A few months ago, some dear friends of mine invited several of us over for an evening of West Wing watching. Some of you may remember that TV series from a few years back, starring Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlett, along with a cast of great actors in their roles as White House staffers.
During a time of cynicism and dissatisfaction with government, it showed terribly human but genuinely good people trying to do the right thing as public servants. I loved that show. And I love the friends who were gathering to watch it. Our discussions about the show are always challenging, fun, invigorating…
So – an invitation to spend an evening with people I love watching back to back episodes of my favorite show was very tempting.
But I turned it down.
I’d just come through several pretty intense weeks, and I was feeling the need for a break. For me, that usually means some serious time alone, with quiet, where I can just breathe. So I told my friends how much I appreciated their invitation, but that I was in fact in need of some down time, and they understood completely.
Then, I asked another friend if I could spend a night up at her cabin in the mountains – something she’d offered to me many times in the past. And in the end, that’s what I did.
Just twenty-four hours of peace, quiet, no phones, no internet. Creek. Trees. Rocks. Breeze. Sky. That was what my soul was needing at the time.
Sometimes taking care of your Self
means saying No to one Good Thing – and Yes to another.
This week, as I write this, I’m sitting on the back porch of a little house just off the beach at Edisto Beach on Edisto Island in South Carolina. I’m not really what you think of as a “beach person”, per se, but this is a pretty special place. I took this picture yesterday morning, heading out for a walk with a cup of coffee in my hand.
There’s almost no one here this time of year, so it’s easy to feel like you have the place to yourselves. My family and I have the space to play a game or ride a bike, eat out or grill in, sleep late or rise early – as we wish. And there’s nothing but the sounds of birds and an occasional passing boat to break the silence.
Good for the family. Good for the soul.
So what have you said no to this week?
And what have you said yes to instead?
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Photo Credits: Wendy Pitts Reeves