After a long, lazy weekend in the Copthorne Hotel, I’ve moved to a temporary, apartment. Over the next unknown number of weeks, I have a chance to compare hotel and home style living, which was beginning to fade to a distant memory. After spending a night with a washing machine and cooker on site, as well as no staff to knock the door to clean in the morning, I have to say, it’s a welcome change of pace. Change in any positive direction seems to be good for keeping my life interesting, spirits high, mind sharp and soul at peace.
Through living in different hotels I’ve been refining my likes and dislikes understanding more about the difference between my needs and wants. These, by the way may not the same for everyone, so next time you tell a person they don’t need another pair of black trousers or so many perfumes, hold off for a while and let them figure things out for themselves. Likes, dislikes, needs and wants are numerous, fluid, often intertwined or complex. This is totally fine. If we can relax and go with the flow we can give ourselves and others a break. When I got rid of all of my kitchen equipment to leave my apartment, I kept only the fondue kit because it was the most used and loved item in the kitchen. I also realised that for all the things I had in the kitchen, the only thing I truly wanted and didn’t have, was a mini French Presse for making fresh tea and coffee. Both of these are needs to me! So, I bought one, the one I loved and I keep a space for it in my travel case. To some people it’s silly or unnecessary. To me, it’s a need. It follows me from one hotel to another and is used almost every day, unlike a lot of the things I had lurking in all those kitchen cupboards I had over the years.
As Ms. I Can Do It All By Myself, for many years, I never thought I needed anyone to carry my bags, open doors or clean up after me. Then one day, I began to feel overwhelmed with tasks. I found myself lost somewhere under way too much responsibility to leave enough time for just being me. I made a huge swing to wanting to say yes to offers of help to take care of myself and those who needed me to take care of them. I not only wanted, but needed manicures and pedicures sometimes and then I wanted people to keep their hands right off me at other times. Needs are there for a reason and we do well to listen to them.
Now that I’ve had a few weeks of just a little help with a few things, I see that I really needed it after years of being a wife, mother and server of others. It’s OK to let others take some of the burden. I have also noticed how important it is to make sure my own needs are not only met but truly known to me throughout all the stages and shifts that happen in my life. I believe that it’s through knowing, accepting and catering to our own needs that we can really know how to care for anyone others. When we get to know ourselves, we learn that sometimes, we can be difficult and confusing. Once we see that, embrace it and love ourselves despite all of our complexities, needs and demands, we can do it for others so much better.
I have loved room service and I already know I will welcome it back once I’ve left this apartment! I really dislike, dustpans and wet floor squeegees. I certainly don’t need those in my life right now! But I love periods of time without someone behind me hovering, waiting to see if I need something and hanging out in pyjamas until midday without being politely reminded that I should have started the day by now. This lady needs hide away, be quiet, no knocking the door please time as much as I need an apple a day! Perhaps even more on some days.
My travel adventures are also reminding me that everything in life is about finding that delicate balancing point of moderation and keeping it. After having my bags taken up and down to and from my rooms by the Concierge for the last few moves I’ve made, boy did I need the humbling workout I got from hiking my heavy bags and cases up four mini flights of stairs! Since this is all preparation for more travelling, I’m reflecting on reducing my belongings even more than I have or getting bigger muscles! I will decide before I have to take them back down again in a few weeks.
Continually moving on, I’m improving in the art of letting go, enjoying great moments, opportunities, locations and people while they last and not waiting for tomorrow to do what you can do today. I’m also learning the difference between the person I think I am and the one I really am.