Tomorrow I am taking a single vacation day from work. Combined with my two regular days off (which I take whenever possible), I have 3 days off -- a nice chunk of time to be away from church work. No, it's not as good as a week with my family, or two weeks in Buffalo or Italy (let's see, all other things being equal, how could I choose between Buffalo and Italy?). But it's time away. I have planned my time in the past, when I've scheduled time off. But this time I played. I scheduled the whole three days. I designed a retreat. I have allowed for art, reading, writing, nature, and lots of fun time, too. I printed myself an elegant program of offerings. After I playfully designed it for myself, I thought that it might be something others would enjoy. Of course, if I really had the space for others here in my home, (well, I do have 3 guest beds, but work space is at a minimum, unless I use the church hall, too), I might build in more options and flexibility. But this is how I will spend my next 3 days:
It is a MS Word document. I can't seem to import multiple pages directly. I hope you'll take a look at it. For me, it's perfect. Some comments: I've begun eating oatmeal daily for breakfast, and find it delicious (with the fruit added) and filling. I prefer the steel-cut oats to rolled oats, but am using up a very old box of rolled oats before I resume the delicious steel-cut ones. Making oatmeal with milk (even lowfat) ratheer than water certainly kicks it up a notch, as Emeril would say. Certainly for more than one person, I'd have to incorporate more breakfast options, though it would never be a buffet! Of course I incorporated my current art and reading projects. And I love to watch TV (Friday night is a very good TV night). We have the luxury in this town of a yoga studio and teacher that people come to from miles around. She spent years studying and India and teaching in New York City before she relocated here to be near her parents, who retired here. What a gift my teacher (dare I call her a guru? Maybe not!) is!
Even though I have no immediate plans to offer this private and personal retreat to others, I'd love your feedback. Is this something you'd attend? How would you change it, if you could? What parts particularly engage you? I only ask because I began by designing something that would appeal to only me (since I'm the only one on this retreat). But I know I love providing quiet days for my parish, even to the small number who attend. It occurred to me that this is something I'd travel and probably pay big bucks to attend, especially if I got my exquisite massage therapist to come in and offer massage to participants who chose to purchase it.
At any rate, it was great fun. I intend to put my schedule into a folder and luxuriate in it. I will not think of work one time. I will emerge feeling as though I'd had a vacation at the shore. And I welcome your constructive feedback!