Reclaiming: Retreat Style

For me, part of reclaiming myself and my life is to reconnect with me. Since I spend most of my time talking to people and focusing on other people the introvert in me needs some serious downtime every now and again. Since I finally had some vacation days this last week I decided to gift myself a stay away. I didn’t really feel like going far away but I found that the Oregon Garden which is only like an hour away has a hotel attached to it with a spa. Uh, yes, please! I admit it. I am a total girly-girl when it comes to spa treatments. Needless to say I scheduled an afternoon at the spa. Which was amazing. And my massage therapist reinforced that I really, really needed to relax when she said, “Woah, you are really tight”.

I had never gone away by myself before (I mean, I’ve travelled places alone but always to go stay with friends or travel with friends) so it was a whole new experience. I admit I was a bit nervous about how to fill the time. I mean, I am really good at just hanging out but it’s different when you’re away from home.
In doing the planning my mom gave me some books to read (I tell ya, the woman has a book for everything) to help guide my experience. One of them, “The Woman’s Retreat Book” is especially geared toward retreat planning so it was pretty helpful (http://jenniferlouden.com/). She has lots of ideas about how to re-connect with yourself and nurture yourself even if all you have is 5 minutes. She reinforced the need to bring things to do whether books, journals, or art supplies to make sure you have things to occupy your time.

I did lots of reading, writing, reflecting (ok, maybe some tarot card reading…it’s helpful for triggering reflection topics), and walking. The gardens are really beautiful and defintely reinforced that I need to get outside more often!

That’s the view from the top of the hill by the hotel. One of the clear moments; it was cold and drizzly/raining most of the time I was there (go figure. Oregon).

My goals/intentions for the weekend were:

No TV: Check. (for the record, I did bring my computer with intention of working on the blog. However, the internet was terrible so I never could connect after the first 10 minutes. I decided that was really fine)

Read: Check (very engaging mystery novel and also some more reflection/discovery type books)

Relax: Check! (spa, lounging, sleeping, walking around)

Enjoy nature: Check. (Even if it was cold and all those summer dresses went unworn I still got outside quite a bit)

Take pictures: Check! Hello, garden=photo opportunity

Reflect/do some ‘inner work’ type stuff, listen to myself a bit: Check. I did lots of this and came away feeling ready to take some things on.

All in all, I would say it was a very successful trip! My only complaint was that the food was, in a word, crappy. Seriously, bland and sad. Like buffet breakfast of mass-eggs and cardboard waffles. Honestly I was pretty disappointed. But, I didn’t starve and I did still have a good time. Next time I’d bring more snacks and maybe go into town for a meal (though I didn’t really want to leave to eat).

So, here are some pictures. Even if you only have a minute maybe these will bring a little retreat into your day!

Bathroom Garden! I thought this was pretty funny…What can I say, I’m a plummer’s daughter.

View from my little patio

Crane I thought was real til I took the picture and looked closer…
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Zipping! (And apologies for neglecting the project blog)

Ah, dear. It has been an embarrassingly long time since I posted in here. I think I shall make a schedule to keep myself more on track.

But, I have been doing things in my absence! And this week I am on vacation (one of the best words in the English language) so I can catch up a bit. Also, have unearthed my camera fire-wire so pictures will be making an appearance as well.

To start my vacation I went out to an adventure park out in Gaston, OR, called Tree to Tree Adventure (www.treetotreeadventurepark.com). I went with a group of friends and it was really fun! Basically, it’s an aerial obstacle course and zipline park. I had read about this before but never been so when the Badgers (yes, we do call ourselves that) proposed an adventure out there I jumped on board. (For more about the Badgers…http://thebadgers.wikispaces.com/Badger+Central… It’s pretty sweet).

After driving twisty country roads, having to detour around a police barricade (heard later it was an overturned fertilizer truck), and quite a bit of gravel, I arrived all in one piece and ready to zip. It turns out that there areĀ  a LOT of the aerial obstacle courses mixed with ziplining. Apparently you can do just zipping (which I would like to check out some time) but we were in the course section.

So, we strapped on helmets and harnesses, and after a brief instruction got onto the course to practice. There is quite a bit of clipping and unclipping on the ropes and lines so it does take a little getting used to but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s really pretty simple. Then you can climb, walk across bridges and ropes, and zipline through the trees. I LOVE ziplining! It was so much fun to just sail through the air! I have to admit, the obstacle course parts were not so much my thing. They move alot, are small items (like wood slats and zipline wires) and while logically I totally know that I am harnessed, hooked, and in no danger of falling, it totally freaked me out. I found myself clinging for dear life and with my heart in my mouth.

Needless to say the group of middle school kids behind us totally zipped (pun intended) past me but I still enjoyed myself. I pushed through and made it through the first 2 courses. Then my legs kinda gave out and I decided it was best to call it a day.

I don’t have pictures because, well, I was definitely not able to handle a camera along with the lines but trust me it was really pretty in the trees. And the weather was gorgeous unlike the next several days so I was grateful for that.

Nothing like hurtling yourself out of a tree and across a forest to boost your confidence in your skills!