Two years ago, I was one of those people that just existed and survived. My plate was too full and I was just trying to get by and get through the day. I was burnt out in every way and doing lots of things, but none of them were done well. I ended up quitting my full-time job at that time - still the most risky decision I've ever made. But in those two years, I have learned a lot about myself. Who I am, what I need, what I want my life to look like and how I want to live it.
One of the most important things I discovered was how to really take care of myself. I learned that I need space. I need alone time. I need time and places to revitalize my soul. I have my own "happy places" so-to-speak that help me get back to the real me.
I go to my favorite spot in the house in the morning. My comfy leather recliner next to the window. And I'll set my favorite coffee mug on the end table next to me and read or pray or journal. Sometimes I'll just sit and be quiet.
Sometimes I will listen to music. I'll fold laundry (because yes, I have a weird obsession with loving that particular chore). I'll read a book or a take a nap. I'll meet a friend at a coffee-shop.
Lately, I sit down to write. It's been months and I haven't gone a day without writing something. And I love that I'm becoming more there. It fills me with hope about what could be. Who I could be. Sitting in front of the computer to write always brings me back to me and who I really am.
There are days when I need more than just a few moments to myself though - when small snippets of time to read or take an hour for myself to do something I enjoy just isn't enough. I need to get out and remind my body what it is to feel and breathe and enjoy creation. So, I go to the hill and walk (a small historic park near my house that I affectionately have named 'the hill'). Sometimes I will go for just half of an hour. Others, for much longer. I take in the view of the city. I listen to the wind. I watch for cardinals and jack-rabbits and deer. I sit somewhere quiet and just be. I talk to God up there, and sometimes, He talks to me too.
And it's been awhile since I've gone, but the beach.... Oh - the beach is my ultimate happy place of happy places. It's where I feel the most me. It's where God feels the most tangible. Something about having a clear view of the horizon makes Him feel closer and me not so far away. I love the sound of the waves, the feeling of sand between my toes, the breeze that blows through my hair and makes me feel beautiful. It brings all my senses into focus and I love how I feel everything in my body all at once. The beach calls to me often. And time and responsibility and and obligation keep me from going as often as I'd like.
But when I do go, something deep in my soul is nourished and fed. I come back to the things I've forgotten. My head feels clearer and my heart feels more alive again.
I work full-time again. I'm a mother to a darling almost three-year old boy who I don't get to spend as much time with as I like. I'm a wife. I try to keep house and make dinner and have a date night with my husband from time-to-time. I'm involved in ministry. I sing on the worship team. My life is full again. Yet it's different than it was two years ago. I know how to take care of myself. I know where to go when I'm needing a recharge. I know how to ask for help and for space. I know where my happy places are.
What is your happy place?
This prompt was part of a series over at Life is a Sunset called Journey Forward. I decided to jump in as "forward" is definitely where I am headed on my own journey. Thanks Chelsea for the inspiring series!