Why do many of the women around me get to do so many personal retreats, while their husbands work and work? So much for gender justice!
I'm surrounded by beautifully evolved women who create ways to give to and nurture themselves. And the forms they often choose involve time away, personal indulgences. Dance and painting workshops, romance novels, river walks, a cup of hot chocolate by the fire, a bubble bath, a Renewal Retreat at Hollyhock.
Just to save my marriage and women-friendships, let me be clear that I deeply appreciate the hard hard work of motherhood, and fully support the idea of women giving to themselves in this way. I just started questioning why I don't see most of my male friends running off to a dance-yoga weekend or treating themselves to one of Patrick's magical Shiatsu massages (note that the Mankind Project seems to be a notable exception).
Now that I've grossly oversimplified the female experience, let me grossly overgeneralize about my own gender. The answer is simple - we don't want it. Yes, we want a break from the pressures we experience, but a day wandering alone in the mountains would just give more time to fret over the things we ought to be doing. A true break, a manly indulgence, is time to Do Stuff.
Yesterday was my birthday, and I gifted myself with a day off the computer, doing stuff I've been wanting muchly to have easy time to do. Outdoors. Stuff like:
- chopping wood
- rototilling the new garden patch
- sanding and staining a massive slab of fir (found in the workshop) for Sarah's new desktop
- hanging out with our new baby chicks (the boys and I got excited at the chicken swap last weekend and bought ten 5-day-old Buff Brahmas)
It was pure bliss to be out in the fresh air with no-one but me and Father Time and Brother Ax, just plugging away at tasks I've been wanting to get to. Getting a few of those too-many Things-To-Do off my list, off that list in my head that gets in the way of other creativity and relaxation.
I have yet to take Sarah up on her generous offer of a personal retreat. Truth is, I don't want to go away; I want her and the kids to go away and leave me with nothing but time to finish my workshop, fix the cow fence, chop wood and build storm windows. Getting those things Done would bring this man more satisfaction and Peace of mind than any bodywork indulgence.
We men are doers. A treat isn't time away from our projects; it's space and tools and easy time to Do them.
Write to Renew - One of our previous graduates, the talented Jay Nahani, is leading us in a Write to Renew workshop June 14th. For writers and non-writers alike, this one-d...