Whew, that felt GUD!
I don’t mean to gloat, but I can’t help myself.
I survived my first ever personal retreat. Not only survived it but totally enjoyed every minute of it (except for when I thought the Imo’s pizza delivery guy might kill me in my hotel room and no one would hear my screams). In summary, it was a great experience, I highly recommend the practice and I can’t wait to do it again.
Now, for the details. Having learned from the staycation experience, I made a very loose plan. I brought some books specifically ones that had been sitting on my bedside table:
- 1 book I was currently reading, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- 1 book I’d had for years and never finished, Gifted to Lead by Nancy Beach
- 1 book I’d had for months and never touched, An Alter in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor
Other items I brought along, my journal for note-taking mostly but taking down thoughts as they came to me if I felt like it and my bible. I didn’t really have a plan for the bible but it seemed like something that should go in the bag. Finally, I had printed an article on prayer by Ruth Haley Barton to serve as another item to provoke thought and reflection.
I planned strategically to maximize my time away but to only be gone one night. Taking advantage of the morning person aspect of my life, I planned to leave as soon as I woke up Saturday am. I didn’t put a clock on it but I figured I’d be on the road before 8, I left the driveway around 8:30am.
My challenge during the drive was to leave the radio off. I love music and picking the soundtrack to different moments in my life is extremely fun, but not this time. I drove in the (radio) silence and let my thoughts wander. Maddening at first but easy to settle in to when you don’t give yourself another option.
My loosely designed schedule included breakfast at a favorite place and my book of choice was Gifted to Lead. Then I happened upon a local library where I finished my morning and my book. Skimming is a reader’s best friend.
A little mental break with some shopping still abstaining from the cell phone and its social media apps. Then to a hotel where I hunkered down for the night. A snack, a nap and then dinner (Imo’s Pizza you are so good to me) and my next book, An Alter in the World.
I’d still manage to only speak when required to complete a transaction, like getting food and checking in to the hotel. No radio, no tv, no cell phone other than to check the time, in the future, I’ll have to remember to wear a watch.
Apparently, this is a two part series, 470+ words is more than enough for today.