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Monday Moment: I really needed to hear this

Emma Grey

It’s been probably the most challenging couple of months I’ve had in the last ten years, with some big worries and significant stress.

I’m still trying to sort out some health problems that have been exacerbated by the worry.

When this stuff happens, what you desperately need is a break. Except the timing feels wrong: the very reason why you need the break hasn’t shifted, and you’re needed here.

I’m really good at taking breaks and going away and having me-time when things are cruising along well. When they’re not, it’s harder.

Then I read this life-changing quote by Maya Angelou:

“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.”

These words are balm for my soul.

The cares will not withdraw from us. The problems will not go away. The solutions may not yet have been found. So we need to do the withdrawing…

The more needed we are, and the more trapped or isolated we feel, the more important it is just to leave. And having that day away is like being in the eye of the storm. We just ‘be’ and don’t try to wrap our brains around fixing things and holding people up. It’s not only deserved, but required.

On Wednesday, I’m getting in the car on my own and driving to a gorgeous country retreat in the Hawkesbury, where I’m presenting at a business event and staying til Friday. I’d thought about not going, because there are reasons—big ones—that could keep me here. The same reasons would keep me here this week, next month and any other month that an opportunity came along to escape for a little while.

So I’m going. I’m taking two novels. And exercise gear. And leaving the rest of my work at home. I can’t wait.

And everyone will exist in my absence.

Image of ‘hipster traveller…’via Shutterstock


Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

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