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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07


Yesterday afternoon, I packed hastily as if I were a refugee. Which, I suppose held some truth - I was fleeing the week. Perhaps even January. Last night, I fell into a fitful sleep with troubling and nonsensical dreams with a cast of strangers in them.

This morning, I stumbled out of bed early to make a cup of coffee from the Keurig. Then stumbled back to my room to get ready to shower. It was then that I realized I had failed to pack shampoo. I have more books with me than I could read in a month, never mind 2 days, and notebooks it would take me a year to fill, but no shampoo. This meant I washed my hair with Dial soap and hoped my hair wouldn’t air dry to look like straw. It didn’t - perhaps because it was the moisturizing Dial?

I love this retreat. I think it’s because the women are all showing up as their vulnerable, messy, whole, true, authentic selves.  My favorite. I’m not interested in one dimensional people. So fucking boring. Tell your hard truths, we will hold the space and nod and relate to your story.  The ultimate “Me too!” moment. Airbrushed and filtered glimpses into people’s lives on social media is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong - I want to celebrate you and cheer you on. But I am really there for the moments where people put themselves out there - claim their mistakes. Learn from them. Laugh at them. I feel it’s those moments that offer true connection - and we feel less alone.

The bed I slept on Friday night was hard and creaky. Today, a woman in the group said that she found the other bed in her room to be softer. I hadn’t even considered touching the other bed - instead, I had dropped my bag on it. After lunch, I tentatively put my hand on the bed. It did feel softer. I laid down atop the blankets and sheets and pulled a spare blanket over me. “This bed is just right.” I thought, like a real life Goldilocks. I fell into a deep, restorative sleep.

This time here has been a balm to my soul. A catharsis that I didn’t know I needed. Magic. A pause. I want to carry that home with me - safeguard it. For this to even be a possibility and for it to even be a possibility that I can get some things done - both personally and professionally - I know I need to safeguard some space on my calendar. Not just next week but all the weeks. My efficiency isn’t always my friend. Forward is a pace.

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