Being Peace (The Value of a Mental Health Day)

I took a mental health day today. Well, not a whole day. At 4:00 I helped put out a work fire. However, between dropping off the kids and picking them up, i.e. from 8:00 am until 3:20 pm, I committed to doing what I wanted to do even though I didn't really know what that was. Let me tell you, after weeks on end of high pressure work, it's not that easy to turn off the faucet. I debated whether I even should take the time since I still have a decent list of things to accomplish. But, the time is never right. And sometimes you just have to do something for yourself.

So I started by having a nice breakfast at one of my favorite local eateries, the Illinois Street Food Emporium. After that, I went home to do a little writing - just some stream of consciousness cobweb clearing nonsense. Then I did some just-for-fun shopping. There's a new Nordstrom in town, after all, and I had $40 of Nordstrom bucks burning a hole in my wallet. I couldn't resist checking off a few to dos either. I bought a wedding gift at Williams-Sonoma and picked up a few things my son needed at Target. I also stopped by The Eye Doctors to talk to my pal Renée (she's fabulous) and pick up some supplies.

Once my wandering was over, I went back home to feed my creative spirit. I only had about 90 minutes free, so painting seemed too daunting as did jewelry making or other creative endeavors. I remembered I had been collecting words and images from magazines over the last several months. So I pulled out the file of those, a piece of poster board, some scissors and a glue stick and set about making what I've seen called a "treasure map" or a "vision board." Essentially, these ransom note style posters – or collages – are meant to help a person envision a life she wants. (Another blogger's description and instructions.) I had no expectations for the outcome and no intention of theme going into the endeavor. I wasn't trying to envision anything. I just wanted to make something.

The outcome was a sort of tribute to my spirit, an encouragement to myself to live full out (which is a pretty quiet thing by comparison to the full out of others) and an exploration of shape, color and image. The biggest words say, "Being Peace." I think I did that for at least part of today.

Right now I'm not wondering anything. I'm just enjoying a little quiet reverie with my new poster – and a really cool sweater/dress/top/jacket thingie from Nordstrom.