A busy week would probably be an understatement when it comes to talking about my week last week. Thankfully my kids were feeling better just in time for Halloween because they were definitely looking forward to putting on their costumes and going trick or treating. Because of a work related two day workshop that I had to leave for on the evening of Halloween, I only got the chance to get my kids dressed and get some pictures before I had to hit the road and make a four hour drive alone. Fortunately my Mom and Aunt took them trick or treating so there was no change in plans and everything still moved along smoothly. This was my first time not being able to take my kids trick or treating, but I’m so thankful for my support system who are able to stand in for me when I can’t. Afterwards, my Mom told me that my kids had a great time and, to me, that was all that mattered.
Once I got my kids all situated and ready for trick or treating, I got on the road to head to Orange Beach (Alabama) for the workshop. I knew that this would be a long four hour drive alone and it would actually be my first time driving this far by myself. I was nervous and excited, but a little prayer, my Apple Playlist, and some great phone convo (thanks to my Mom and my cousin) helped keep me company along the way. Before I knew it, I was there, TIRED, but finally there. I had gotten settled into my room, and initially I had told myself and that I would make the best out of these two days, but the whole time I felt guilty for leaving my kids and I couldn't help feeling like I didn't really deserve all of this free time to myself. Now I know that to those who don't have children yet this may sound crazy right?! But for those parents who truly devote almost all of their free time to their kids, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. It's mom guilt, it's home sickness and it's a feeling that makes you want to pack your bags and go right back home to your kids. I've talked about this before with my therapist, and I am learning daily that SELF CARE IS OKAY. It doesn't feel the best at first because you feel like you're doing something wrong, but my mind, body and spirit needed this break; this is what I called my "self care retreat". The classes, the catered lunch and the catered dinners were great and I honestly couldn't have asked for anything more from a workshop.
Friday came and it was the second and final day for the workshop and once again, everything was so nice, but afterwards, I thought to myself, "I can't remember the last time that I've actually been to the beach". There's no time like the present right? Once I was all packed up and done with classes, I decided to head to the beach. I knew that I would be doing myself a great dis service if I didn't, so instead of heading toward the toll booth and venturing right back home, I took a detour to the beach, and when I say I made the right decision by doing so, I mean it. I navigated my way right to Cotton Bayou Beach, and from the minute I got out of the car and smelled the clean air and felt the serene vibes I knew that that was exactly where I needed to be. I took my shoes off and felt the soft sand between my toes, and for a minute I just stood there and took it all in. It was the second of November, but the weather was perfect. The sun was barely peeking from behind the clouds, but it didn't look like rain; the tide was up and the waves were coming in pretty fast but that did not stop me from rolling my pants up and at least getting my feet wet. Afterwards, I just sat there for a bit; just me and my thoughts, soaking in the beauty of this moment that looked and seemed just like a beautiful painting that God, himself, created for me and only me. My spirit led me to the exact place that I needed to be at that exact moment, and I took it all in. Self care for one person may be one thing, while self care for another may be completely different, but if you're able to take away from the situation some clarity and a peace of mind, then the ultimate goal has been achieved. I think those two days were absolutely necessary for my mental and emotional health and I felt rejuvenated and revived for the coming week. My next therapy session should manifest a little progress and I am so glad about it.