By Nichole Giles
Two weeks ago today, I embarked upon a journey of discovery and growth. After packing the biggest suitcase I could find, and sitting on it to zip it closed, I dragged it through a crowded airport and hopped a plane.
I could claim that I was “alone…on a greyhound bound for nowhere,” as recording artist Miranda Lambert would put it, but I won’t. Because, well, I was on a 747 bound for San Antonio, and I wasn’t even a little bit alone. Among the other passengers on the plane were my two sisters-in-law and my mother. We planned to meet up with my younger sister for our yearly girls-only-get-away.
You might be wondering what five women might do to amuse themselves on such a getaway, and why I claim this was a journey of discovery and growth. Well, I am about to enlighten you. (Warning: pocketbooks within 50 feet may feel assaulted by the following revelation.)
We shop. Our journey is one of discovering great finds, many bargains, and tacky souvenirs. And while we shop, our feet and our shopping bags (and later our suitcases) grow. Well, not all of our feet grew, only the pregnant person’s feet grew, but we were all right there with her, feeling her pain. The point is not how much money we spent—which was surprisingly much less than it must have looked—but that we had a lovely time being together as individuals, as sisters, and as girls.
Now here is the part where I tell you what my three-day shopping spree has to do with writing. Every now and then, it is good for the soul to shake things up. Change your routine a bit, and take a day or two (or three or four) to recharge your batteries. You might be surprised at the progress you can make on your projects when your brain is rested and refreshed. Men and women alike all need—and deserve—a break from the stress of every day life.
Decisions that you struggle to make, and problems you might be helpless to solve, will all be there when you get back. They don’t go away just because you did, but taking yourself out of the situation, even for a few hours, can work wonders for your psyche.
Even though my trip fell on the worst possible weekend, it came at a time when I needed it most. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your life responsibilities, take a few hours and go meet a friend for lunch. Give yourself permission to be human, put away your computer, and take a breather. You may not make your writing goals for the day, but you’ll be much more productive tomorrow. And who knows, along the way you might discover an amazing story just waiting to be told. Wouldn’t that be grand?