one day away

one day away is enough to reset my internal chatter. it’s like i have a metal coat hanger inside me, twisting around, reminding me to do things, waking me up early with lists of things to do. and when i remove myself from my home, my surroundings, i can remove the coat hanger and just ‘be’.  it surprisingly doesn’t take much. i mean, really it’s kind of bizarre and amazing that I can get a complete reset in 24 hrs by:

  • leaving my space (i work at home so to get a break from work i really need to leave here)
  • leaving my computer behind (nuff said!)
  • actually physically travelling somewhere (just being on the train with a little suitcase feels like a vacation from minute one)
  • loading up the ipod with new podcasts and knowing i’ll have time to listen without interruption
  • being without my husband (we both work at home in a very small space and have been off-and-on ready to kill each other for weeks)
  • as soon as i get to my hotel room, i take off my watch and cover up the clock. i go for a walk to explore the town for a few hours, and scope out a place for dinner. i go back to the hotel, vegetate with bad foreign-language tv for a couple of hours. then go for dinner. back to hotel for bath.
  • reading. no more tv after dinner. no more podcasts. i sleep when i’m tired (since i can’t see the clock). i read cooking magazines in bed, making notes in turquoise pen in my book that say: apple cake with cranberries? ginger coconut mussels? pistachio + cherries?
  • i sleep all night, alone in the bed (!) and wake on my own.
  • have a big long run (finally finally after about 4-5 months it’s good to be 100% back to normal).
  • another bath
  • find breakfast of some random pastry with some random cheese with a random weird coffee
  • find the sunday farmer’s market (every town has one). buy oranges and mangoes and cake.
  • take pictures.
  • go back to hotel. pack up. move chair over to window. prop up feet and sit with book and just read until i feel like going home (i have asked for late check out so that i can go when i’m ready).
  • take the train back to the city, come home, have simple lunch with husband. eat purchased cake. tell him about the pastry i saw in the window of the special store.
  • unpack sweaty running clothes.
  • plan to take over the world.

yes, all this achieved in 24 hrs for about $150. return train trip, a few inexpensive meals, and an off-season single-hotel room in a non-touristy town that has roots back to 1575.

this mini-vacation thing is something i only started doing once i was sober. i used to just drink all weekend, unaware of how i was feeling. now i seem better equipped to identify when i need a break AND i’m able to take it. and enjoy it. without regret.

all is well.



I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Glad that you have had your regenerate and recharge day away. Super that it can make you feel so good at such a price. Love it, happy holiday and may you fell the benefits for a good while.

  • Belle. I try to do this once a year from my home. While hubby is out of town I take a few vacation days and do random trips around the city that only the tourists visit. No tv, no phone calls, no internet. Just a step outside the comfort zones. It is quite energizing!

  • this sounds like a great idea. Plus, I love the “random cheese” thing!

    I’ve got to clear my head, and be away from all the chatter as well.

  • Sounds relaxing and nourishing for the soul. It is really good get away from your house every once in a while and spend some time alone.

  • Great idea! “Good on You!”, as I have heard said from across the pond.
    To incorporate such a retreat, for me now, starts with the familiar ‘overwhelm’ of decisions like, where to go, which reading to bring, what food, which motel…thinking that takes time and energy so much so that staying put becomes the norm. Again, good for you for getting to be efficient enough that to can actually implement such a retreat!

  • A real vacance rather than the virtual ones we used to take out of a bottle. Real ones are so much more satisfying; healthier too, even with cake 🙂

  • How very cool this is! Like most of us, you used to drown/hide from your emotions and needs (I need a break) whilst supplying yourself with a faux-substitute (Checking out of the real world via alcohol). And this is what we are all working on now: Identifying needs and wants, feeling feelings, learning to support and care for ourselves in a loving way. Wow!

  • Maw, I’m so pleased you had a nice hiatus! Sounds dreamy. I want to eat those mussels. And I’m thrilled to hear that your rebel heart has started behaving and you can run normally. x

  • i love this. i love this so much. (i can relate, i spent a year in france in college, and used to absolutely love random 500-year-old-city wanderings that included, yes, random cheese, and even more random bread, random yogurts, random pastries…so many random pastries.) i am going to try to incorporate something like this mini-vacation thing into my life. you are so genius. yay for random cheese!

    • Love it for you!!!! May I steal your idea? Isn’t amazing what sobriety enables us to feel and see and experience! I feel your renewed energy! Watch out world, belle is reset and Continuing To take onto e world with a vigor and vibrancy!