Canyon Ranch, Lenox: The Intention
I just ended a ten year relationship. While it was fun at first, and sure, we had some great times together, I’ve known for a while now that it just wasn’t going to last. It was time to move on.
Which is why, on June 11th, 2013, I ended my career as a classroom teacher.
This is the part where I draw a parallel between divorce and career change. Ahem…
A career change is very similar to a divorce.
Ok. Now that that’s clear, let’s address how one should deal with a huge change in his or her life, be it a divorce, a career change, or any other major life event. Should they:
a. barrel forward, eyes closed to the past, fist pumping toward the future?
b. spend a week or five under the covers, in a fetal position?
c. take some time to appreciate the transition while occasionally reflecting upon their new life path?
As any good teacher knows (and I’m still a good teacher, I’m just no longer employed as one), wait time is important. So I’ll give you all the opportunity to mull over your choice.
And the answer is…secret option D! All of the above are understandable responses to such a life change. However, if I asked you to choose the best option (which I did not–bad teacher!) that would make the correct response–option C.
Thesis statement: When a person makes a major change in her life, she should take the time to appreciate that transition and reflect upon their new direction.
No one would expect someone coming out of a ten year relationship to leap right into their next one, yet that is exactly what happens when (most) people switch careers. After all, ‘time to appreciate the transition’ doesn’t pay the bills. But neither does sunshine, open highway, rolled-down windows, or old Grateful Dead concert recordings–and I wouldn’t want to live without those things in my life, either.
Thus, I’m taking some ‘time to appreciate the transition’. And I’m doing it the way any good travel blogger would–by going somewhere new.
I’m not good at taking time and reflecting when I’m at home. Home has become, more than anything, a place of work for me. I briefly contemplated a ‘stay-cation’ (as much as I abhor that term), until one day recently when my internet went out. After 1. freaking out and trying everything to fix it 2. looking desperately around for something else to do and 3. realizing that I had so much else to do, including vacuuming, dusting, washing of windows, gardening and coloring my roots, I chose to: spend the afternoon napping. Or, rather, I didn’t choose–I simply fell asleep. Because as soon as I was unplugged, I turned off.
In fact, this post has taken me days to write. I’ve been interrupted by work, exhaustion, emails, and text messages. Just now, I had to pick up my phone and physically move it away from me so I could continue writing. My next task is ‘turn off pop up email notifications’; sadly, the purpose of that is to increase productivity, not relaxation.
Yes, for me to get away, I need to get away.
However, travel is not the answer either–at least not the way I traditionally define travel. I don’t travel to relax. Ever. Travel for me is never a vacation; it is a fact-finding mission, a photo shoot, and more often than not, an almost-sprint from attraction to attraction, tour to tour, restaurant to restaurant. I’m not complaining; I wouldn’t have it any other way. But this is why I know that I can’t just fly off to some yet-unexplored city or town to reflect and appreciate. But I don’t want to lie on a beach and down rum drinks, either.
Which is why I’m going to Canyon Ranch. Canyon Ranch describes itself as ‘an all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa’. I am going there to pause, if ever so briefly, during this transition time in my life. I’m going there to take a breath, look around, and regroup. I’m going there to (hopefully) learn some skills and habits that I can carry with me into this next phase of my life; habits that are healthier than the ones I adopted to cope with my teacher-life, which can be placed neatly into a box labeled ‘wine’ (sadly, often wine-from-a-box). And while I’m there, maybe I’ll get a massage. Because, well, that would be nice.
I’ve spent the last ten years helping children learn. I’ve spent the last four years sharing what I’ve learned on my travels with the whole of the internet-having world. This week, for five days and four nights, I’m taking care of myself. I’m going to learn about myself. Because I owe it to myself.
Stay tuned for Part II, Canyon Ranch, the Experience to find out how this all works out for me!