Wednesday, August 14, 2019

My First Deliberate Break From Life

Walking in the pouring rain at Valley Forge. Believe it or not, this was part of my break from life. I don't typically find myself walking in the rain at historical places, teaching my kids history as they have meltdowns. 

It was noted during the past weekend's gatherings that I haven't been doing a lot of writing. I have been pretty silent on the blog except for our vacation posts. Usually silence on things means I'm focusing on something else. But for the first time in what seems like forever, I haven't been. I haven't been doing much of anything other than living.

I took a deliberate break from life. A much needed, refreshing break from my busy life.

It took some planning in numerous areas of my life: financially (could we essentially afford for me to take a two and a half month break from my freelance writing jobs on top of an 18 day vacation from daycaring?), physically (would the things I usually do and plan at the Museum be covered?), mentally (do you have any idea how hard it is to prepare for such a break?? I had to make sure everything was turned in on time or ready ahead of time--neither or which are my strong suites). But I had a solid year, seriously a full year, to prepare for my break and I used every minute of that year just so I could have my break.

I realized I had never truly taken a break in, well, eleven years. Despite every vacation we've taken in the last three years alone, I haven't taken a true break from my life. I still received (and responded) to texts and emails, I used my relaxed state to write instead of relaxing more, I deliberately posted on Facebook and Instagram, I looked at my calendar to make sure I could do everything that needed done as soon as I was available. Vacations or times off weren't a break from life, it was just living life in a new environment. There was no true break.

Last summer, the summer of no vacation because of our big spring break trip to Florida, I made myself a promise that I would take time to enjoy summer. I love summer. I love craziness that comes with my children having their friends here day in and day out. I love our time spent outdoors. I didn't want to let another summer go by and be overworked. I wanted the break and to be completely present in my vacation.

My WAHM (work at home mom) status gives me a lot of wiggle room. I can take time off when it suits our family, I can choose how much money I want to bring in each month (which is tied directly to how busy I am). What's the fun in owning my own businesses and working from home if I don't take advantage of it?

I spent the entire month of May running and making it so all of my writing projects were wrapped up at the beginning of June. Ironically, I spent June running around like I had my head cut off, so I was really happy I didn't have anything extra on my plate. When we left for our eighteen day East Coast adventure, the emails, texts, and business communications went on silent. I found myself posting pictures on social media for fun and not just "to keep my name out there." 

To be perfectly honest, coming back from an eighteen day vacation was so refreshing and rejuvenating that I decided to take off more time from my writing. I slowly started back to my life and our every day craziness. It was a good summer. It's been a summer to remember. I'd like to say I plan to take a deliberate break from life every summer, but that may not always be feasible. What I do plan on doing is taking more breaks throughout the year (as determined by this year's school schedule and the numerous breaks my children get). Sometimes in order to go forward one must take a step back to see clearly. I know what I value in life and what feeds my soul, but sometimes a break from everything extra is needed....and eleven years is much too long without a true break.