When It’s Time to Take a Mini-Break

Image: Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Miramax.com

My June 2017 Resolution Stats

(See my original resolutionsJanuaryFebruaryMarch, April, and May stats here)

  • Averaged 150+ minutes of exercise per week (v. good, at goal)
  • 2 recipes tried this month (v. good, at goal)
  • 10,000+ written words for the month (v. good, above my 5,000+ goal and includes starting a writer’s vlog on Facebook Live, BUT … outside of medical articles, blogs, and website posts, my writing included more outlining and researching than writing actual content for my upcoming book. Still, it’s progress!)

An Open Invitation

Bridget Jones finds herself in a lot of awkward situations, but finally, YES, finally, she finds herself on an upswing. The man she has fallen head over heels for asks to take her away on a long weekend. Suddenly, Bridget feels “like a screen goddess in the manner of Grace Kelly!”

Raaaaaaar …

Even if she is “so elegantly less elegant under pressure” when she arrives at the hotel with her hair in knots. An open convertible can do that to a girl.

Admit it, the idea of getting away has its appeal. Removing yourself from the stress, stepping back from work, taking the time to enjoy the things that make you happy. The truth is, if we had any true sense of life balance, we would already be doing those things EVERY DAY.

Instead, too many of us wait for these magical moments to make life okay. I know better than anyone. My idea of taking it easy is a visit to my local Barnes and Noble for a chai latte, and that lands me some breathing space only two to four times a month. That is often all the time I allow for myself. This is why when an opportunity comes my way for a long weekend, I need to make the most of it.

Take a Holiday for Yourself

With the 4th of July weekend around the corner, I’m gearing up for some “me” and “family” time both. The kids will be out of school. Amazingly, no kiddie sports made their way onto the calendar. Better yet, I am not scheduled to work that weekend. Rain or shine, I plan to embrace the freedom the long weekend brings. Either I will run outside with the kids in the fresh New Hampshire air and enjoy some barbecue, or I will cuddle up with said kiddos and enjoy some hygge, playing board games with a cup of tea at my side. In either case, expect some words to be scripted into my writer’s notebook.

Under no circumstances will I work or be pushed into doing things just because people expect me to do it.

This is MY downtime, my “holiday”.

When you listen closely, Bridget does not simply say that Daniel is taking her away for the weekend. She says that he is taking her on holiday. How much more romantic does that sound?

A holiday is a special event to be celebrated. Christmas. Easter. President’s Day. Valentine’s Day. Veteran’s Day. Each holiday holds meaning. It is a day where something or someone is being honored. How nice would it be for that special someone to be YOU? And better yet, for that holiday to be not only one but two or three days long?

No wonder Bridget was so excited!

A Mini Break Means True Love

The trouble with Bridget is that she was making her “holiday” all about Daniel. Sure, she was thinking about herself too, but only in the context of her being with him. In her eyes, “a mini break means true love”.

If she is relying on the unreliable Daniel to confess his love, she could be waiting a long time. If she is relying on him to give her a good time, then she is less likely to be let down. That is more in line with what his behavior has shown her in the past. When her head gets caught in the clouds, she sets unrealistic expectations about what is to come.

What she needs to remember is that true love does not only have to come from romantic love. Sometimes it can be something that you do for yourself. I know people who hate the term, but self-care is important to your well-being. I am not talking about self-care as hygiene, although I sure hope everyone brushes their teeth and washes their hands. Self-care for me means taking the time to do things that bring you inner happiness, things that ignite your spirit, that soothe the soul. A bit of self-reflection and self-attention, simple “me” time, can be the boost you need to take what life throws at you.

That is what your downtime should be about, even if it’s just a chai latte.

Needless to say, Bridget’s weekend does not go exactly as planned, because she sets herself up for disappointment. Your weekend, however, does not need to follow the same fate. Not if you set some of that time aside for YOU, and give yourself the self-care that you need and deserve. Then it will have all been worth it.

Enjoy the fireworks!