Friday, July 10, 2009

On Staycation

I have been on a staycation for the last week. I canceled all of my appointments, told people who understood that I was having a retreat/staycation, and everyone else that I was "on vacation". It's been exactly what I needed, just wish it was a little longer, like another week.

I felt like things were spiraling out of control in my life and that my priorities were becoming confused. I was very disconnected from any self-care, including not getting enough rest, and most importantly, had started to feel "that hermit thing" I get again. "That hermit thing" is an intense and desperate desire to be alone, totally alone. It's almost a phobia but maybe not quite. Or maybe it is a phobia. It's definitely a strong, screaming sound from my body and mind that I've been pushing too hard too long.

This overwhelmed time coincided with my company's national convention at the end of June, which I was able to force myself to go to, but not to attend any of the conference itself. I describe it here. I knew I needed to take this time for a staycation, with the hope that I would be back to normal by next week. I don't think that's going to happen, but I'm certainly much better. I'm going to keep a skeleton schedule until I can get to a place of comfort and healthy functionality.

So for the last five days, I thought I'd do nothing at all. Instead, I ended up immersing myself spiritually so that I can feel like I live from Spirit again. I think that this is my most important need and will carry me through life in a very different way. I had really drifted to a place of surviving, striving, struggling. So having an intense spiritual focus was SO good. I read a lot, walked outside, drove around and though, spent some time in my garden, listened to spiritual things online, and more.

I have also been thinking about my life, about what direction I have been moving in.

I temporarily (at least) gave my business to LoveHubbie. It's just one more thing he doesn't have time for, but since he thrives on frenetic activity he is going about it with gusto and success. If it wasn't my business, he'd have added something else. He adds, adds, adds, and likes it that way. I am very grateful that all of my hard work didn't go down the drain.

I want to return to writing. I want to commit to some aspect of it but am not ready yet. I'm excited about the possibilities here.

I think that this hermit thing is a part of my personality that I need to embrace instead of constantly fight. I thought that with the supplements and hormones I was taking it was gone for good, but it wasn't. I really enjoyed the social interaction I had until it hit again. Now, I surrender. I just want to find a way to work with it. I've been looking back at myself as a child, in college, and later in jobs, and realized that it has always been there and I've always fought it in super-unhealthy ways.

Now I think I'm older, wiser, and stronger, perhaps I can accept myself and turn this into a gift and a blessing. This is my hope and my desire.


patti said...

With all the self examination you have been doing it must have been easy this time to know what it was you needed. A staycation is a great invention!

Life is too short to spend it striving for a thing that clearly makes you unhappy.

I hope your re-connection with spirituality helps you to make right decisions about your future. The soul knows so much more than the head ever will!

Love to you O xx

Olivia said...

Yes, this is a pattern, isn't it Patti. I would like to jump off of this merry-go-round that I keep revisiting.

Listening to the soul isn't a habit for me; it's something new discovered in middle-age. Before that I always used my head to figure out what the best thing to do was, or what was expected of me, or what society would approve of the most. So now, I'd like this to be more natural.

Thank you, Patti. Wishing you love as well, O

thailandchani said...

I kind of had the sense you were trying to cram yourself into a box that will never fit. Pieces of you will always fall out the sides. But I also knew you had to go through it to discover that (which is why I didn't say anything. :)


kikipotamus said...

Yes, sometimes it takes us 17 time around the same pattern, sometimes 1017 or 10,017. The staycation sounds like a great idea. I have had those before.

I wish you so many blessings in your journey to get to know that other voice. For those of us who have only listened to intellect for so long, it can be hard to learn to tune in. The book I'm reading now (Callings) talks a lot about this.

Hugs, K

Rick Hamrick said...

O, you don't have to leap from the merry-go-round. You could take up calliope and accompany the rotation with pretty music.

Embracing all of you is tough--we all struggle with acceptance of those aspects of ourselves which seem ugly or strange or not normal. Yet, you already know the path: surrender. Let go.

I think your regular Sacred Sunday times will help you relieve some of the pressure for hermit-like experiences. And, what the heck is wrong with a few days every month to have intentional hermit time?

The interesting thing is, if you start to incorporate your inner hermit and honor her, she will become far less demanding.

You are a gift, you know? Remember that I always see you in that light.

Heather Plett said...

I'm glad you were able to find space for your inner hermit. It looks like a lovely place to retreat to!

Olivia said...

Hi, Chani,
Yep, I guess I did. Thank you for not saying anything, I guess :) Oy, me, sometimes I can't believe the things I do!

I like how you wrote, "Pieces of you will always fall out the sides.". That's a good way of describing it.

xo, O

Olivia said...

OH, thanks, Kelly. It feels like I'm the 10,017 kind. Merci beaucoup, O

Olivia said...


