Sometimes . . . I check out.
Like, as in, I really check out.
I don’t read my email. I don’t pay attention to the news in any form. I don’t look at Instagram. I don’t seek company. I don’t go anywhere.
Sometimes I actually do physically “go” somewhere else (my garden, our cabin up north, on a long walk), but usually it’s a more metaphorical kind of “going.” I go to my journal. Or to a book or some poetry. Or I make something (food or a painting or something with fabric or yarn).
I’m not usually checked out for long. Sometimes a few hours. Never more than a few days.
I always come back.
I’ve always felt kinda bad about the times when I check myself out of the world. It’s usually because . . . something gets to be “too much” for me. The state of the world (often). One-sided relationships. Feeling stuck (in my art or my routine). A drying-up of ideas. It always feels . . . selfish. Like my privilege is showing. Because, bottom line, I have the freedom and the ability TO check out. I can do that, and I can get away with it.
But this month (as I was in a checked-out mode), I realized . . . this is me.
Sometimes SPACE . . . is a refuge.
And that’s okay.
How about you? What’s your word got you thinking about this month?
I say thank God I have the ability to check out at times – that is what keeps me sane! I simply call it needing “my own time” – away from everyone and every thing. I’ve always been that way (when I was young I would retreat into books; when I was older it was nice to be able to really get away [take a hike, take a ride in the car]). After 69 years, I doubt that will change! LOL
Same here! Once I read the definition of an introvert (they need to recharge with alone time) and recognized myself completely I stopped feeling bad about it. I retreat in many of the same ways (books, riding the bike, knitting, meditation), and I know you’re right about needing space and taking space.
My word has me thinking about Brené Brown. (I’m still undecided.)
I think taking space for yourself is a key to your well being and I’m glad you know that you need to do it. I was feeling very anxious last week and I (eventually, why does it take so long to recognize our own stuff?) realized that I needed to spend some time with my journal because it always helps when I put my feelings into words. I guess, to tie it into my OLW, words help my soul to bloom.
I think this kind of space is necessary to most of us being functional human beings. Space as a refuge… that is so good Kym! I had not ever thought of it that way! A bit of a buffer zone to put ourselves back in order… thank you for that great nugget!
And it looks like it was a very good month for you and your word! XO
I definitely need SPACE.
It is getting harder and harder to find.
I need space so much, even if we live in a tiny little town. Lately, I’ve been spending all afternoon reading (and knitting) and not connecting with anything, which unfortunately just makes me crave more not connecting. Hopefully with nicer weather I’ll get out of it.
I think this is a major reason why I started getting outside to exercise every day (weather permitting) when the pandemic first started. I needed some physical separation from my family, much as I love them, when we were all at home. And I needed the mental break from the bad news. I still had my phone with me, but I wasn’t doomscrolling. Instead, I was noticing how the world changed from day to day and how spring slowly came upon us. I’m in a healthier place now, mentally, but I still crave that time away every day. So yes, I totally need space to myself regularly and completely understand where you’re coming from!
As someone who often needs to check out myself, I wonder if the need to do so is unique to our time and place. Did coal miners, Middle Ages serfs, Roman soldiers etc. ever feel the need to do so, or was it simply not in their vocabulary? Is it an evolutionary phenomenon, or a condition of the socially-privileged (Queen Elizabeth I vs.her hard-toiling peasant subjects, or an essential human need? Does Maslov’s pyramid have anything to do with it? Or does it depend merely on the type of personality one is born with? Does too much time on my hands make me ask all these questions? As a former history major this is the path your question has led me down, Kym. On the one hand very interesting to consider philosophically, but on the other hand way too many conundrums to contemplate in a non-collegiate environment. For me at least. So that’s when I run to my knitting. It gives me both time out and a concrete sense of accomplishment when the universe works to subvert (seemingly) every attempt to do so. Win-win. Chloe
I’m glad you got to a space where you feel ‘okay’ with it. What you describe is just sort of my default setting, I guess… I don’t think I’d be me otherwise. (Nor would I be healthy!) And–I think we bring some balance to the loud world. ♥
I have been a bit more checked out lately and I am pondering the why but also just letting it be. Space is showing up in some wonderful ways for you.