I’ve been away.
Consciously, deliberately, as a circuit breaker.
Firstly from social media. I found there were things being shared that I just couldn’t handle. I know myself, I know my limits, and it just wasn’t worth checking, so I didn’t.
I have been away.
Consciously, deliberately, for celebration.
Mr has just had a very significant birthday. And my naturally introvert husband chose to spend time with me, then our little family, and then the extended family. We have had a week of celebration. A week of connection, a week of creating memories and remembering where we have come from.
I have been away, and it has been absolutely wonderful.
And now I feel strong enough, and refreshed enough to come back.
So for those of you that were looking for my posts, I’m sorry but I just had to take a break.
What about you, where do you need to take a break?
And the even more important question “why do you need to take a break?”
Sometimes getting away can be the very best thing, sometimes it is just the thing to give you the strength to come back.
On the silent retreat, I got some time and space to write poetry, which I haven’t done in a while and also time to rework some works in progress.
Here is a piece from that weekend:
I have just got back from my silent retreat. From Friday night until Sunday morning we were silent.
No talking, nothing. I spent the weekend with a group of people who did not talk.
And it was a wonderful break.
But although it was a break from talking, it was also a break from other things too.
It was a break from social media. A break from email. A break from making polite conversation. A break from cooking, cleaning and being responsible for others.
But it is not normal life.
It is July, we are over halfway through the year, and I figure it is as good a time as any to see how my word for the year is travelling. What have I learned? How has it developed? Where do I still need to grow?
So in no particular order here are some thoughts on ‘capacity‘ my word for the year:
Recently I was treated to a massage. It was wonderful and relaxing, and also very hard!
My mind kept wandering. I was in a peaceful, relaxing environment and I kept thinking about things that needed to be done, conversations that need to happen, and plans for the future (albeit just dinner). I struggled to be fully present and fully unwind. At one stage the treatment therapist had to gently shake my arm to try to get me to relax.
I feel like I have been in the habit of multitasking for so long now, that I can no longer focus on just one thing. I load the washing while changing the beds and cleaning the bathroom. I read on my iPad, while I watch TV. I wash dishes, while I prepare and serve the girls dinner, and I talk to my mum on the phone. As I type this I have five other tabs open on my web browser.
I know multitasking is sometimes useful, and as a mother, often a necessity. But I have a feeling if I can’t actually turn off the multitasking part of my brain I might possibly have a problem here (but while you think on that let me just close those five other tabs!)
I’ve been thinking a fair bit recently about journeys and destinations.
I love going on a trip somewhere. I prepare for weeks in advance. Then I hop on a plane or in a car, I settle in and enjoy the journey, (or sometimes endure it) and eventually I reach my destination in a new country or new town. I am wide-eyed with excitement taking it all in, and then when I reach where I will sleep that night, that’s when I breathe a sigh and I rest and I relax.
I am struck by a paradox at the moment of feeling like I have reached a destination and yet simultaneously I am on a journey.
I have a friend who works with women at risk. Her job is important and valuable, she is literally at the front line with women in dangerous situations.
I have a friend who is a teacher, she is educating the next generation, sowing into them and helping them grow into the men and women of tomorrow.
I have a friend who is a pastor, and as a part of her job she is involved in visiting those who are unwell and in need, in our community.
And then there is me, I am a just a mother.
See what I did there. I just made what I do less important, than all my friends.