I so agree with you that if I start to incorporate my inner hermit (I love how you put that) into my life and honor her, she will become far less demanding. This is such a great way to frame it. Incorporating and honoring my inner hermit---YES!

Thank you so much Rick, as always,


Olivia said...


Yes, this is the perfect way of seeing the situation I think. Incorporating and honoring my inner hermit in a very beautiful place. It is so lovely.

Congratulations again on your own lovely new place,


Melita said...

i hope you enjoyed your staycation and that it revived and rejuvenated you. i am an only child so i totally understand the hermit thing. sometimes you just need some alone time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! take care!

Kate said...

I love the idea of the staycation. I am glad you are taking the time for yourself, that is so important to do. I too need my alone time. Its crucial to my sanity. Sometimes we jump into the next thing way too soon. I like time to process things first. You deserve that time and follow your heart to that next step. I am here to support you in whichever way you manage to go.


Olivia said...

Thanks, Melita. Yes, I have enjoyed it SO MUCH! I hope that I'm in a good place for re-entry on Monday. Love and blessings, O

Olivia said...

Thank you for your support, Kate. Yes, I too need to process things, very much, before moving on, and often do not take the time to. I'm going to figure out these next few weeks what to do to keep my schedule lighter for the summer. Thanks again, Kate. Peace and joy and happy writing, O

groovysabrina said...

Hi Olivia! It was nice to see your Sunday post - I am glad you are focusing on your health and wellness. Without that, nothing else can be conquered! best wishes, Sabrina

Olivia said...

Thanks, Sabrina. You're absolutely right. I appreciate the encouragement and it's so good to see you here. Peace and love, O

judi said...

I dont know you , but i understand you for sure. I fight that inner hermit, because I am afraid I will someday end up lonely, not alone,
You sound like you know when to draw within, a staycation is a wonderful prescription

I wish for you.. peace and serenity

Olivia said...

Thank you for commenting judi, and welcome to the happyluau! I am so depleted that I don't really fear ending up alone at this point...but I hope that this all balances out and I get a healthy balance of aloneness and some light socializing...or at least enjoying being with people again. I do believe it will happen.

I could think of nothing better than peace and serenity and I appreciate your wishes for me,


Karen Smithey said...

I like Rick's word: surrender. I think that word has a negative connotation in our society, rather than a meaning of strength.

Who you are, what you are, what you need, what helps you thrive--none of those can be bad.

Hope you really enjoyed the 'staycation'!

Angela said...

A staycation. I love it, Olivia! You are so wise in knowing yourself and what you need. And you're so lucky to be in a life situation where you can do just that when you need to.

All my best to you for continuing to live from Spirit and honor your wise soul.

Olivia said...

Yes, Karen,I agree that the concept of surrender in our culture is negative, but it is not in reality, and it is so helpful and positive to do when needed (as in my life right now). Thank you for your support, Many blessings, O

Olivia said...

Hi, Angela, so good to see you. I am so lucky to be able to care for myself and to have a multitude of options and choices, don't I know it. Thank you for your support, and I encourage you as well in your spiritual path. Peace and joy, O

Olivia said...

Hi, Angela, so good to see you. I am so lucky to be able to care for myself and to have a multitude of options and choices, don't I know it. Thank you for your support, and I encourage you as well in your spiritual path. Peace and joy, O

Olivia said...

Hi, Angela, so good to see you. I am so lucky to be able to care for myself and to have a multitude of options and choices, don't I know it. Thank you for your support, and I encourage you as well in your spiritual path. Peace and joy, O

mermaid musings said...

I resonated with this post of yours so much, i had tears...
i am still figuring ou some stuff but like you i am getting wiser and stronger.
hugs sweet Olivia!

Marion said...

I found your blog visiting Mermaid Musings place and was intrigued. I'm a weepy, seeker, poet blogger and would be a professional Hermit if the pay was any good. LOL!

I read Tarot cards for myself as meditation and can't tell you how many times the Hermit card comes up. It's like the Universe is saying to me, "Hey, chill out and go with the flow. It's okay to be a poet/Hermit!" Ha! Love your staycation post, and, to be honest, I could stay at my house for years and never leave if it wasn't for having to buy catfood, dogfood, printer ink and toilet paper. I worked over 30 years, unfortunately at jobs I merely tolerated so I know all about burnout and frustration, but now I'm home with a back injury and I have to say it's been an epiphany, this love of my home I only previously 'visited' for so many years. Enjoy your beautiful home and yard and feel free to come visit my blog. Blessings!!!!

Dia said...

Love your 'staycation' concept!! I'm an only child, & much appreciate my times of solitude! I hope this has been a good time for you.
At the end of Aug. I'll be 'filling-in' for another msg. therapist at a retreat-conf. center where I worked 12 years ago - tho I'll be 'working,' it will be a bit of a staycation, with time to enjoy the sauna & hot tubs & wake up to the forest & river . . .