Because the retreat fell through, I thought a nice quiet weekend at home was in order. However, the Prince has been in an increasingly difficult and distant mood lately, so by Saturday morning I realized that my weekend would not be restful “inside the castle.” To avoid the discomfort of staying at home, I decided to “leave” for a day. I found a great deal on a nice hotel room in the same city that we live in and I booked it. I came up with a weekend schedule for myself, full of yoga and indulgence, watching movies at the theater and in my hotel room, ordering room service and just relaxing in general. I also threw in the shopping trip that I have been putting off for weeks - getting a gift for the first of many baby showers that I will be attending in the near future.
I decided to go get the baby gift out of the way first, so I would have time to recover afterwards. I walked into Buy Buy Baby and was immediately engulfed in a world of baby toys, clothing, furniture, potty chairs, diapers, etc. I’m not going to lie, at times it was hard to suck in a breath. I couldn’t tell you what one other person in the store looked like because I had to just focus intently on the list I brought from my friend’s baby registry in order to avoid a panic attack. I made it through the experience, but the rest of the baby shower gifts are getting purchased online. That was simply no fun.
So…jump to the hotel room a few hours later. I was all settled into my very nice room when, at 5:00 p.m., I noticed that I was stressing out. I kept wondering, should I order room service or drive to the mall and get take out. I had planned to get takeout, but them I didn’t want to leave the hotel room once I got there. I was so distressed over the idea of veering from my plans, I literally spent over an hour making myself a sick because I couldn’t reach a decision. Then, I started thinking about my husband and my problems with how things are progressing, or not progressing, in our relationship. Before I knew it, I was tense and unhappy…bouncing from one negative topic to the other…the very things I was running from. And then…I heard a baby crying. Apparently, a family with an infant had been put in the room next to me and, as babies do, this baby cried…a lot.
I got so stressed out that I actually became angry because my “weekend of relaxation” was being ruined. I could have just stayed home if I wanted to be stressed. While sulking about my bad fortune, I ran a hot bath and I soaked. I went for a late swim in the pool at the hotel. Then I used a calming body scrub and gave myself a spa treatment in the room…telling myself the whole time “Just enjoy this. The other stuff doesn’t matter tonight. It will be there tomorrow.” And, after repeating it enough, it was true and I did start to enjoy myself. I ordered room service. I ate a delicious steak and drank a root beer float (something I haven’t had since I was a child). I ordered an in-room movie that I knew the Prince would not enjoy (not the naughty kind) and fell asleep during the movie (clearly the Prince was not the only one who would not enjoy it).
As I awoke this morning, I started to make a list of everything I had to do today, both relaxation-related and functional tasks. And then that smart little voice in my head spoke up and said…”This is why you don’t need a weekend retreat elsewhere right now. It isn’t going to solve your problem.” Offended (by myself), I wondered what that meant. So, I did some yoga and then considered what I was feeling. The voice, as usual, is right. Had I gone away for the weekend, I would have been busy with juicing or yoga classes or meditation, or “skin brushing.” My weekend would be scheduled out for me and I would use the non-stop activities, not as a means of working through my issues, but as a distraction allowing a temporary escape from the issues I face each day. While I thought escape was what I needed, now I don’t think that is right. I needed to just creep over the castle walls for a breather, while staying close enough to the castle that I couldn’t forget what’s awaiting me when I get back inside the castle.
This mini-retreat didn’t fix my problems, didn’t even leave me fully recharged. But it did teach me a valuable lesson that I am going to need going in to the next cycle - let the little annoyances and obstacles (I picture them as small, child-like trolls) sit beside me while I do what NEEDS to be done, until I can focus my attention on them, one at a time. I don’t need to carry them on my back or juggle them around. They’ll follow me around, sometimes patiently and sometimes not so patiently, if I just keep moving along, dealing with them as needed. Having them there clearly isn’t killing me. I don’t have to run away to escape them…I just have to be aware that they are there and they eventually need to be dealt with. Sometimes a trip outside of the castle walls helps you see more clearly what lives inside the castle.