For some reason, over the past four years or so, I managed to convince myself that there were too many responsibilities and too little finances for me to take a holiday… not a real one. Perhaps that belief led me to keep filling up my responsibility plate, making the belief true. (Ever noticed how that can happen?)
Happily, I eventually came to my senses about three months ago, started planning, and went on a holiday for a glorious eight days last month.
Have you been longing for a vacation? Here are some rules of thumb that I’ve learned can be helpful for planning a getaway that rejuvenates:
• Vision what you want to feel, experience, do… then wait for a bit to see what shows up. I wanted to slow down, be creatively inspired and have some nature connection. A Puppet Power Conference, a visit with an old friend and a day of canoeing in the mountains showed up!
• Acknowledge the blocks (e.g. money) but stay open to ways to be creative about them. I forgot that I had ample points to cover my flights! When I requested it, I got a bursary for the conference! Friends of friends offered me a place to stay! It ended up being a very inexpensive holiday.
• Once you have a sense of what you want, start telling people. Serendipity knows no bounds. My visit to my friend Carolyn in Revelstoke, BC came about because she saw that I was going to be in Calgary. Never would have occurred to me that I might also see my friend in another province… but it worked out.
• Plan for it at least a month or two ahead. Spontaneity has its rewards but in this case the anticipation was almost as rejuvenating as living it. (I so enjoyed reading up on puppets, meeting puppet people online — especially Ms. Shelley King and Puppeteria! — and imagining canoeing in BC…
• Taking a holiday from the internet is easier said than done. Though I did manage to steer clear of most emails, it was hard not to want to share pictures of my time along the way — and then, once online, not check out the rest of the news. Perhaps I struck a relatively good balance. Maybe.
Bottom line, I have returned home with a renewed commitment to creating more holidays for myself — be they an afternoon, a week or longer. Canoe trips and Haliburton School of the Arts, here I come! And I will also be taking simple pauses throughout my day, like I did here one lovely evening. Hammocks are truly wonderful inventions.
What about you? How are you at taking time for yourself? What helps you to do so?