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Taking Time for Myself (10-minute writing)

This is a 10-minute streamline writing, more about them here.

I have always taken time to be with myself. I find getting away to be therapeutic, kind of my own walkabouts if you will. Where I just go, get in my car when the weather is right and the kids are cared for. I often don’t have a destination but will drive with the adventure of moving to wherever it feels right to go. Keeps me in the moment when I return to a more predictable way of living, where days are scheduled in days ahead and every morning feels the same.

When I was in my early 20’s and pre-kid days I loved traveling; waking up in the back of the van with tinted windows in a town I couldn’t remember the name of. To walk around and get a cup of tea and sit on a bench and meet someone new. 

For many years it was tough to get away in the way that I do now because my kids were young and I was a single mom working 65+ hour weeks. Yet, I still woke early to do my yoga/meditation practice and light the candle of hope for the day ahead. At night I would unwind in a similar way. I lived in California at the time and there was a mineral springs retreat called Kiva and I’d treat myself once a month. I went to women’s circles. I traded with friends for full body massages. I have always needed this amount of self-care. Without it I feel off my center and spread too thin. It felt more necessary than sleep I remember. 

Now my kids are 10 and 15 and live with their dads 50% of the time. I suppose this is one of the trade-offs for juggling so many balls and not knowing how my kids are and what they are up to. I get to have some time for myself. 

Having kids and working a job day in and day out can be tiresome and the need to step away great. Don’t make it out to be harder than it is. First make sure you have a good place for the kids to be and you can write them off your checklist. Then pack the car, bring some cash, and go in the direction that your heart calls you. For me that’s the ocean, always. Where I sleep depends on when I decide to stop the car.

If it’s the heat of summer I reserve a camping spot ahead of time to secure a spot. In winter, I sleep in a hotel and go less often. This year I am thinking about flying somewhere warm when it’s 10 degrees below outside here in Vermont. Not sure where yet…

I am always alone when I go for this is where the healing and centering comes in. I am on my own time which is a privilege and hard to come by. The stillness serves me for weeks to come when I am back home in the kitchen cooking, helping with homework, and staying on top of my career. I make my own decision about everything and it is a process of coming back to myself and my needs and the pace I move at when I am who I can be. 

When I leave home I find myself wanting quiet. I don’t turn on the car radio for I just need to de-clutter my head, get my priorities straight. I pull over a lot in that first hour and make lists in my notebook of what I need to do upon return. Then my mind is clear and I move in the direction that I feel pulled to go. Is it north or south? Will I go to the beach first or for a hike? Do I bring my wet-suit or just my chair? These kind of simple questions that are for me alone to answer.

I think a lot about things, I daydream, I people watch, I remember what it feels like to be Tara. Fully in my body and with presence of mind. This is what I bring home to my husband and children and clients. A refreshed, internally happy, and centered me, mom, wife, Tara. 

Going away doesn’t have to cost much money. I typically go away for 2-3 nights and spend $60-120 depending on the time of year and where I lodge. I spend zilch on food for I pack my own and cook what I need each morning for the days adventures. The only thing I splurge on is an iced decaf Americano which I sit and sip and write what you see here now 💞

Written by me, Tara, in 10 minutes, on September 26, 2017

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