August 12, 2017

An August in Sighisoara

Some of the current reads...and coffee (duh!) on my balcony
So this is my first August spent in Sighisoara. The last two were spent in the States visiting family and friends, raising support, recruiting RSP students, etc. Since I went home in May for my sister's wedding, combined with a handful of other reasons, here I am, in Sighisoara in August.

Veritas, the organization I work closely with, takes a pause from all of it's programs during the month of August. With this, most of the staff save up their vacation days from the year and take August (or most of it, at least) as vacation time. There are one or two people working every day, but the center itself is basically closed. Now even though things are pretty quiet around Veritas, I still have plenty of things to do. A lot of these "things" are things I never got around to doing during my crazy season, which is how I lovingly refer to January-July 2017. All of this to say, yes, I'm still working in August. Granted, I'm able to work from home (in my pajamas with a cup of coffee and a messy top knot!) and at a slower pace on my to-do list that never ends.

A beautiful study on hospitality from She Reads Truth
This slower pace allows me to read, listen, reflect, journal, etc., which is something that I've definitely been putting off for...maybe a year? Yikes.

It's like I'm trying to fit in all of the reading I don't make time for during my "normal" schedule. I have to stop to explain why I put "I don't make time for" in italics. Usually, I would say that "I don't have time", but that's a stupid excuse that I use FAR too often. The truth is that I simply don't make time. I sit and look at my phone for hours, or take really long naps, but I don't make time to read, listen, reflect, journal, etc. Okay, back to the main topic...

I always have really good intentions to read, but I never get around to it. One problem is that during the time of my "normal" schedule, I sit down to read and fall asleep. Every single time, without fail. Even if the book is exciting. Even if I don't feel that tired. Nope, I fall asleep.

One thing I think many of us are working on in the days of "busy" is trying to take time to pause, to breath, to reflect. I'm terrible at this. I feel guilty when I do this. I sometimes don't feel like I deserve to pause, like there's always something else that I actually should be doing. I feel like I wasn't sent to Romania to sit and pause and do something for myself. But then my social worker self smacks me and yells "SELF CARE!" in my face...and I come back to reality. I mean, I teach a whole class to my students on self care and avoiding burnout, and yet, I struggle to put it into practice. But not this August!

Two of the photos I use in my PowerPoint on self care
This August, I am all about the self care. That slower pace, mentioned above, is intentional. Waking up early to enjoy the quiet hours of the morning is intentional (although quite difficult...I love my bed). Working in my pajamas is intentional. Taking the time to make a cup of coffee every day is intentional. Sitting on my balcony every morning is intentional.

I wish I could tell you how many words I have been able to listen to and read over the last week, since returning from my two week Romanian course. Books, articles, interviews, podcasts, lists, etc. A lot of words (and some in Romanian!). I currently have 10 tabs open with articles, online magazines, interviews, etc. If you know me, you know it isn't abnormal for me to have at least 15-20 tabs open at a time. But this time, most of them are for the purpose of self care!

Captured a little bit of the golden hour in my apartment
So maybe you've read this far and realized, or are reminded, that you also need to take time to pause, to breath, to reflect. Stop and take the time. Pick up that book you've been wanting to read. Write a few sentences in your journal. Mail a card to a friend. Make a really good cup of coffee. Go for a walk. Whatever self care means to you, do it. Even if it's just five minutes. Everyone has five minutes to spare. And if you need to get away, I have a guest room and a lovely balcony for you to use :)

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