I took 48-hours “off” this week to go on a retreat with the women who are fellow members of the Women Presidents’ Organization [WPO] chapter to which I belong. We had the good fortune to be hosted by one of our own members, Sharon Lechter, who with husband Mike is proprietor of the Cherry Creek Lodge on Cherry Creek Ranch in Young, Arizona. The drive from Phoenix into the Tonto Mountains is spectacular and soothing—even the 13 miles of challenging unpaved roadway! The Lodge is a phenomenal setting for a team or company retreat [it’s available–check out the website].
I think every woman in my group had at least a twinge about whether or not to attend. Like you, we are busy. Our businesses and our families need our attention, perhaps more this year than in past years. A strain of anxiety and even fear permeates our subconscious; many of us have financial challenges that are new, or renewed, in a tough economy.
So here we are making a decision (1) to take time off for ourselves, and (2) to spend money on ourselves to take that time off. Not really an easy decision for responsible business women to make.
The good news is that almost everyone made the choice to attend. Oh, some of us came a little later or left a bit earlier, but we had two full evenings and a day in between to be together. And I came home refreshed, renewed, and reinvigorated.
Why is it important to retreat on occasion, and perhaps especially now? Sometimes we need a retreat to
· Renew body and soul
· Recommit to goals or modify goals
· Reconnect with your significant friends and advisors
· Remind yourself that you are not alone
· Relax and unwind
· Remember to laugh
If you’re concerned about spending nonessential money, and if you’re worried about a time commitment, get together with your peer group and design creative alternatives. Gather at one woman’s home. Bring a dish to share and grill hamburgers. Trade services with a facilitator that you know and trust. Or, do it yourself—create your own agenda and activities. Do a 24 or 36-hour time frame if you can’t do 2-3 days.
The most important thing is to get together with likeminded friends who are facing many of the same challenges as you. Give yourself the gifts of a little bit of time, a little bit of changed scenery, a little bit of respite and relief. It will pay enormous dividends.
I would love to hear stories of your retreat experiences. Please post your comments to encourage others to make this commitment to our own well being.
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I love this post… mainly because it addresses an issue that is very personal to me, which is trying to work, be a good mom, and still have time for me. The girls in my office joined together in a book club… our latest book was a must read for all of us… woman power “The Power of Women United: Confidence born of Strength and Wisdom,” by Tina Dezsi and Lia Bandola. This book really addressed the issue of how we could successfully balance everything that we all have to do as mother’s and employees. When we met to discuss the book.. by the way we met after work at a colleagues house, in our pajamas, ordered pizza and had the time of our lives…. We all agreed that the book really helped all of us realize that we can make our dreams come true. We meet every month to discuss a new book, and have a blast!
Barbara Weaver Smith says
Thanks for telling the story of your book club–it’s a great way to retreat and refresh, even for an evening. Good for you! I love focusing on a book that everyone has read–very powerful.