The Fine Art of Solitude (and Getting Reacquainted with Yourself)

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The fine art of solitude…

stillness

quiet

peace

 

The good news is that Scott’s back is feeling healthy enough that he was able to join his annual guys’ trip to the coast for a long weekend. The guys have made this trek since grad school and it would have been a bummer for him to miss out.

That’s not the only good news (smile)…

The annual trek means that five wives, sprinkled between Washington and Northern California, had the entire weekend to ourselves. I’ve heard rumors that these fabulous women love their solitary weekend as much as I do each year.

As I kissed Scott goodbye on Thursday, I knew the timing was just right for this kind of weekend.

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This last week for me included the hot pursuit of one of our runaway students with the sheriff (I found him), a mole biopsy (thankfully benign),  a fender bender in the parking lot at work while acting as administrator (ugh), and witnessing a horrific motorcycle crash, 3 cars ahead, on the freeway (involving a small child). Sadly, I still don’t know if everyone survived. I ended my week on a level of emotional exhaustion I haven’t felt in a long time.

We all have our stresses…

some weeks are simply more challenging than others.

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I think the key is knowing when it’s time to slow down and create some time to quiet the mind and seek solitude. One of the first things I do is take an epsom salt bath with soothing music in the background. I created a spa bath at home here. The epsom salt bath is reported to have some healthy benefits and I’m a believer.

 

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When the house is quiet it seems to increase my creativity and productivity…

as well as enhance the moments of relaxation and rest.

 

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I try to find the perfect balance between the two states of mind–productivity and relaxation–in my times of solitude.

 

Sure, I spent loads of time in my home office, I did some spring cleaning, washed and folded 6 loads of laundry; but I also watched the entire first season of HBO’s engaging ‘Togetherness‘ in one sitting WITH POPCORN…

and I left my dishes until the morning.

Dress for the day or stay in pajamas?? It’s all up to you in times of solitude, right?

 

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This weekend I pulled it together and ventured out once–to brunch with dear, long time friends–feeding both body and soul. We went to Two-Twenty in Chico. Scott and I discovered the delicious brunch menu a couple of weeks ago.

I’m a fan of their Butter Crumb Eggs the eggs have a crumb crust–so southern!

BUTTER CRUMB EGGS
Sautéed Spinach, Roasted Pepper Diavolo Sauce, Heirloom Tomato Hollandaise, Breakfast Potatoes Focaccia Toast

 

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Later, a huge rain storm blew in (changing some of my other plans) and I hunkered down at home to watch the storm and catch up with this guy, Jack. Turns out he can be quite demanding unless he gets some treats. #spoiled

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Even if you don’t often have your living space to yourself–or ever–there are still ways to seek solitude. As a new step-mom our house was often full, but I spent many afternoons in our large garden seeking solitude. A walk in the park, a quiet corner of a café, or even in your car parked in a quiet spot during lunch (I do this) can lead to peaceful moments of solitude. It’s all about getting reacquainted with our thoughts and ourselves without all the noise around us. Stylemindchic Life Logo PNG

 

Turns out the beauty of a weekend of solitude is that you feel completely recharged to welcome back your real life; your loves, your family & friends and to boldly embrace the rhythm of life again.

Scott will be warmly welcomed back later this afternoon. I definitely think small breaks like this are a good thing for a relationship.

When was the last time you had some time to yourself?

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Stylemindchic Boutique!

Heather Lindstrom

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16 comments

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Hi Heather,
Your job sounds so stressful. I’m glad that you found some downtime, it’s well deserved. Don’t you love Togetherness? I could not wait for the second season to begin. I just love the young mother character. I think she’s spot on with what some women at that age feel. I would be interested to know if due to your job & life, you ever find stress creep in to your day to day, and make it difficult to rise above? At my work, we have a few women my age and younger who are really struggling right now. I think sometimes because I am an introvert, I rely too much on being by myself. And I wonder if I would be more positive more often if I did reach out more to others. It was a great post. i hope you are doing well, and I’m glad Scott is doing better. Loved your wine country pics. xx Nancy

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Heather I’m SO happy Scott could go on his trip with his buddies. I have so much empathy with his sore back! I really enjoyed this topic too. And I know that excited feeling you had when Scott left…it sounds like perfect timing. You were in need of some R&R too. I can relate to all the ways you replenish yourself. Right now I’m actually totally engrossed in a book–of all things it’s Game of Thrones recommended by my son. I never even watched one episode because it didn’t interest me but this book Is amazing — this another way I get replenished. Being transported by a great book.
xo
Leslie

Heather!

