Whew! What a great retreat! I’ve always wanted to lock myself away to write and think for a few days, I’m glad I was finally able to do so. Just going made this a successful retreat.
It was a beautiful drive down.
Of course we had to get Krispy Kreme!
We did go over our $227.38 budget. We spent $280.15. But a few things about that. $21.47 of that was spent via giftcards we were given, and money already on my Dunkin account. We spent about $10-15 more on a tip because of a really great server. We have leftover food and gas, so in my mind, it wasn’t THAT much more. If you look at the cash spent, we spent $258.68. And I wouldn’t take a single purchase back.
This was the first time we stayed at a cabin in a state park. I will definitely be doing that again! It was nice not having to set up a tent, and pack up a tent. Our set up and clean up were very easy. We did have a critter trying to eat the cabin early in the morning but that just goes with the territory. There were a few points when Bret was on a walk or in the restroom, when I thought I might get eaten by squirrels. They were SO brazen in how close they got.
That’s a squirrel under the back corner of my chair!
Critters seemed to be the theme of the retreat. While walking one day, we noticed a deer. Because of our angle and the sun, we thought….is that a white deer or just the sun? Upon further investigating, and terrible quiet walking on my part, we got close enough to find, yes, it was a white deer! After a little research, it turns out it’s a Piebald deer, and they are really rare. How cool to see something so rare!
We’re listening to a great book called Keep Moving by Dick Van Dyke, which was a great intro and outro to the retreat. He talks about aging and it is just a fantastic ride. I highly recommend it….and make sure you get the audio book read by the author.
I’m really glad that we got breakfast on the way home, because I have to say, it was one of THE best I’ve ever had.
It seems that this retreat was also about doing things I’ve always wanted to do. Every time I drive home from the beach, I’m tempted to stop at one of the stands or shops with produce and Smith Island Cakes. I always see them, think, ooooo, I want to stop!, but I never do. There is a twinge of regret each time. Yesterday, I saw the big sign for Smith Island Cakes (at this point, I thought we had passed all the shops), safely slammed on the breaks, and turned in. It took a few minutes to decide between a cookies and creme or a peanut butter slice, but I settled on peanut butter. Oh my goodness. So worth the stop!
I learned a lot about myself this week, and I got confirmation on things that I suppressed about myself. I’m embracing me as me. I cried, I laughed, I grew. I read four books. I highly recommend taking a retreat like this. Have a few goals before you go….but don’t make them so large you can’t hit them. For me, the biggest success was just going. It was something I always wanted to do. While I had 3 pages of notes, questions, and goals, I accepted that what would happen would happen. My biggest takeaway was that I can have a retreat mindset every day. I experienced so much growth and thinking just preparing for the time away. I’ve found a few hacks that work for me to recreate this “time away” feeling, so I can keep growing, even though I’m at home. Just last night, I cranked up my classic music and read from a book I’ve been trying to read for months. I learned that I make WAY too many excuses for things. I can’t wait to see how the things I recognized in myself and my work change over the next few weeks.
Have you ever taken a personal retreat? Let me know in the comments below!
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