Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Gift of Seclusion

There have been times in my life when I've felt the need for seclusion.  More than just a vacation, the need to shut myself away completely from the noise of the rest of the world, to be alone with only myself and my own thoughts, without distraction or conversation. A season of EAT-PRAY-LOVE of my own, maybe to meditate, maybe to read, in complete silence or with only the sounds of nature around me. A moment of peace. A moment of bliss.

I actually looked into places to go for such a retreat ... a getaway where silence and isolation was key.  A monastic interlude with the soul.  I found just such a place once, and took walks alone in the woods, and journaled, and felt truly rested and renewed.  Seclusion is a gift.

Our nation is now in such a season.  With the exception of those who do not get such a reprieve, such as medical professionals and first-responders, the rest of the country has now been asked to stay inside our homes and practice "social distancing."  Schools are shut down, sporting events and concerts have been canceled, and panic-buying and stockpiling sets in.

A couple of apt copper trivets,
given to me as a gift.
This current adventure should be instructive in pointing out what items will be the first to go in a crisis.  Take note:

     Perhaps it is a good idea to always be stocked up on bottled water, toilet paper, and canned foods before a crisis arrives.

     Perhaps, as my father always used to advise me, it's a good idea to never let the gas tank get lower than half empty. Just a thought.  Times like this illustrate how you can best prepare in advance and be at peace, knowing that you'll be just fine.

Congratulations, you are now trained in surviving a crisis.

Probably because we went through this type of exercise at least once a year during hurricane season in South Florida, we're less likely to panic over empty store shelves or the idea of being cooped up in our homes for a long period of time.  We took it in stride.  We were prepared and ready for anything.

Most of all, we are prepared to see some down-time for what it truly is ... a gift ... an opportunity.  How often do we get time alone to spend by ourselves or with our families?

There are games to play.  There are books to read.  There is art to create.  There are photobooks and scrapbooks to make. There are old family videos to watch.  There is a pup-tent waiting to be set up in the living room.

There is a sewing basket full of items that need mending which never gets prioritized.  There is a chance to do some intensive spring cleaning.  There are closets to organize.

There are naps to take. There is an at-home spa day calling your name.  There are dance moves on YouTube to learn.  There are neglected friends and family to call or FaceTime for a long, extended chat.

There are movies to watch, series to stream, and baking to do.  There is a yard and garden to get ready for spring.  All of those things we've been wanting to do but never had the time to before ... NOW is the time.

Instead of bemoaning our sequestered state, we should be celebrating that we finally have all this time to do these things.  Cloistered in our favorite place, our own home, we have the opportunity to get to our lists or do nothing at all.  What a blessed time!

In the 80s we called it "Cocooning," retreating back into our shells, a time to disconnect from the world in order to take better care of ourselves and our families.  To find the comfort within, while ignoring the distractions without.

Now is the time to do so.

I hope that you take this gift as an opportunity to settle into the peace within your home, and within yourself.  You can still take a walk in the woods and be far from the madding crowds.  You can still play catch with your kids in the backyard.  You can still go outside and watch for signs of spring.  You can still spend quality time with your family without the intrusion of others for awhile.  Use your time wisely.

Before we know it, we'll be back in the hustle-and-bustle of life again, wishing we had more time for ourselves.  Don't let this gift pass you by!

Stay informed: Coronavirus COVID-19


Enjoy previous seasonal blog posts:

One-of-a-Kind Design
Create your own fabric, gift wrap and wallpaper to take custom designs to a whole new level.
The Buzz About Bees
Bees are precious, industrious and endangered.  We can do our part to make sure we don't lose these amazing creatures.
Isn't it Romantic?
Elevating a moment spent with someone else to make it truly special.
Scones for Spring
An absolute must for a spring brunch or tea party!
Hello Spring!  Hello Cookies!
Our latest cookbook is out!  A book full of Afternoon Tea's cookie and bar recipes!
My Favorite Mugs
A menagerie of mugs ... one of life's simple pleasures.
Never Forgotten
Remembering those who gave everything so that we can live.
Happy Easter!
A bevy of lovely and playful Easter Cakes to welcome in spring!
Who Really Needs An Egg Plate?
Not me.  But I'm probably going to get one anyway!
Happy Mother's Day!
Wishing all of the Moms out there a very wonderful, healthy and happy Mother's Day!
Mother's Day Tea
A perfect way to celebrate and spend time with our Moms.
Breakfast in Bed
A time-honored tradition for Mother's Day!
A Bridal Shower Tea ...
the perfect way to entertain!
A Baby Shower Tea Party
Celebrating a little one's imminent arrival.
May Flowers
Surrounding yourself with flowers!
Love Tea Sandwiches?
Spring is for Tea Parties, Baby & Bridal Showers, and Garden Parties -- that means lots and lots of delightful tea sandwiches!
First Sign of Spring Quiche
Spring means quiche, at least it does at my house!
Our Current Obsession: French Macarons
Light, airy, delicate pastel puffs of mouth-watering deliciousness
Romancing Your Life
Setting the scene to fall in love with your own life
Romantic Foods
Something special ...
The Romance of Travel
Falling in love with a new destination, adventure, and vistas
Food Porn
It has become a national obsession ... we're salivating over food and all the food shows on tv
How It All Began
The very beginnings of Afternoon Tea.
Baking is Love
No one has to bake ... ever.  So when they do, love is there.
The Lenten Season
A reminder that accepting the challenge of self-discipline is good for the soul
Spring Cleaning
Tackling and taming the clutter 
Cooking with Herbs
Herbs are making a tasty appearance in some of your favorite desserts!
The Problem with Pesto ...
It's so darned easy, you'll be making it all the time!
The Icing on the Cake
Does a bakery really need to make frosted layer cakes?
What's Your Favorite Cake?
If only I could pick just one!
My Boy
A tribute to Max
Bless the Beasts
Spreading goodwill upon the creatures we share this earth with ...
Baking Cakes
Basic baking tips for beautiful layer cakes
Congrats, HWP!
Healing Warriors Program received a huge honor, and we were invited to the Pentagon to see it!
Ana's non-profit, Healing Warriors Program, gives away a state-of-the-art electric wheelchair!
Donate if you can!
Healing Warriors Program,
my sister's nonprofit, does very important work for our service members' complete health and wellbeing.

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