Isolation and solitude both imply being alone, but that is where the similarities end.
I had spent weeks in isolation actively avoiding my problems and now forced to take a week off work, solitude was the solution. You could call it down time to reflect on my down time, but with nothing scheduled for my week off, it went against my planner prowess! Who doesn’t want to make the most of their annual leave days?!
I thought, as usual, where can my passport take me? All I really wanted was sun, sea and now admittedly, solitude. Time to reflect, get rejuvenated and get RochRia back! I wanted to head somewhere I hadn’t been before. A place with a flight time of less than 3 hours. Oh, a rooftop pool would be great too. Plus I only wanted to spend a certain amount. And quite importantly, little to no kids… All of these caveats added onto three simple needs (sun, sea and solitude) became overwhelming. I was overwhelmed about picking a destination! A whole me! And most of all I was thinking, what a waste of a wax! ?
On Tuesday I spent
most all of the day recovering from the past 2 days I spent jumping at carnival (fair play to all of you that went back to work!). On Wednesday morning, I continued to flick back and forth on where I wanted to go. After a few WhatsApp conversations and many searches on TripAdvisor, I decided on *drumroll*… a sensible staycation.
On Thursday, I put on my bikini, packed my journal and drove down to Whitstable Beach in Kent. I sprawled out on the pebble beach (as far away from the nearest under 10 year old as possible ?) and began to listen to Pastor Mike Todd talk about (ironically titled) baby faith. I journaled, read Hezekiah’s prayer, wrote down my goals for the rest of the year and then had a snooze. As the clouds began to roll over the sun and the tide tumbled out, I went in search of some fish and chips. I ate at The Forge and had my first oyster there too. Delicious. I got back in Leo (my car!) and was home in 90 minutes! Sun, sea and solitude ✅
I started Friday with my church’s bi-weekly ladies’ prayer webinar. The sea air had got to me, so admittedly I went back to sleep after!
I packed my gym bag and headed to hot yoga in Hackney. I’ve been keen to try hot yoga – for the intensity and the challenge; and it didn’t disappoint. I concentrated a lot more, I was able to achieve a lot more yoga positions too. I showered, took down my twist out and headed to my favourite London borough: Highbury and Islington, for a late lunch at Prawn on the Lawn.
The menu changes regularly dependent on the type of fish available, so I ordered the current favourite dishes of the two waiters (satay cod and mussels & clams with garlic – the names of the dishes, not the waiters! ?). I added lemon sole tempura, another oyster and a G&T. All I can say, in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, is: I’ll be back!
After an active afternoon, I went to one of my favourite spots in London: Alexandra Palace. Sun, sea (of sweat) and solitude ✅.
The views of London from Ally Pally are amazing and reminds you there’s a big bad world out there.
As I sit and listen to Spanish worship, it reminds me I’m part of that big bad world but I have the authority to step away from it. In order that I can protect my peace, that I can chill without consequence and I can take a much needed moment away from the madness.
I needed this week off. I may not have been able to board a plane to Barça or nipped down to Nice this time. I can prioritise my time for those places in the future. My priority is me – from top to toe; mind, body and soul.
Think about the following questions…
- What are you feeding your body?
- What are you feeding your mind?
- What are you serving your soul?
Do any of these things need to change? Do you need to make a start? Take inventory, get clarity, write your next steps down and make it plain.
Don’t isolate yourself, ask for help and most importantly take action. As my coach has said to me: small steps add to quantum leaps.