The Good Side of Escaping

work life balance
work life balance

Last week, on Facebook, I opened up about the Year of Sobriety my husband and I are about 10 months into.  Amongst other things, I shared how I no longer feel a need to escape and use alcohol as a tool to do so.  For years, I used endless happy hours and boxes of wine to hide the fact that I increasingly loathed my job and life (a coping mechanism I picked up as a teenager and one that was reinforced in the college party scene).  You can pop over here to read the full post.

So, OF COURSE, this weekend I was reminded that escape isn’t all about hiding from things we don’t want to face.  Escape can also be GOOD and therapeutic.  Escape can be exactly what we need to reclaim who we are.

I escaped this weekend and it felt incredible.

For the first time all summer, I took three whole days all for me (and my husband).  I barely touched my phone, except to snap and share a few select pics, I tried new things (hello, surfing!), I soaked in sun and surf (my happy place), I savored Instagram-worthy meals without Instagramming them (gasp!), I had an enlightened conversation with a couple of strangers who were simultaneously wise beyond their years and aching to “grow up” (brought me back to some critical formative years), and most importantly, I reconnected with many of my core desired feelings and values: freedom, ease & grace, connection.

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The truth is, it's easy to get caught in the daily grind and lose sight of what's really important and why it is that we do what we do.  Sometimes, peeling away the layers of to-do’s and stepping out of our everyday lives is what we need to help us reconnect with our priorities and put the day-to-day drama into perspective.

This weekend I got to thinking: Why do I work so hard?  Partly because I love what I do and feel the need to bring huge value to the world by being of service to others.  And partly because I want to create more space, more freedom, more ease, more love, more laughter, and more control over my destiny AND my days.  Isn’t that what we all want?

Careers are vehicles that are meant to support lives we love (not loathe) to live.  They’re just a piece of our lives that are meant to complement the whole, but they too easily become all consuming – which is where the escape comes in.

Unfortunately, escaping on the regular for an entire weekend is just not realistic.  And, sometimes, waiting until the weekend to create space is just not going to cut it.  Thankfully, there are things that can be done every day to create the same space and freedom that a weekend away will.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite inspired ideas, but for now I’d love to hear from you: what do you do when you desperately need to escape but can’t?