When things get stressful and life gets crazy, sometimes what we really need to do is give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves. It’s amazing how many times I hear people (myself included) start a sentence with “I wish I could just…” and finish it with something really wonderful-sounding… and totally attainable. It seems, though, that we often create obstacles that get in the way of just doing it. Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s family or friends or work or obligations or life in general. For me, it’s usually a combination of all of these things, which then turns into a devastating mixture of guilt for thinking of indulging and disappointment for not doing it.
Lately, things have been stressful and life has been crazy, and all I’ve wanted to do was get out of town. I’ve wanted to get out of town, specifically, to Santa Barbara. I kept waiting for someone to suggest it, or volunteer the idea, or simply just go with me if I asked, and it wasn’t happening. I toyed with the idea of going by myself over and over, and although I have never had a problem doing anything alone, including dining at a restaurant or going to a movie, I was having a hard time justifying spending the money on gas or taking a day off to just go if it was only going to be me.
And then, a week or two ago, I got over myself. I stopped waiting for someone to take the initiative and decided to take it myself. I let money just be money, and I blocked out my calendar, and I got the hell out.
And I found more than what I had hoped for.
If that doesn’t bring a person some peace of mind, I don’t know what will.
I came back a little bit different. I had left that Friday morning with a to-do list and major shoulder tension and come back with a lighter wallet, a more fashionable closet, and a reinforced love of home (see picture above of beautiful California coastline… sigh).
But more than that, I came home with a spirit that burned a little more fiercely and a heart that felt a little lighter. For me, those three hours in the car rocking out to Justin Timberlake and Ellie Goulding, eating that lunch at Cafe Nordstrom, and strolling around State Street felt less like a waste of valuable time, money, and effort, and more like soul-searching. And you know what? It didn’t matter that gas cost money and I had things to do at work and I got home late and had a 10K to run in the morning. It was exactly what I needed.
Do me a favor. Close your eyes, and wherever you are, take a few deep breaths. Check in with yourself. Finish this sentence: “I wish I could just _______.” I don’t care what your answer is. I don’t care if it is reasonable or outrageous or absolutely 100% ridiculous. I don’t care what other people or your insecurities or your inner critic tell you. Give yourself permission to just go out and do it for no one but yourself. You deserve it.
And I do too.
We’re worth it.