On Friday, a common question we ask each other is “What are your plans for the weekend?” Heading into this weekend, my answer was “As little as possible.”
I often get blank stares when I answer like this. I think it’s because people expect me to responsd with a long, dramatic series of activities. Reciting long lists is typically how people respond when I ask them what they’re up to for the weekend. Conversely, I only know a small handful of people who are happy to say that their plan for the weekend is NO plans.
Why is this? Why are we made to feel like it’s not ok to take time out for ourselves once and a while? Why do we feel like we have to seek permission for a quiet weekend? Unless we are very ill or worked a 60 hour week, it seems like it’s not really socially acceptable to put ourselves first once and a while. It’s almost like it’s seen as selfish. Saying I’m doing as little as possible this weekend is like saying I don’t drink anymore. This perspective also makes people wince; I’m sure they are dying to ask if I’ve had a car accident/gotten pregnant etc. Because like being ‘busy’, drinking is a core activity in New Zealand’s heavy drinking society. But this is a separate interesting conversation – see Behind the scenes of NoWineImFine if you would like to read more on this.
In today’s fast-paced society, there seems to be a lot of focus on being busy. People seem to like rattling off their long their long to-do lists. Picking up kids from swimming, working long hours, dealing with excessive domestic activities and stressful family visits are some common themes I’ve noticed. It’s like the more busy we are, the more impressed others should be of us. Technology that follows us everywhere means we are more connected and less able to escape than ever. I’m not sure this is doing our health or wellbeing any good.
A while back, I wrote about a solo retreat I took. Many of you took time to provide your feedback, for which I am very grateful. Since writing this post, a few of our sober blogosphere friends have done the same or are planning to. I can’t wait to hear how they get on! Here is a link to my post if you’d like to contemplate talking a weekend away for yourself. I found it helped me take time out to devise a successful plan early in my alcoholfree journey 🌅Early sobriety: the power of solo retreats.🌅
Taking time out for yourself, I believe, is a key part of alcoholfree living. Don’t feel you have to seek permission or approval from others. You deserve it. I invite you to put yourself first, even if it’s just half a day this weekend.
I have found that taking time out to do things in my own company enables me to recharge my batteries so that I am:
- more focussed when it comes time to return to work
- well rested and less likely to be grumpy
- more able to deal with challenging situations and less adversely affected by things
- less likely to catch winter germs and bugs if the immune system has had a chance to rejuvenate
- Generally, I hope it enables me to be a nicer human being to be around.
So, this weekend, I have set aside time on Sunday to do what I consider to be ‘as little as possible’. That is, to meditate. To read my book. To practice yoga. To sleep. To walk on the beach. Here are some pictures of one of my most special places from this weekend. Oneman Beach in the Coromandel, New Zealand. It’s my happy place. The housework can wait.
Have a great weekend friends. Be safe, be well and most importantly, have fun being you. Xoxo