Being ‘selfful’ is not like being ‘selfish’. First of all, there are no fish involved. And second of all, it is absolutely necessary in order to continue being fully your ‘self’.
When I told my friends I was leaving for a weekend alone, they didn’t get it at first.
“You mean just you and your husband, without the kids?”
“No, Just me.”
“Like with a friend?”
“Are you meeting people there? It’s a group, right?”
“Nope. Just me. All Alone. With nobody else but myself.”
“Oh,” was the slightly puzzled reply and a look that said I was certifiably nuts.
Yes, I’m nuts. I abandoned three kids at home (with my mother, relax!) and husband and went off for a weekend alone. You know why?
Because everyone needs time to be with themselves. No matter what you do, you are constantly in a relationship with another person or persons; mother, daughter, client, wife, employee, manager, colleague… there’s always some sort of dynamic you have to be caring for (or messing up!). Did you ever think about it? You never get the chance to just ‘be’ who you are without any reservations.
This is not being selfish. This is respecting your own person and giving them attention too.
If your husband/boyfriend or your boss/colleagues ask you why on earth you feel you need to get away and be alone, here are some explanations you can give:
- “Happy wife, happy life, darling.” Say this through clenched teeth and a really sweet smile.
- “I may start cooking edible food again.” As you throw a mountain of takeout boxes in Recycling.
- “I need a fucking break from everything!” said with crazy look in eyes and knuckles turning white as you death-grip their arm.
- “There’s a very high chance that I’ll be much more pleasant when I come back.” Remember to file down fangs, retract talons and smooth down unruly hair.
- “I’m empowering my employees by getting out of their way.” Do not wait for a response to this.
- “I’m making space for you to bond with the kids.” Direct eye contact is not advised.
- “It was a retreat to work on my leadership skills.” Ask for forgiveness not permission on this one!
- “I’ll call my mother to come stay with us. She misses the kids.” Say this just before she rings the doorbell.
“What are you going to do there?” one mom asked me. “Won’t you get bored?” To which I responded, “I long to get bored!”
I WANT to remember what boredom feels like.
From my weekend experience, I’ve compiled a helpful list of things you can do while away:
- Wash and style your hair.
- Get a facial (and perhaps file down fangs and talons).
- Read – those 547 books you’ve had on your ‘to-read’ list over the last few years.
- It may take a couple nights of practice to get the hang of this again.
- Or do something else you used to love long before your life was taken over by little messy people or a job that has done to your life what acid does to drains.
- Enjoy a shower or a poo without anyone snatching at you for time or attention.
- Order room service and eat it in bed without the guilt of having to set a good example for kids, or attend a teleconference in 5 minutes.
- Sit and do nothing.
- Remember who you were before sacrificing your life to tiny tyrants or selling your soul to the corporate machine.
- Stare into the ocean and enjoy the fact that NO ONE IS TALKING TO YOU!
- Wake up without an alarm or someone screaming at you to wipe their ass.
- Try really hard to get bored.
- Do the token 20 minutes of exercise so that you can claim you’ve been on a health retreat (Okay scrap that, eat some fruit that’s not out of a squeezy tube. That’s healthy enough.)
When I got back (and I came back kicking and screaming), I actually had missed the kids, was pleasant to my husband and ready to tackle work again.
I might have inadvertently started a revolution.
Moms all over my daughter’s school are now planning their
getaway retreat and looking forward to some alone time so that they can connect with themselves, fill up, and come back ready to do what they do best: giving to the people around them.
It is so worth it and if nothing else, you’ll come back glowing from all that coconut oil they rub on you as they scrape your skin off at the spa.
Think about it and plan yours soon!