I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. ~Henry David Thoreau
Day 2 – Friday, Nov. 2 Write about the weirdest thing about your health OR Find a quote and use it as inspiration
I’m not so sure what is weird about my health, so I’m going with prompt #2.
Today I woke up in this little cottage in the North Carolina woods. It’s my third flying trip in three weeks, and I was a total grump about getting on that plane. It really stressed me out to leave my work, my complete mess of a house, and numerous obligations to come on this family trip. Back when we planned it, it sounded like a good idea – to visit Mr. McBody’s aunt and uncle (whom I adore) at their home near Asheville, North Carolina.
And as it turns out, it was a VERY good idea. It has already been way worth the stress of wrenching myself out of my life yet once again. Because the last two trips were “busy” trips – one for a conference and to visit friends, and the second to visit Juniorette up at her college. They were bustling and busy and stimulating and GREAT, but also kind of exhausting before, during and after.
This trip? It almost brings tears to my eyes to realize how perfect it is, and how much I needed it. I am, as is no secret, a very very social person. I love meeting up with people at all of my beloved COMMUNITIES. I thrive on community – at Fitbloggin, at Weight Watchers, my adoption peeps, my writer buddies. But what might not be as well known is that I absolutely thrive and need solitude. I NEED IT.
Right now I am sitting at this little table in this little writers’ cottage (normally inhabited by Uncle McBody). It is a freaking DREAM. I am happy. I am beside myself with happy! Outside it is fall and the leaves are trembling in all of my favorite autumn colors. I can hear critters shuffling through them outside my window. Mr. McBody, up in the main house, is engaged in endless conversation with Uncle (which they both love) and my mother is utterly content with Auntie – watching the birds come to the bird feeder, patting the sweet cat, and dealing with the antics of the mischievous dog.
And I am here in the cottage, alone. Exactly where I want to be, doing what I most love to do.
This morning, I took a beautiful 4.1 mile run through the autumn countryside. It was crisp and cool and gorgeous. I was so happy.
We shared a lovely, healthy lunch. A veggie salad followed by two squares of dark chocolate. I like how these people live! (can I mention again how much I love them)
And now… quiet. Ahhh. I can actually think. And rest. And write. And I know that days/weeks like this are as crucial to my health as good food or exercise. I need to re-charge. I need to have no sound but the ticking clock on the little yellow stove.
Back in the day, I used to go to writing retreats a lot more. I was lucky enough to be granted fellowships at colonies like MacDowell, Blue Mountain and Hedgebrook. My longest time away was eight weeks, and man… it was heaven. My mom came to stand-in and help with my children, and everyone thrived. (that’s a whole OTHER topic that I won’t go into right now, how some people villainized me for “abandoning” my children to the care of (gasp!) their FATHER and GRANDMOTHER – but you know? they’re wonderfully functional young adults now, no scars to be had from THAT anyway, thankyouverymuch) Ironically, it’s been tougher to get away now that I have a job and a mother who is harder to leave than my children were.
Be that as it may. Even being here less than 24 hours has brought home to me the absolute necessity of finding and making time like this. It’s as important as sleep, or air.
Do you like or need to be alone? How do you find time for it?
This post is part of a 30-day series for National Health Blog Post Month. Join me! And check out some other bloggers’ take for day 2:
- Heather’s quote at Yummy Sushi Pajamas is about “falling apart.”
- Kate took the “weird” prompt and wrote about diabetes.
November 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm
I love that you are in your happy place right now! It looks like a haven of wonder. I could absolutely hideaway there for the autumn. Keep on relishing those moments and enjoy every last one! xo
November 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm
Thank you so much for linking to me! Man… cabin + run + autumn leaves? That sounds SO perfect!
November 3, 2012 at 3:49 am
Your cabin in the woods looks absolutely heavenly! Like you, I’m a fairly social person, but absolutely need solitude time as well. I called it “Mel time.” Enjoy your respite from the “real” world.
November 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm
I love that you’re taking this time for yourself in such a lovely place. I have become a loner. I didn’t always used to be this way, and I am starting to understand that I need community more and more now. I have decided to make a more concerted effort to be out and about and involved. It’s good for me. It’s also good for me to be alone and quiet. 🙂 Both/and.
November 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm
SO glad for you! How can we support each other to find this quiet solitude? I’m busy taking care of my mom-in-law and often folks are home. Where’s the writer’s solitude? Any ideas? In the meantime, I’m so glad you are in heaven! Write on!