There’s a great line at the beginning of the movie Gladiator, when the character Maximus asks his servant if he finds it hard to do his duty. The servant replies that some of the time, he does what he has to do, and the rest of the time, he does what he wants to do.
Do you work hard, honor your commitments, and take care of your responsibilities so you can do what you want to do?
The next question is, how much of your time do you get to the things you want to do? Are you running from one routine to another? Is it time for a getaway?
It might be. If so, how?
The how of getting away is the tricky part.
Obstacles rear their funny heads. The two biggest ones are time and money.
There are other labels too. Laundry. Soccer games. The car needs an oil change. Empty fridge. How do you fit a getaway into all of that?
Very carefully. One place to start is with a few key tips to get you started on your next getaway:
First, choose an amount of time that will feel like a break. Is it thirty minutes? Four hours? Do you need to get away once a week or once a month? Is there a number and a time you can fit into your weekly schedule that will contribute to your overall sense of well-being? Pencil it in your calendar and do everything you can to stick to it.
Next, consider places that make you feel relaxed and not frazzled. This is a big one. What will make you feel calm and easy? Peaceful? For example, I don’t care for shopping at all. Running errands is not a getaway that counts as down time or easy, for me. I prefer to be outside or somewhere with a book.
What are the surroundings you need that will help you feel rejuvenated when your getaway is complete? This might require experimentation before you figure out what works best for you. You might find you can do the same kind of getaway over and over, or you might find that you like to try something new each time. Or rotate.
Finally, it behooves us to talk about money. We can value a getaway, we understand how beneficial it is for us, and we can really want it, but sometimes the money just isn’t there. Maybe we have medical expenses. Or perhaps it’s time to take a break, but it’s also the same month you have two birthday parties to plan. Your credit cards might even be maxed out and taking a trip would be irresponsible.
When these circumstances happen, it’s time to get creative with our downtime. You may not be able to afford a week in Hawaii, but you can likely still afford a local getaway, even for a few hours one Saturday afternoon a month.
What’s most important is you consider what you need out of your getaway and how you can get it.
With your tips in mind, here are a few ideas to help you get started.
What else can you think of that would make you feel rejuvenated?
Before I sign off on this topic, I want to include a short list of what I think are experiences to avoid for a getaway.
Are you ready to hop in your getaway car?
Sara Marchessault is a writer, publisher, teacher, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times. For ideas on how you can get the benefits of journal writing without always keeping a traditional journal, check out Sara’s book, Beyond Pen & Paper: 33 Experiments in Journaling.