Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find yourself.
My boyfriend, a 5th grade school teacher, has 10 weeks off every summer. "How fabulous!" you say? Yes, it is. And yet it's a funny thing... absence does make the heart grow fonder. After spending what many would say was an idyllic month up at his rustic summer cabin in the Sierra Mountains in Northern California, I came home rejuvenated and relaxed and... realizing I am nowhere near ready to retire! Before we left, I was counting the days until the snow had melted enough so we had the 'all-clear' to drive up there and after four weeks an interesting thing happened... I missed my work. I missed my friends. I missed a little bit of me.
It is important to find ways to unplug, relax, recharge, and reclaim the natural rhythm of your life and it's also important to carve out time to nurture your primary relationships to keep them strong and vibrant but maybe more important is finding balance. A lot of people give lip service to the idea of true life balance but few actually achieve it for an extended period of time. And I'm convinced it takes different forms for each of us. It requires first that we know what is really important to us; what we'll look back on from our deathbeds and be glad we placed in a position of importance in our lives like love, family, friends, work, health, home, traditions, exploration, hobbies, spirituality, and peace.
I'm so glad for my time at the cabin this summer in that beautiful, pristine mountain setting ... mostly "unplugged." And while I've had moments where I wished I could go there or stay there forever, I'm glad for the opportunity to remember that there are many things in my life that I value. By the time I was back home and Tom was back at school, I realized I missed my own routine. I wouldn't trade my time with him or summers at the cabin for anything and I'm also so grateful to have a home, work, family, and friendships to which I look forward to returning.
I've not mastered total life balance just yet but this summer served as a great reminder that I like the stimulation and satisfaction that the variety of interests in my life affords me... and it's up to me to continue to find the right mix and claim (and reclaim, if necessary) my own happiness.
So... hello again, my friends. I'm BAAACCCKKKK!