Saturday, October 13, 2012

Miniretreat to Mendocino

Whoops, my last post went up out of order, this one was supposed to go up first ...

Before I started my new job, I took myself on a miniretreat up to a tiny cottage in Mendocino for a couple days.

No internet, no television, no phone for three days. Wow.

My first time using a wood stove!  I have to admit, I'm not terribly brilliant at building a fire.

Made myself breakfast in bed.  Twice.  Heavens, why don't I do this more often?  And for the first time, truly appreciated how nice it is to brew oneself a pot of tea, then slowly savor it through a morning, afternoon or evening.

The gardens outside were absolutely beautiful, too.  The cottage is maintained by a landscape architect, and there were multiple charming spots to just sit and relax.  Their property was within walking distance of the beach, and the cottage had no shower, just a clawfoot tub under this very 100+ year old tree.  Drawing myself a hot bath each night under the stars and trees, the sound of waves crashing in the background ... definitely a highlight of the trip.

This felt a bit like a convalescence of sorts.  I was physically tired, emotionally exhausted.  A couple months ago, I remember reading an Agatha Christie novel set in the earlier part of the last century where Ms. Marple went off to the seaside for a month to convalesce, and I remember setting the book down and thinking, "Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  Why don't we do that anymore?  When did it become the norm to pop straight back up after every illness and get straight on with life?  Why do we feel compelled to drag our sorry asses around when we're not feeling well?"  (OK, I realize that sometimes this is an economic necessity.  But I also think that we tend to discount the mental and emotional toll that our modern lives take on our inner selves.)

Although I spent most of my time curled up in the cottage or out on their grounds, reading or knitting or sipping tea or napping or walking along the sand dunes, I did venture out a bit as well.  Beautiful.

There were all sorts of things I could have gone off to do - hikes! clambering among tidepools! walking about town!  But I deliberately tried to do less, and I realized how much better I felt because of it.  I feel like I spent a lot of my early and mid 20s running around, trying to cram more in.  Honestly folks, right now I am just tired.  All I can do is take it easy.  Maybe it means I run 2 days out of the week instead of 3-4.  You know, that's OK.  Maybe it means I make 1 garment a month instead of 2 or 3.  You know what, that's OK.  Napping once/day on the weekend?  Go for it, kiddo.  Waking up from the nap, and then continuing to lie there?  Absolutely.  Do it.  There will come a period where I do not have that luxury of empty time, but it's all I can handle right now, so that's all I'm going to ask of myself.

Come now, I couldn't visit Mendocino and not wear my Mermaid shell, made with the Heather Ross fabric from the Mendocino line of fabric!  Love wearing button-downs, unbuttoned of course, over casual clothing, for a slighlty-more put together look.  Just slightly.  Still quite casual.

I figure, I post so infrequently and when I do post about handmades, so often it's to showcase how I made up an old pattern that I've already made before, so clearly that's not what's drawing back those of you who still stop by this little blog, so it's OK to put out there that I'm only expecting to make up 1 new garment each month.  In keeping with this latest shift in my life, I'm consolidating blogs and only posting once per week, and I'll try to keep up a steady "Photo Wednesday" with random snippets from my life to keep things interesting for y'all.


Minnado said...

It looks very beautiful there. I love to visit the sea, it has a restorative power for me. The little cottage is so sweet. I am in cimplete agreement about doing LESS. I tend to try and rush too many things. This summer I started to slow down and do less, trying to enjoy what we do rather than trying to rush and cram in more. xx

Alessa said...

That sounds heavenly. :) Reading and knitting and having tea in a beautiful garden, sinking your toes in the sand and firing a wood-stove and having a bath in a claw-footed tub under the stars... A bit like paradise?
I'm still in the part of my 20s where I mostly run around and do stuff, afraid that if I slow down, I'll miss something. But slowly, I'm slowing down. Taking a slow day, reading and napping and having tea... So nice. :)

Roobeedoo said...

A retreat! Isn't that such a wonderful idea? Just get away from it all, totally, and come back refreshed - lovely!
You are on to something there :)