Two weeks ago I arrived home after a fairly discouraging and slightly alarming appointment with my Naturopath. After a decade of relentless and unavoidable family stress (the details of which are captured in my blog, Open Secret) it seemed that my body was just refusing to push any more. Adrenal exhaustion is one of the ways that my body is saying ‘no more.’ The result of the Koenisburg Adrenal Test two weeks ago was basically…‘go home to bed.’ I have three sons, a business to run and a household to maintain…going home to bed is just not an option!
My husband, however, had a different opinion on the whole thing. He looked at my test results and said; ‘alright Kate, look at your calendar, look at mine and book a week off. Go to a spa, a hotel, a resort, up north…anything. Just take a week off.’
And so, with very little resistance, I did.
At 2:30 this afternoon, after shopping for all the provisions I would need, I packed the car and took off for my parents’ weekend retreat just outside of Collingwood, Ontario. It is just after 7:00pm and I am settled comfortably by the fire with a glass of red wine and my laptop. There is nobody else here and I will be the sole occupant of this lovely spot for six whole days!
Six days…by myself! One day by myself is a treat…I get six of them!
When I left home for the three hour drive, I had the radio blaring with Christmas music, advertisements, traffic reports and weather forecasts. I was singing along to the familiar and wonderfully nostalgic seasonal music when I realized that my heart was racing and that my shoulders were up around my ears. Even though I was enjoying the music, it was quite simply too much stimulation and too much stress.
After releasing myself from the frantic entertainment, my little car felt empty and lonely somehow. I found myself wanting to fill the space with noise. It’s ironic that when I am living my daily life I ache for solitude and quiet, and yet, when the opportunity presents itself, I feel decidedly uncomfortable with the void of silence. As I drove north and it got beautifully wintery-looking, I kept reaching for the radio and it took everything I had to resist the temptation.
What I realized as I travelled in complete silence was that I have an opportunity this week to tune in to a different voice; a gentle voice, a female voice, a quiet voice. A voice that, perhaps, I don’t know that well. My everyday voice is loud and often militant. It is about to-dos, moving from one place to the next, time crunches, and things to be accomplished.
I have never been alone for this long. I have never had a week with no plans. And the fact that the weather is cold and damp means that, other than a daily walk, I won’t feel the need to explore, shop, exercise or fill my time moving from place to place. There is something about this place that just invites me to settle in.
My plan is to curl up by the fire, write, read, watch movies, eat wholesome food and unwind. And, who knows, maybe I will really come to know and like the gentle voice that spends so much of her time being drowned out by her full, happy and wonderfully male-dominated life.