my personal medicine is called ‘vacate my life’…

it’s funny how we get so tangled up in our lives…eat, sleep, work…eat, sleep, work…is it Friday yet…when’s the next long weekend…I often think, how would I fit someone else into this life of mine, my god I don’t stop, my mind doesn’t stop and I’m clocking a lot of miles on my car, my body and my mind…a friend of mine used to always say, ‘when I go on vacation, I like to vacate my life’…I thought I understood this but I don’t think I did…until now…

I’ve travelled a lot over the past few years…I need a break, I would say…I just need to get away and I’ll feel fine, I would convince myself…I just need 3days to chill, that was my personal medicine…I would come back from trips more tired and exhausted than when I left…I’m not sure what I did this time, but it feels different…

I just vacated my life and it was great…

when I travel, I travel with my computer – it’s always with me…I travel with my computer, my agenda and a bunch of files…I’m never satisfied to leave my computer at home…what if someone calls me and needs me to answer a question about a client…what if I get an email about a report…what if I need to book in an assessment…how am I to survive without my computer…oh sweet jesus, I’d spend hours thinking, danielle, seriously it’s only three days, you don’t need to lug all that stuff with you and I’d agree with myself…I’d pack away all my work stuff and think, phew, this is gonna be a good break…fast forward to the flight and loser face here has her work bag with her…I realized how much I scramble on a daily basis to get things done for others…now sometimes procrastination definitely plays a part in this process but most times its just me…don’t get me wrong, I truly love the work I do and I have the flexibility to say no and I do sometimes, but most times, I say yes and love it…but it consumes me…

someone asked me the other day about my summer and I said I had gone on a awesome trip with my sister and brother in law to his family’s home…I spent a week basically in the woods, a setting of a Nicholas Sparkes movie kinda woods – a place where you could get lost…but that week I worked everyday…it was those days that I’d retreat to the bedroom or to a patio and get out my computer and type away…it was so relaxing doing work on vacation…I was like a child on crack as I completed each report…now how bloody stupid does that sound…but I truly felt that way and believed it…I know I’m a workaholic…and I’m fine with that as long as it doesn’t impact my health…but I finally think it has…my stress levels have definitely increased over the past year…the root of the stress doesn’t really matter but the effects of it definitely do…

what’s new danielle…nothing, just working away…work, work, work – my usual response…

what’s new danielle…I just vacated my life and it was great…my new response…

why do we do these things to ourselves…why do we over work, over eat and over drink yet under appreciate, under value and under estimate ourselves…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the light bulb that went off in my head this year must have been huge…obviously not powered by my local power company as it would have caused rolling black outs in the city but huge…appreciating the small things in life, like the smell of newly cut grass, watching your dog catch grasshoppers or simply sitting on a patio staring off into space, is what we should be doing…valuing our family, our friends and our selves enough that the feeling is overwhelming is what we should be doing…knowing that our values define our person and impact our behaviors is a skill we need to sharpen and perfect and not selling ourselves short, is what we should be doing…

I talk the good talk, but this week, I walked the walk…I planned ahead for my week off, I did not cave and pack my computer, I did not over book myself and I did not underestimate my need to vacate my mind, body and soul…I think I now see myself and those around me in a different light…as I was in the midst of my vacating – i sat back daily and thought, fuck I’m so lucky…and I looked around me and I saw people with computers, phones attached to their ears, conversations about how much this drink cost, arguing poolside at what to do with leaky pipes at home, I watched a husband and wife interact – she went off for a swim and he laid on a chair, shuffling through a small clear bag next to his hip…I watched him lick his finger and place it in the bag, out came a finger full of a white substance as he proceeded to rub it on his gums…as his young wife reappeared, he quickly rolled the bag and placed it under his hip…unbeknownst to the young wife, she grabbed a towel, said the water is great and off she went again to the pool…he unwrapped the baggie and proceeded to cover his gums a little more…I watched college girls get swooped into a hip dj party at a private pool – hand picked by a bouncer – used as pawns to entice the dudes to drink their faces off…and I saw people spend their livelihoods at slots and tables grouped together, yelling and screaming as the winnings rolled in and quietly cursing as the winnings depleted…

