Here is a deep dark secret of mine, I'm an introvert. This really does come as a shock to people who know me because in my job I'm very outgoing and social. However this takes a lot out of me and leaves me drained if I don't take recharge time. I love my son and husband to death, but they can also take a lot of my energy as well. Often I'm able to take a long bath or shower and refill my energy level enough to keep going, but every other month or so I need more. That's when I go selfish.
To fully recharge my social battery I need significant alone time, preferable a decent distance from my wonderful family. I'll give my most recent escape as my example. I ran away to my old college town. I headed out after work on a Friday and drove straight to San Marcos, Texas, home of Texas State University (or Southwest Texas State University, as we pronounced it when I attended). As I drove, it occurred to me that I had not been back on campus since my husband and I moved away in 2004. I was both amazed by how much had changed, and by how much hadn't. I stopped at the same grocery store I shopped in when I lived there and picked up a few provisions for my stay.
I checked into my hotel and immediately had a drink to wind down and get into my relaxed mindset. A friend picked me up later for a nice dinner at Palmer's. I had a wonderful Beef Tender & Blue salad with a Texas Smash (their take on a whiskey smash). We relaxed through dinner then went to the Taproom (a regular haunt from my later college years) for a drink. Palmer's was new to me, but the Taproom was just as I remembered it.
Saturday I woke up late, like 10:00 am late. I headed out for a bite to eat. One of my favorite parts of traveling alone is eating alone. I never sit at the bar, but enjoy the comfort of a table, usually with a good book. I had looked online for some suggestions and decided to try The Root Cellar Cafe. I was not disappointed.
After brunch I go to an old favorite shop, Paper Bear. I pick up a novelty mug for the husband and some small toys for ice eggs for the kiddo. Next I go to a local shop to look for a new shirt to represent my fandom for the school, and to find one for the kiddo. Success on both fronts!
The rest of the day was spent doing other things to relax, then dinner with a friend. A sleep in Sunday followed by brunch with the friend again was next. The friend had to head home from there, but I wanted to hike up the hill and check out some of campus for old times sake. Here is me with my old dorm room window behind me.
From there I walked back down the hill and drove on home. I felt refreshed and ready to be home with my guys and to return to my job the next day.
I don't know many other people who take time to themselves like I do. I hear so many people express jealousy that they never do, or did, things like that. I encourage anyone to take some time alone if they want it. It isn't exactly selfish, it is more self care. You cant pour from an empty cup, so take time to refill yours, in whatever way you can.