Exhibit 5 – Sick Day at the Spa

I am into my third year now or so of doing the unimaginable and (perhaps could even be criticized as selfish) thing of taking a sick day and taking myself to the spa. It is a lovely and wonderful place that reminds me of all things peaceful, quiet, serene, inspiring and spiritual. (Thanks honey, for the Christmas present!🙏)It can be an obscene amount of money to spend on a day, but that’s why I need an ENTIRE day to do it. 😁If I can bring my picnic like basket/bag in and bring a sandwich for later, enjoy copious cups of coffee and tea, relish all of their spritz-y and gourmet cups of fruit and spice infused water to fully hydrate, my journal of many hours of self-reflection, my bathing suit as my work attire, postcards. to write notes to those I love and enjoy a meal by the pool and the cheapest service on the menu…than my day is MADE! In fact, I work pretty hard at not working hard these days, (on the best occasions) arriving at 9am and staying until 9pm for re-energizing me.

You spent how much in a day??!

It is a ritual of mine that I have used about four times a year to find comfort in the swirling and whirling world that I can become so haggard from. It is intentional and necessary to regroup, find my inner voice, challenge myself to work on a better self care habits and align myself with myself. It felt so DARING to do this in response to a women’s self-development group I was a part of a few years ago and I love this time honored tradition I’ve carried into the present. I’d never have dreamed to spend $65 on a pedicure when I could do it myself and when I’m supposed to be on a tight budget. Nor did it financially make sense when I could get it done at Wal-Mart for half the price. But, I suppose, the monetary gains of NOT coming were not outweighed by the benefits of actually coming. I try to make it more affordable by bringing snacks, eating all their munchies and have utilized the greatest incentives of a locals discount, gift cards and saving up for a few months in order to make this occur.

You go alone??!?

Before the biggest personal moment of my life (my wedding) I’d come here to reflect and be rejuvenated. Before that, when first getting started on the notion of extensive habits of self care, I’d come and write my dreams and envisioned a spouse by my side. This miracle had transpired and I am so ever grateful for this beautiful space where I journeyed through the ups and downs to arrive to this place in life. This was not the only place where big, little and all the thoughts in between occurred, it is just a scenic spot that continues to revive me. Other just as idyllic spaces captivated my attention as I sat and wrote such as coffee shops to date online and beaches to write of my dreams. Yet, this one is as close to me as I can get and the easiest space to spend an ENTIRE day dedicated to give myself the space to think and breathe. The practice of making it an all day affair continues to fill my energy tank like no other.

As fun and nurturing as it can be to other relationships to come here with girlfriends or even my spouse, there’s something personally magical for me coming here alone. I need the time to center myself and welcome the space to process through emotions and thoughts and plans and details. In hindsight, I see this habit is perhaps not really that radical at all. Maybe many, many people do this and no one bats an eyelash. It just felt incredibly bold, empowering and adventurous to do this for me at first and it continues to feel that way. Like I had some top-secret mission to accomplish and it was just a special secret for me. This has been one of many new things I have decided I’m worth doing it for, but it remains a worthy repeatable offense nevertheless.

Permission Slip Granted!

“Once I had come to realize that no one else was going to take as good of care of me as I could, than this was not such a hard thing to do and do often! “

I often lay out my dreams and visions of the future while here. Writing down ways that I can experience the pleasure, luxury and beauty of a new day in the sometimes grinding everyday. Making a space at home pretty, smelling good and relaxing. With quieter lighting, soft and inviting scents, tranquil music and nowhere to rush of to. Reminding myself to move and sweat daily, kick back and pray and unwind, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and be grateful.So, I hereby grant myself this permission to come as often as I can, once a quarter, once a month even! In the spirit of spa-like tranquility, I shall strive for these habits at home:

1. To schedule out a massage once a month at least.

2. Weekly coffee shop dates with myself to write.

3. As daily as I can make it, a workout to sweat, or few miles to run and a few moments to stretch.

4. A mug of tea or hot water in the morning to wake up to and a few moments to journal and reflect and center myself for a day.

5. Fruit flavored water to keep hydration more fun!

6. Sweet and quiet music playing in the background while I write in an evening before bed.

7. Moments a few times a week to sit and write a note to a loved one. My often favorite thing to do!

8. Pretty smelling scents, water flowing nearby and time to take just for me.

Whatever it is I can do to restore the me I feel I so easily and freely give. I love to help out those I love and those who need it most, but there has to be some intentional and fierce proactive protective me time. For if I don’t gift myself time to be restored, no one else can for me.

Sometimes the best sick days happen at the spa!

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