Good to read Scott has recovered!

Bless you for all that you do for the children of your community and our world! My heart breaks every day . . . as I encounter more and more souls navigating life in the midst of total dysfunction. I find myself consoling, counseling and guiding. Although I haven’t a degree, I see myself . . . hopefully . . . as a positive influence to bring to a day in their life.

I love that you had a chance to unwind after such a trying week. Your home is styled for the sweetest retreat!

Thank you for following me via WP at my new home! This morning you and your gift of a post were at the top of my reader!

I hope this week brings a calmer mindset for you!

w/L

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Jack and my Remy could be twins!! I always decompress when I hang out with my cat, which unfortunately is not often enough! xo K

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Solitude was a gift for you following such a rough week. Sounds like a lovely weekend. The bright side is that you enjoyed your time knowing that Scott is on the mend! I often have to schedule a few hours of solitude to renew and recharge my soul. Hoping your week ahead is filled with bright moments! xx Karen

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You and I have so much in common, Karen. With the similarities in our careers I think having some solitude is essential. I’m glad to hear you are able to make this a priority. On another note, hasn’t our NorCal weather been crazy lately? It was pouring down rain earlier and now it is glorious and sunny. Maybe that is just the bright spot you were mentioning. :)
Have a wonderful week, Karen!
xx

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Dearest Heather, I am so sorry you had to experience all of that in ONE short amount of time! But the end result for any of us who have a bad day is this: solitude to reconnect with the greater-than-us within us. That is all that works for me. I pray Scott is well, I pray your work week is off to a good start, and that every day gives us more strength. Big hugs, Anita

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Anita dear,
Lovely sentiments. I so agree. I hope you had a wonderful anniversary celebration. Isn’t your spring break just around the corner? I hope it is filled with all kinds of bright moments and relaxation.
xx

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Enjoy your weekend! xo

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Thank you, Jen! xx

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Hi Heather! What a wonderful post. A bit of solitude is a wonderful thing. It recharges the batteries and rejuvenates the soul. I am so happy to hear that you had some time to yourself to enjoy some simple pleasures (what a wonderful thing!) even in the midst of a wildly hectic week. And most importantly, I am so happy to hear that Scott is doing better…didn’t I tell you…it would take time, but it will happen!!!! By the way, I checked out your spa products…what a great selection! Some of the brands I already use and are wonderful. I just used my Clarisonic this morning..talk about a game changer!

All the best to you…(and Scott, too!)

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You did have a good feeling about his recovery. Thanks so much for the positive thoughts. Yes, the clarisonic is fantastic. It
changed my skin!
Have a lovely week!
xx

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After spending most of my life interacting with other people, I cherish solitude and appreciate your advice to try “to find the perfect balance between the two states of mind–productivity and relaxation” during times of solitude. Too often, I simply relax and let my mind go where it will, at least during winter.

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Leslie, your winter sounds quite lovely to me at this point. It is possible I have a few too many ‘irons in the fire’ in my spare time at this point.
I do look forward to adding in more relaxation down the road. Hopefully in the not too distant future. Enjoy your cozy, relaxing winter days.
xx

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Your weekend sounds wonderful. My house is exactly the opposite right now as we are pulling every and all items from the storage unit and our house that we no longer need/love/use/want; and getting it ready for a big community flea market at the end of the month. These items will not return and while a bit of mess (ok, a big mess) right now, I can already feel the “weight” of all this stuff off of me. Most of it is not junk, just packed up for too many years from our move back from Colorado, and I hope someone can find a treasure for their home. Then I plan to have a spa weekend.

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What a huge project, Michelle! It always feels so good to pare down and donate the unwanted items–but I know it takes time to make it happen.
Enjoy your well deserved spa time. :)
xx

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