what leads people to arguments, alcohol, drugs and lies…why do people feel empowered by sexual attention and pleasing others… stress, stress and more stress…

where am I going with this you may ask – well had I had my computer, I would have saw nothing…I would have been hands and eyes into a report…I surely would not have listened to my surroundings, I surely would not have witnessed a husband hide drug use from his wife and I surely wouldn’t have been able to play the game of what scantly dressed girls are gonna be pulled into the pool party next game…but more importantly, I would have missed the old couple in the corner sitting in the shade, cupping hands watching the world around them…I would have missed the opportunity to watch marathon episodes of svu with my bestie as we took naps daily…I surely would not have enjoyed the mist falling on my face as I lay in the heat and I would have missed out on reading my mom’s writing…I would have missed – just missed a lot…

the world around us never stops…i’m so guilty of not embracing the life that is in front of me and focusing on the life that is being texted to me, tweeted to the world or posted on social media…I may have taken 6pictures this week – 6pictures…unheard of in my world…I vacated my life and I didn’t capture every second in pictures…I consciously did that and I didn’t die…I ignored my phone and I didn’t die…I ignored social media (well a little) and I didn’t die…who knew…I wanted to test myself and I didn’t die…

I just vacated my life and it was great and I didn’t die…

the important things in our lives are right in front of me and you…I want to hold, touch and feel those most important to me…I am starting to crave human touch – not in a creepy way but in a way that grounds me…like the touch of that new born baby boy in my life, the grip my father puts on me when he hugs me, the feeling of my mother’s kisses on my cheek as I leave her home, the sound of my sister’s voice, the look in my nephew’s eyes when they face time, the excitement in my sister in laws face when my brother surprises her, the joy in my brother’s eyes when I see him interact with his kids and the sound of my puppsters as he snores his way into puppy dreamland laying horizontal across my queen sized bed…I think of those that I have lost in my life and I struggle to remember the sound of their voice, the color of their eyes, the touch of their hands, the harmony in their song and the sweet nicknames they called me…I think I’m yearning to enjoy now so I can remember later…

I just vacated my life and it was great and I didn’t die and it rejuvenated me…

focusing on the negatives in our lives robs us of the ability to celebrate fully the positives in our lives…I got a post card in the mail today…it said “remember the time I sent you flowers and you said they had the wrong address…will you accept a postcard”…sure I laughed my head off and it just fit into my ramblings tonight…I remember getting the call from the flower shop that day and saying, “no, you have the wrong danielle hogan, they aren’t my flowers”, the lady repeated my address and I said “ah yah, that’s the right one, but honestly, you’re mistaken, but I’ll come down and figure it out for you”…when I read the card, I busted a gut, they were for me…flowers from my sister…she thought I deserved them, why didn’t i…so fitting, so raw, so thankful that she has always seen the potential in me and has always loved me no matter if I were telling her that her “head was up her ass” – true story or spitting bagels in her face – true story…I guess when I first heard the saying ‘vacate my life’, I thought oh goodness no, I couldn’t do that…but now I’m thankful my friend taught me that phrase…it’s been a while for me to catch on, but I finally have my catcher’s mitt on and phrase in hand, I embraced it…

like the little bird in my post card, i deserve all the flowers and jewels in the world…like the little bird in my post card, my wings will spread and guide me wherever i need to go…

funny how timing is everything…vacate your life – it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done for you…

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5 thoughts on “my personal medicine is called ‘vacate my life’…

  1. Each and every one of us experiences hurt and disappointment and loss, and perhaps we never fully get over any of it, but we have to learn to carry it, and carry it as gently as possible, so as not to be crushed by its weight. You, my beautiful daughter, are nothing if not inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

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