When work, family and all aspects of your life collide and the world seems as though it is pushing just a little too hard, take a break. Jump for the exit and do what makes you happy, even if only for a minute. Listen to that song on the radio as loud as you can, talk to that special person, sit by the ocean or scream at the top of your lungs! Do what’s going to make you feel better! If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of those who count on you! Self-care is so important and yet so many people neglect it.
This past week I finally took my own advice and ran for the exit. My children were safe and secure with their father, my mother was his back up if something happened and I ran full speed ahead.
I work for PHCI during the week as well as teaching during the week and weekends. My volunteer life consists of helping with the school sports my children participating in, Aging Well in Waldo County and the PTO. Not to mention the time I volunteer as a Parent Advocate, helping other parents navigate the world of IEP’s and 504 plans that their children may have in school! All this paired with going back to school for a higher degree and having 3 beautiful, active children. I’m one busy momma, and I love it. Once you add in my extended family and friends there is no time! So, I decided to take time for myself and do things that make me happy if only once a month! This month I took a simple car ride and here is how it went…
As I left the office midday Monday and got into my car, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect over the next 48 hours; all I knew was there would be no distractions. Everything I was going to pay attention to would be right in the car with me. I headed towards downtown to collect a few things and then started on the road. With the music playing and the car cutting through the wind I put my phones away and concentrated on the road ahead. The trees were bending with the weight of the snow and ice, as I got further up north. I noticed the snow banks rising above the street signs.
The road became narrow, snow-covered with nowhere to turn. So, I followed the road that leads me further into seclusion. I have to say I was not lonely at all on this secluded ride to nowhere, it was perfect. Once I hit Jackman, Maine I decided I should turn around and take another route to somewhere else… Of course, it was turn around or go to Canada and my passport isn’t up to date; so, no Canada!
A few quick pictures and I was back on the road, letting the music take me away. Soon the road grew dark and gray as the fog rolled in with the night. I decided to pull over for a break when I found a good, safe spot. While I waited for the fog to roll threw, I laid in the back of my SUV completely content. I was happy, to be in such a secluded spot with everything I wanted right there at that moment.
After about an hour the fog had started to lift, and I climbed back into the front of my car and started to drive again. I drove until I was tired. With stops here and there I found inner peace taking time for myself. After a quick trip with the Sandman, I awoke refreshed and ready for the next leg of the trip. Where too next?
The miles started to fly behind me engulfing the stressors of everyday life. The wildlife started to come out of the woods showing me this was their space and that I am just a visitor. A large beautiful buck stepped out for me to admire him. Tall, strong, enormous in stature he stood there looking at me, almost looking through me with his wise eyes. As I sat there on the side of the road watching this majestic creature stare right through me, I couldn’t turn away, then he did… and like that, he was gone.
On the road again my journey took many more miles. Passing trees, rocks, ice formations that made me stop in awe. The morning passed on into the afternoon and I found myself on a beach in the middle of nowhere. This beach was filled with smooth rocks that went as far as the eye could see. I took my shoes off and pushed my feet into the rocks feeling the smooth rocks immerse my feet.
I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks, taste the salt in the air, the smell of the seaweed took over my taste buds. The way the waves looked as they crashed into the rocks beneath my feet left me feeling like the ocean was calling my name. Soon I was walking into the water to feel the cold bubbly waves crash over me.
The air was a crisp 32° on this February day, and I didn’t feel it at all. The world fell away as I danced to the sound of the waves crashing into my leg. I could feel the ocean ripping away the last of my doubts, worries, and insecurities. My body surrendered to its surrounding and I felt free.
It was time to head home… this was my trip, my time to rediscover me. This is who I am, not just a mother, employee, friend, daughter, volunteer… I am me. This trip helped me to see my worth, potential and goals clearer. I want happiness, I want a life, I want to feel my spirit fly freely more…I want me!