Here’s what I’m dreaming about: A month or a week or even one day completely devoted to myself, a time for reflecting, creating, simply BEING.
Do you dream of that too?
So why don’t we do it? Why don’t we make ourselves a priority for a change? Why not put ourselves on the calendar?
I can imagine what you’re thinking. “I can’t take the time off work.” “Who would take the kids to school and soccer and dance and gymnastics?” “I’m right in the middle of a major project at work.” “My partner wouldn’t support that.”
I completely understand. I can come up with a hundred compelling reasons why I shouldn’t do it either. Still, that nagging whisper persists. I find myself dreaming about it when I’m cooking dinner, sitting in a meeting, or weeding the garden. I fantasize about getting away from the noise of everyday living and finding a way to be quiet for a while, free from all the distractions that become convenient ways ignore the call of my own heart.
Have you ever read the book called A Year By the Sea? In it, author Joan Anderson writes about taking an entire year for herself and moving to a remote cottage on Cape Cod. She was longing to be alone, to listen to the “myriad unheard longings, ideas, and plans” she had been ignoring. I feel those same longings stirring in my heart these days, but most often they get set aside for other things I make a priority.
But a entire year? That really is impossible for me. Even a week or a weekend could be a stretch.
But maybe, just maybe, I could manage ONE DAY.
What if I were to grab that calendar I’m so attached to, find one day within the next 30 days and write ME in big, bold letters right in the middle of that square? What if circled it, draw a heart and flowers around it, made it pretty and eye-catching, because that’s what this day is all about?
My goal for this special day will revolve around this question: What do I need more of in my daily living? Do I want to wander in the woods and soak up the sights and sounds of nature? Maybe my heart’s desire is as a block of quiet hours to plan a big writing project? It could be that I simply need uninterrupted time to think and relax, sit in a rocking chair and read a good book or listen to my favorite music.
Maybe I want all of the above.
Whatever I decide, I’ll need to gather my materials: good paper and pens, essential oils and candles, books, books, and more books, favorite foods and beverages, a playlist of inspiring music, my walking shoes, my camera. I want to turn off my phone (including the internet!) and limit every distraction.
When that day arrives, I’ll enter into it with a spirit of dedication and love. I’ll treat myself with all the tender loving care I bestow on others. I’ll take note of every thought and feeling during this day, of the things I accomplish and decide.
I’ll make plenty of space for my dreams to surface and shine.
Joseph Campbell wrote: “When one leaves certain social situations, moves into temporary loneliness, and then finds a few jewels, everything changes.” As much as I love my family and friends, as much as I value my daily life and routine, I feel a real need to carve out some space around them and move into some “temporary loneliness”. I know there are jewels to be found.
They just might transform my existence.
How about you, friend? Are you with me? Should we make some space for ourselves?
I can’t wait to hear what you think….
If you’ve taken some time to make space for your creative self, consider sharing your experience with Modern Creative Life in an essay or poem. We’re accepting submissions for Issue 2: Nourishment.
About the Author: Becca Rowan
Becca Rowan is the author of Life in General, a book of personal and inspirational essays about the ways women navigate the passage into midlife. She is also a musician, and performs as a pianist and as a member of Classical Bells, a professional handbell ensemble. If she’s not writing or playing music you’ll likely find her out walking with the dogs or curled up on the couch reading with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) close at hand. She loves to connect with readers at her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.