Replenish. Recharge. Restore. Because Self Care Matters

I am so incredibly humbled and grateful and blown away by 2018 already. It has been non stop since day ONE and every minute has been more than I could have imagined. Opportunities I had only dreamed about coming my way. Collaborations. Travel. Relationships. It is all so fantastic and yes, a little overwhelming. And a LOT humbling. It is not lost on me that I get to do what I love every single day. I get to truly CREATE and live an inspired creative life.

But... in such awesomeness of my passion becoming my paycheck, it is quite easy to forget to take care of myself. I am sure you know what I mean. We get so excited over a new design that we stay up until 3am, or all night at times working on it because we have that creative buzz. Going from one event to the next and non stop energy abound. For me, it is even more taxing because events take all I have to give. being an introvert by nature and completely socially awkward, when I go to events I need a few recovery days after.

This year, last week, I did something I have never ever done: I went on vacation!

What? You have never been on vacation?, you say. Nope! NEVER!

I have traveled for work and since I love my job and loved my old job it felt like fun, it was not vacation. I have added an extra "fun day" to work trips to great places, but not taken that time off to be on vacation or replenish. Last week, I did just that. I went on VACATION!

I went to the beautiful Fontainebleua Resort in Miami and can I tell you that it was just what I needed. In fact, I did not know how much I needed it until I got there. I had, being who I am, packed a few projects and planned to write some pattern notes and emails while resting on the beach. But when we got there, my husband and I looked at each other and almost simultaneously we each said: what if we do NOTHING for the week. It was GENIUS!

And so that is what we did: NOTHING for 6 glorious days.

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We took our cue from the sign at the Lapis Spa: no cameras. no cell phones and for most of the time that was our mantra. When we went to dinner we did not take our phones out. When we went to the beach we did not always take our phones with us at all. I popped on social for a few minutes to share the good vibes but the truth is I mostly disconnected. We made NO PLANS. We had no rules.

We ate when we wanted to eat and not to fit into our schedule. We lounged when we wanted to lounge and one day even slept until 10 AM! It was fantastic!

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We had deep belly laughs, Goofy moments and the truth is that the few times we tried to capture it on camera it was blurry because we were laughing so much. And we did not care. no need to "pose" and "recreate" for the camera. Blurry was perfect in that moment.

There was a freedom in each moment. We decided one night at 10 pm to go for a walk to get gelato. None of the "oh it's too late" or "that is too sweet for this hour". Nope. We just got up and went for gelato! And it was in fact the best dang gelato I have ever had!

Sure we captured a few moments here and there but it was not the focus. And it was not a task. We snapped a pic and laughed and moved on. No filters. No checking the light. No "retouching" to share. Just a few memories for us to have.

And yes, while I left the work I planned on doing in our suite, I did have one project with me that I took to the beach or the pool to work on. But it was different. It felt different. I wasn't pressured by design deadline. I had no pace to keep and just stitched for the joy of stitching. I crocheted for the joy of making. And I put it down when I want to just rest on the sand or swim in the pool.

And upon return home it did not feel like it flew by. It felt just perfect. I am so grateful that God allowed me to be present and shut out the world and truly recharge.

It occurred to me after we got home that I did not feel guilty once on this trip. Not one moment of "I should be doing this" or "I should check my email" or "I need to finish this class outline". Nope. None of the "I gotta post on social media to be relevant" or I need to keep the machine going" or "what if I miss this or that". Nope. Nary a care of any of it.

None of that guilt of what I should be doing and all of the living present in what we were doing at that moment. I also did not "dread" the stack of work when I came home.

It was as if the week of magic served its purpose to remind me to stop down, replenish and reconnect with gratitude for the work we do.

This was in fact my first ever vacation but won't be my last. My husband and I have made an agreement to do this more. How often? Who knows. Where will we go? Nope, dont know that either. Maybe back to the place that gave us the gift of replenishing. Maybe a new place. But the point is that now that I / we know the importance of this act and this time to restore we will not let it go so long before doing it again.

In the dictionary; "Replenish" is a verb and means to fill up again. To re-fill. How can we go through life always giving of ourselves and even in our work if we do not stop down and take time to RE-FILL! If you need a refill or a recharge - I encourage you to step back and take it. That business idea, that design, that yarn, that thing whatever it is will be there when you get back. And you will be better ready and able to thrive when you get back to it!