So September was interesting. It was fun, and intense, in the best possible way. This month was the closest thing I’ve had to a summer vacation since college. I know that I live at the beach, and most people consider that a permanent vacation. But let me tell you this: I needed a mental vacation so badly. Up to this point, there has been no part of 2015 where I have felt settled. I’ve experienced brief moments of peace and quietude, but nothing that led to complete contentment. The mental and emotional stress was becoming more and more draining. Just for a moment, I wanted to hit pause. I wanted a relief from the exhaustion.
September was that for me. I felt like an Etch-a-Sketch. I just needed to shake out a clean slate. I’m aware of when I need to recalibrate and reset. I make sure I have a night in, reading or writing, napping, watching a sunset…something that lets me take a mental escape. But it’s so short lived. One should spend their downtime clearing their head, right? Instead, I spend most of mine worrying about the next thing and trying to herd my thoughts.
Most of the month, I was hosting visitors from back home. My coach told me to stick to my routines while I was hosting. This would help me practice holding my boundaries and honoring my self-care needs. I’ve taken some time in solitude to figure out what my needs and desires are and what that looks like. But life is not lived in solitude. I need to apply this in the real world. Here was my chance.
Ha. Well, it was a great theory. It didn’t work well in practice, though. I don’t have a firm grasp on what my “normal” life looks like to begin with. There was nothing to cling to while my visitors were here. Instead, I used the busy-ness of the month as an opportunity to let go. The exact opposite of what my coach asked me to do. But, I found being “distracted” helped me stay accountable to letting go.
I try to subscribe to a “let it go, let it be” mentality as it is. Things will happen as they may. We have to trust that and just go with it. There is so little within our control. But that is not always easy for me to accept. I do to an extent, but at the end of the day, I still carry the weight of feeling like I shouldn’t, or can’t, just let it go. The peace of taking a breath and letting go is so brief. Soon, I go back to feeling like I have to be doing something about it. Staying ahead. Planning. Reacting.
Well, I didn’t do one lick of that this month. I rarely posted on Instagram or wrote my blog. Quelle horreur! I had one epic social life. I went to the beach a lot (and got so dark!), I went to the Hollywood Bowl a couple times, I exerted zero labor on Labor Day. I went to the Venice Canals and saw the Venice sign for the first time, and tried new restaurants. My friend and I spent a random Wednesday in Santa Barbara – lounging poolside early in the morning with our wine, before having lunch in Montecito and enjoying a wine tasting in Ojai; we had a picnic dinner on the beach. I met a ton of new & unique people, which made for some interesting encounters to go in the storybooks.
This month had a lot of “seize the day” moments, but what was so wonderful was that for once, I didn’t feel guilty about it. Sure, next month I’ll need to get back to some resemblance of “normalcy.” But for now, it was refreshing to completely bask in the freedom of having fun and doing what I want, without worrying about the next step or consequence. Maybe I “let go” a little too much, and maybe there’s an element of circling back to myself that needs to happen, but I enjoyed spending a month not considering that part of it. Now I have a taste for how that feels, an understanding of what it’s like. Here’s hoping I can hold on to that spirit and let it shine as I try to establish some routines and boundaries in my life. I’m going to strive to keep experiencing the affect of guilt-free letting go.