One-woman Retreat

Monday, April 22, 2024

Some women have the power to elevate us from the mundane to the Divine. Sally Clarkson does that for me. I listen to her when I crave kind wisdom. She said, "The year is about to get busier. It is okay to do something lovely for yourself such as a one-woman retreat." I was fascinated with the idea. My life is never not busy. The fact that I can soothe the busier months to come was intriguing. 

The idea was to do something realistic. Lighting a candle and reserving 15 minutes to drink tea without having to rush to the next thing. Something that will add gentleness to a hurried life. So I lit the candle and I brewed the tea. I was better for it. The one-woman retreat idea stayed with me long after. 

The following week was one of the busiest ones in my current job. I worked over the weekend and I was tired. I decided to take a day off during the week to recover. I implemented the one-woman retreat idea that day. 

Sally's suggestion was to add something lovely to the reality of life. I sent the kids to school with a blessing and a kiss as we do daily. Breakfast was next. I took my time and made sure my plate was nutritious yet pretty. I truly enjoyed eating. Next, I did my mani and pedi while finishing a lovely movie. My husband was available at lunch time so we turned the retreat into a "one-woman one-man retreat." His company filled my heart with joy. Then I got a phone call that caused the opposite effect. Just because I made room for a lovely day, it doesn't mean that life's circumstances won't interrupt it. I stepped outside the restaurant and worked on the matter. I had to do that three times. I felt myself getting stressed. I did not like that feeling. I took a deep breath and asked God to fill me with the peace I needed. We finished our lunch and went to a store next door. We found some new jams we wanted to try. My husband suggested we find a coffee shop. I bought a calligraphy kit and worked on it while we enjoyed a great oat milk latte. I walked next door and found the tarragon plant I wanted to grow this summer. What an extra boost of joy! 

Shortly after that, it was time to go back to a life I love and appreciate. Picking up kids from band rehearsal, snack time, packing everyone's dinner, and heading to church. 

The one-woman retreat ended up better than it started. It landed me safely in the place I'm rooted: family. 

While the end of the year will always be busy, I can take firm steps toward the lovely side of life. I don't think this was self-care. I care for myself regularly. This was an investment in myself. It was a way to sprinkle goodness on an otherwise ordinary day.