Two years ago I was having a pretty difficult time at home. It had turned into a very negative space and I was stressed out most of the time that I spent there. I was doing some therapy trying to work through it, which was helping me cope and come up with a plan, but it was seriously difficult. In order to help deal I also spent a lot of time putting my social life into overdrive. I spent all the time I could out with friends and doing things downtown, which kept me out of the house a bit more.
At a particularly difficult period during this time, I was going through some very difficult stuff at work which compounded things. I had a date with my new girlfriend coming up that weekend so I was using that as a goal to strive for (I hadn’t seen her all Christmas so I was particularly starved for time with her this month). My roommate then texted to tell me he was coming down with strep.
I was mortified. Usually I am more cavalier about the risk of a cold, but not this time. I couldn’t get strep. Not now. Without thinking I booked a discount hotel down the street from my house for three nights, wrapped a scarf around my head, went into our home and quickly packed for a few days and just bailed out.
My brain told me that despite the cheap as shit hotel I picked, this was a massive waste of money. I didn’t care. I really needed to not get that sick and I told myself that was worth it.
What resulted from this choice was three days of total bliss. I took a sick day and brought my turntables and just spun music for a day. I chomped down on garlic to try and burn any strep out of my throat. I strolled down to the comic/game store and bought a board game I’d had my eye on for a couple years and played a game on my own in the room. I lounged and watched whatever I wanted. I could walk around without worrying about wearing clothes. I did all the stuff I wanted to do the most but either couldn’t before, or didn’t make time for. That week has become one of my life’s fondest memories – that’s how happy it made me.
So I’m a super outgoing creature as I’ve said, and so I’d always taken the idea of alone time not that seriously. That week was when I figured out how important self-care is, and that everyone really needs it, and to make sure I do it again whenever my body tells me I need it. It was a wonderful thing to figure out.
I’ve gone back and stayed in that hotel every year. I’m going next week. My girlfriend is coming but I’ve taken those three days totally off from work so those days are all my own. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet but I figure it’ll be whatever I damn well want to.