Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
I remember, in the convent, Mother Superior going away for some days. There are plenty of other convents in the neighborhood and she’d go to one of these. Much later, we learned that those days away were because she had to get away from us in order to regain perspective and yes for her own sanity. Our batch, the largest in number to enter, was quite a headstrong group as most were at the time entering middle age and in flourishing careers prior to heeding the call. In other words, we gave Mother Superior quite a challenging time. Unintentionally of course.
Since then, I find I need to take time away too. When I do and I’m in my home city I go off to any one of the hotels (I could by the way easily draw up a matrix of comparison as to value for money, or price vis-a-vis quality of facilities, service, food, etc.) although my preference is to be somewhere really secluded with just the birds but this would mean I’d need an entire week off.
It’s important, or should I say, a basic need for, like, air and water, to get physically away, to be alone, on occasion, from the hustle and bustle and challenges of daily life. The mind needs it. The body as well. Alone, and detached a while, I come to appreciate aspects of the very life I just “left behind”, to be more forgiving, and after a couple of days I find I couldn’t wait to be in that life again.
But really the reason I get away is I don’t ever want to turn cynical. It’s what I’m ever watchful for. I want to retain an outlook on life (and people) as like a child’s (not necessarily childish, gullible, or naive): with wonderment, curiousity, imagination, trust, and faith, ever discovering something new and different. I believe these qualities are retained somewhere in each of us. We’ve just “forgotten” over the years.