Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creating Your Fortress of Solitude

One thing my husband does exceptionally well is take care of himself. He makes working out a priority, his willpower when it comes to his diet is amazing and if he doesn't want to do something he just says no. I, on the otherhand, take horrible care of myself. I usually put off exercising because someone else needs my time, I eat on the run and it's rare that I say no. Can you guess which one of us is relatively non-stressed?

 My husband belongs to the local YMCA and spends a number of hours there every day. In the past when I've asked if I could work out with him I've been turned down. The Y is his "Fortress of Solitude" where he can go to socialize and escape. No, this doesn't offend me. Quite frankly, I would like to have a fortress of solitude where he is not allowed to go. The only reason I've never had one is because I don't make myself a high enough priority.

 As part of my journey to find balance, I've recognized the need for downtime. The department will not come to a screeching halt if I leave for lunch. The house will not collapse on itself if I don't straighten up the pantry.  My kids will not grow up to become serial killers (at least I hope not!) if I sneak away to exercise.

 Knowing that I tend to keep my feelings and emotions to myself until I explode (not a pretty sight) I've been trying to create my own daily Fortress of Solitude. The beauty of your personal Fortress of Solitudes is it can be whatever you need it to be. My Fortress of Solitude is somewhere that I can go, by myself, to deep breathe and relax. I need to let the stress of the day melt away so that I can be prepared for the next wave of stress.

 The picture up above is my lunchtime Fortress of Solitude. Now that it's summer, once or twice a week I sneak out at lunchtime by myself to admire this view. It's relatively peaceful and I can listen to the birds chirping while enjoying the breeze and the fresh air.  I do need to start bringing a cushion though because the bench is rather hard.

 While Mike's Fortress of Solitude is always the Y, mine changes. If I have free time during the week (not often) or on the weekends, this area of the patio is my Fortress of Solitude. Since I am a better sharer than Mike, I do occassionally let him join me in my Fortress of Solitude :)

 Sometimes my Fortress of Solitude isn't quite so picturesque as it may be my car in the parking lot at work or the bathtub of my house. The point is, I have a place where I can get away from the stress of the day. A place where I can recharge my batteries, yank my tights up a little higher and prepare to battle evil.

 Do you have a Fortress of Solitude? If not, how do you relax?

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