Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Thought...

A few days after I went to Grand Haven, I had lunch with my mom, sister and grandmother and was telling them about my trip. What made this convo stick out in my mind was the fact that my grandmother said, "I can't believe that you can just get up and take a trip like that by yourself."

Days later, her words still come to mind. For me to see a movie or go to dinner by myself isn't a big deal, so a day trip to clear my head was a no brainer. For her and my mom, the concept is almost foreign.

When I took that trip, by no means was I trying to make a statement or anything. All I was doing was doing something for myself. In a way, it turned into something for the older generations to think about. That maybe, just maybe, flying solo may not be a bad thing. A challenge even.

At the beginning of the year, I set out to challenge myself and step outside the box. Without realizing it, by doing something that I love, I did that last week while opening their eyes.

So I say this: if you have never considered going on a trip, to dinner, a movie, whatever by yourself because its depressing, you'd be shocked how untrue that really is. If anything, its almost liberating. I say do it. You'll discover another side to yourself that you didn't realize was there.

"Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty- his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure." ~ Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Day for Me

A few years ago, as a way to handle work related stress and to give myself a chance to catch my breath, I started to take sanity days where I could do whatever I wanted.  Days when I would sleep in and focus on me, to rest.  Last year was a little different because of the job situation, but it taught me a lot.  That these days are what save my life, or should I say, my sanity.

There are days when I feel like I am being pulled in several directions, forcing me to try and be everything to everyone.  For anyone who knows how that can be know what I'm talking about.  Not wanting to say no, for fear of disappointing, taking on burdens.  Putting everyone before yourself, even when you're battling your own demons...  

It's absolutely exhausting!

Last week, I figured enough was enough.  Its time for me to make some time for myself for a day, so I took this past Monday off and spent the day in Grand Haven...by MYSELF!  Let me just say that it was perfect.   Yeah, the trip started with an insane thunderstorm that I would have considered to be awesome had I been at home, not on the expressway.  

Over two hours later, I found myself in a coffee shop that was a hot spot for older locals and while sipping on my vanilla latte, this came to me:

Taking a day for myself was the best thing I could have done. Walking through historic downtown grand haven right after a storm is perfect bc it matches the chaos in my head. No one is in a hurry and there are no strangers. A painter meets me at the door of an art gallery just before she urges me to check out her work, which is absolutely beautiful btw.  The overcast skies and the small town feel puts me at complete ease...knowing my car won't be ticketed helps too.

After spending three hours walking through the historic downtown and along the marina with my ipod going, I decided to end my day at one of the beach parks along Lake Michigan and, as usual, it was worth the trip.

And to think, Mom didn't think it would be a good
beach day after the storm that morning

As I drove back home, covered in sand, I don't think I could have been happier.  I had done something for myself and was completely relaxed.  Re-energized...

To someone who has never done anything by themselves, this trip would have been horrible, but for me, it was a reminder that I do need to take time for myself.  Someone I would consider a friend, despite my constant urge to knock some sense into them, said to me that if I want to keep from losing my mind, stressing about the wants and needs of the people around me, sanity days are crucial.  

I couldn't agree more...

Now that I know how relaxing that trip is, I may have to go back...this time with a notebook.

Don't compromise yourself.  You are all you've got. ~ Janis Joplin 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Sucker for Bookstores

*I've been in a funk lately in terms of blogging and my own writing and maybe it's due to the 90 million things I have swirling through my head, but I think today or should I say yesterday's trip to the bookstore may have helped a little.*

“Old books exert a strange fascination for me -- their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.” 
― Lauren Willig

There is something about wandering through a used bookstore that just puts me at ease when my mind has spent so much time at full speed.  The more chaotic it is, the better.  

The smell that hits you the moment you walk in and its so different from that of a brand new bookstore, like Barnes and Nobles.  

Running your fingers across the spine of each book, making sure you don't miss one, as the music pours from the speakers in the ceiling or your earbuds, stirring up the dust along the way.  The creases and worn pages of each book telling its own story of how it got there.  

The almost sweet musky smell that hits your nose as you flip through a potential buy.

Its the feeling that as you wander through the store that you're the only one there....no pressure.  Its almost a safe haven... no judgement.

The guilt hits as I approach the cash register to pay for my finds, thinking that I should have bought that last book.  My consolation?  I'll just come back for it another time...