Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Retreat Wrap-Up

I spent the week-end at a women's retreat at Luther Springs.  We were supposed to gather to talk about being addicted to hurry.  We got no materials in advance.  I wondered if that was intentional.

Did I enjoy the retreat?  Yes.  Did I discover how to quit being addicted to hurry?  No.

We spent a lot of time analyzing our tendency to rush through our lives, and we did a bit of analyzing why we're so hurried.  I already had a clear sense of my own tendencies, and I have a pretty good sense of why I let myself get rushed.  I had hoped for some coping strategies.

What I found most interesting about the retreat was that the program part was not what I enjoyed most.  I was most happy about the opportunity to spend more time with the women of my church.

Sure, you could say that I could have done that at home.  But it's incredibly hard to find time when we can all carve an open space in our schedules; a retreat is helpful in that area. 

We had a very open schedule, so there was plenty of time to talk to all of the women there, and that was a great aspect of the retreat too.  Plus, we had time to do some activities that I don't often do--and archery, which I've never done, and I think I could enjoy doing regularly.

We spent a lot of time on our physical selves, which I'm not used to.  We did facials and dipped our hands in paraffin.  I spent extra money on a massage which was worth every penny.

At the same time that we did a lot of activities, we also had time for relaxing too.  I got some quilting done.  I wrote a poem and revised a short story.  I was able to sleep more than I usually do.  We had long, lingering conversations. 

The retreat was held at Luther Springs, a 5 hour drive away, and a retreat center I've never seen.  It's a lovely place, but different from what I was expecting.  It was more like a flat South Carolina landscape:  lots of sand and pine trees.  Unlike South Carolina, the main bug was the love bug; they were everywhere.  At least they don't bite or sting.  The water level in the lake is low, so I had no desire to get out in a canoe.

What I'm trying to say is that the surroundings didn't tug at my emotions, the way a mountain retreat does.  I don't find my mind going back there.  I didn't find myself sad at leaving that landscape.

But I did find myself sad at leaving the retreat pace behind.  I'm back at work, where we're making our way through the week that's between the end of Summer quarter and the start of Fall quarter.  It's a bit more low-key, but not as slow-paced as our retreat.  But I'm grateful for the slow re-entry to regular life.

Can I hold onto my retreat mindset when the bustle of the start of the quarter falls on our heads next week? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can . . .  

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