Before long I’ll begin packing for my Canmore getaway. Checking the reminders from past trips should ensure I don’t forget anything I need or bring anything I don’t. Bring peanut butter; don’t bring sugar. Bring scissors, a surge protector, a reading light; don’t bring Kleenex, shampoo, or a hair dryer.
Typically I shop Safeway when I hit town and buy the yogurt, fruits, and veggies I’ll need during the week. I bring miniature containers of condiments and spices to jazz up whatever I cook. I treat myself to a lovely Thai meal at least once.
I try very hard to let my body guide my actions during the week. Eat when I’m hungry, sleep when I’m tired. Rather than letting the clock or someone else dictate when it’s mealtime or bedtime. There’s a freedom that comes with making decisions for yourself and not worrying about compromise. Would I ever get Roy to eat Thai? Nope. How many times has he growled at me to turn off the light, put away my book, and go to sleep? Too many to count.
Now that I know that reading fiction is not a sin I will bring some recreational reading. But I’ll also use this chunk of time to do some interior work. I’m inviting Julia Cameron (of The Artist’s Way fame) to join me. By following her techniques and using a couple of workbooks I have, I can inch closer to self-actualization and a life of happy ever after. Or not. Maybe I’ll reread Joan Anderson’s A Weekend to Change Your Life. Hell, I’d have leftover time to spare.
Of course, I’ll bring my crystals. I also have a couple (okay, closer to forty) sketchbooks and gorgeous journals just waiting for someone, anyone to finally make a mark. Maybe I’ll banish my critic by colouring in my new Mandala Magic book. The twenty-four luscious Crayola fine line markers appeal to the artist in me.
I just found three books (Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit; A Life in Hand~~Creating the Illuminated Journal and Writing Life Stories) on my night table that should also make the trip. Or perhaps it’s time to read all of Sark’s books. Or complete Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance Companion. And I better take my tarot cards and learn how to use them.
Do you see the dilemma? Everywhere I turn there are books, ideas, explorations calling out to me. I get excited. Wonder how I will choose what to take, what to do. Yet I know in my heart of hearts that I can’t possibly do all I want in a week (or even a lifetime).
But as I tell you this, I see a solution. If I schedule one hour every morning to work on one of these interests I’d be living mindfully, in the moment, and not waiting for one perfect week out of the year. Morning would be perfect because that’s when I’m sharpest, because it could affect the outcome of the day, because it isn’t likely to get bumped at the end of a tiring day. Now that’s a plan, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites..