Last weekend, my boyfriend and I finally exchanged our Christmas presents. This exchange consisted of us renting a car and driving over nine hours through a winter storm to get to an Airbnb outside of Toronto.
We had planned the trip weeks ago. I already have too much stuff in my shared 600-square-foot apartment, and he prefers experiences over material things. So instead of buying each other presents, we decided to invest in a weekend away.
I knew that I would have Monday off work, as it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That’s why we were willing to spend two days on the road to get to an adorable bungalow with a private hot tub that was within our budget. While we didn’t intend to be driving all day in a snowstorm, the trip was mostly nonrefundable, so we pushed ahead.
We woke up without an alarm on Saturday. I did morning yoga, and then we spent time relaxing in the outdoor hot tub. It was one of those forever moments, cuddling in the warm water while a cold breeze combined with the steam rising from the tub. On the return journey, we stopped at Niagara Falls, before resuming the drive talking about anything and everything.
While I will cherish that weekend forever, my boyfriend needed a weekend to let go and recharge. He is from Puerto Rico, and with the recent earthquakes there and other personal matters to deal with, he was understandably stressed. Though he drove the entire journey back, afterward he said that he felt more recharged then he had in a while.
It’s easy to get lost in everything that’s going on in my life, and it can be hard to remember to take space and time to take care of yourself, particularly when there is still work to do or troubles to resolve. I wrote in a previous column about how sometimes distraction can be a way of taking care of yourself. While that approach can work, you should also take additional time for yourself when you can. I know how easy it is to burn out when you don’t stop moving for long.
I’ve grown up worrying about Huntington’s, and I needed to take time away from it. I’ve realized that it’s OK to spend weekends not thinking about it at all and just focusing on self-care.
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