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Monday, August 22, 2011

Stay At Home Retreat

We're all familiar with the idea of a "stay-cation" - too broke to take a real vacation, we pretend to do fun stuff while staying at home to reduce costs. Some people are better at this than others. My husband, for example, completely fails at stay-cations. If he's not on a flight at the ass-crack of dawn, it's not worth using a vacation day.

Along those same lines, I'm planning a bit of stay-treat. Free-treat? Me-treat? Whatever. The point is that I can't afford to take off to some meditation retreat or writing retreat so I'm planning my own without leaving the comforts of home. Joe will be on the left coast next week for work (Monday morning - Saturday morning) and I want to make the most of it.

What I'm really trying to do is take a break in my normal routine that will help ramp it up when the week is over. For example - I'm planning to workout, read, write, meditate daily. These are things I currently do sometimes. Or while multi-tasking on ten other things. I want to really focus and be mindful of these things next week, cutting out on a lot of the time-wasters like tv and aimless surfing. I want to really feed my soul and nourish my creative side. I want to spend the entire five days taking care of ME.

So how would you go about doing this? Do I set a strict agenda? No agenda at all? Since I'm not going to benefit from the change in location that a real retreat provides (though I have nothing against driving to somewhere local, especially if the weather would cooperate for some outside time), it will be tempting to fall into my usual routine. Those distractions that always get me will still be here. How do I ignore them? How do I make this different? Is it even possible? I suppose that's an advantage of going somewhere else for a retreat but since I'm home all day regularly, it's important for me to learn discipline when it comes to those shiny objects.

Any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Book suggestions, website resources, tip and tricks, whatever you've got. I'm excited to spend some time this week planning so I can make next week special without spending a million dollars.


Toriz said...

I would personally avoid schedules, but possibly set daily lists of things you want to achieve. For example:



You get the idea, I'm sure...

That way you have no, "at such and such time I need to be doing this or that, and I need to do it for x amount of time until it's time to do the next thing." It gives you goals to work with for what you hope to achieve, but lets you be flexible with how long you spend on each thing, and also when you start or end for the day (since there will be things that will probably happen to make you start late, and if you have a schedule you'll freak out about running late, which defeats the object of the peaceful "retreat" type atmosphere).

a simple woman said...

Great idea of yours with the stay retreat. I think I would keep a bit of a schedule with time to make sure that you don't fall into your old routines of surfing the net, mindless TV, etc. Block out the time you want to do this during the day and treat it like a work commitment, etc. That way it will get done and you'll be doing what you want to try to accomplish in the week. Good luck with it!

C. Beth said...

I was going to say the same thing as Toriz--instead of an agenda, just a checklist. :) Good luck!

Tami said...

I agree with the checklist rather than schedule idea. My issue, were I trying to do this, would be to avoid the tv, computer, etc. plus the other responsibilities of home - laundry, cleaning, mowing. . . In order to avoid the electronics I would probably have to disconnect them - I have no willpower. Give the remote and/or router to a trusted friend? I would probably also pick a time of day when - for say 1 hour - I do laundry, etc. without feeling guilty.

Good luck on the plan. It wounds wonderful. You deserve it!

Whitney said...

My husband isn't good at stay-cations either. Mainly because he considers vacations, a time to spend money. Which we have none of at the moment. I'm pretty good at sitting on the couch reading. LOL.
Good luck with yours! Re-read your favorite books. I do that often. :)

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Make a list of things you need/want to get done. Number the list in order of importance. Figure out how much time you want to spend on each list item, and make an agenda. "Eat the frog" first each day, then you'll be free to truly enjoy the more favorable items on the list. I might suggest splurging a little on some fabulous food, and taking some time to people watch... you know, the real life kind (it's harder without the screen, though). Enjoy!

AudreyO said...

I very much succeed with a schedule. With a checklist there's just too much room to not get it done. I worked from home for fifteen years and without a daily schedule, I would've worked 24/7 to get it done. Instead I scheduled in everything and somehow it all got done. Hope you have an awesome week.