I had a “time off” crisis this week. We had worked three weekends in a row and have been very busy for the last two months. We work together and often work from home so getting time off or even time alone can be difficult.
When I was single I spend quite a lot of time alone and really enjoyed it. I would read, cycle, walk, go for drives and camp alone. I also had more time for thinking and connecting with myself, I have had a journalling habit for some time now and find it very useful for keeping in touch with how I feel about what is happening around me and in me.
It might seem strange to some but I find that it is very easy to lose touch with what is really going on with myself. It’s not that I wander around completely out of touch with myself, I do try to live in the moment as much as I can, however life has a way of distracting me from connecting at a deep level with myself.
I do find it a struggle to maintain a healthy connection with my own feelings. It seems easy for me to let my habit of writing in my journal slip and then a few weeks or even months down the line I find myself badly in need of time alone in order to catch up with myself.
This time around I had trouble trying to find a way to spend a few days by myself, the weather was too cold to go camping (yeah- what a wimp, only hard frost, it’s not as though it’s snowing yet!), I was reluctant to go stay with friends because that would not be “alone” time. I did consider staying in a hotel but I could not bring myself to spend €100 just for a night away, even in a nice cosy hotel, I kept thinking about what else that money could buy – like food!
So we organised a heater in the little garden shed which is down in the lower fields and I camped out there for the day and wrote in my journal, shed a few tears, napped and caught up with myself. I also really enjoyed looking at our land, at our trees changing colour and the views downhill from a different perspective.
It turns out that I didn’t need as much time as I thought I would and I had the added benefit of cuddling up to himself that night – much better than a night by myself in a hotel, cosy or not.
I wonder how often people need this sort of “time off” and don’t get to take it? I am blessed to be able to look after myself this way, even more fortunate that I can recognise when I need to take time by myself and I have learnt to never ignore the signals – it’s never worth it!