. No matter how much we love our family and work so hard to create a happy routine, it always feels wonderful to break free of it just for a short while. Only to come home and realize how much you’ve missed them 🙂
Even though my children are long gone, and I have just celebrated my 60th birthday, this post has reminded me of how important it is to take some time for oneself, alone. Make it a habit, and don’t feel guilty! When Justin has retired, as my husband has, and you are spending almost every minute together, time alone will be every bit as precious as it is right now. So thank you for the reminder! Now I need to make this a regular habit of my own.
Getting absolutely lost in a story, whether it be telling one, writing one, reading one, watching one, etc.
Thhe other thing that very much fuels me is inspiring others through kindness, compassion, peace, positivity and love 🙂
A little quiet time, some time for intentional creativity (I just scrounged up some pennies for a calligraphy class! It’s long been an interest, but I never made it a priority), reading, church… alone time. It’s much needed. I’m still working on finding that deep-soul yearning.