On the Road Together
Written by Tawana Bain
This year is in full swing, and I hope that 2023 is treating you right, even though, for me, it came barreling in as though I had stolen its best friend. I came into the year battling a virus, technical glitches, and a newly chipped front tooth! I have to admit that I initially took all of it as a bad omen that this might not be my year. But after reflecting, I now see how the virus made me reprioritize my health, the chipped tooth resulted in a new dentist closer to my home – who agreed to urgently see me and fix the damage, then refused to accept payment, and the technical glitches at work exposed things we could improve upon. So I’ve decided to look at 2023 differently and stop wallowing and feeling defeated. To brush myself off and get back in the ring. If any of you have started 2023 on the wrong foot, I hope my sharing sparks some fire in you to get up, dust yourself off, and remind yourself – if it was so easy, everyone would be doing it.
Let’s face it, things in life don’t always work out how we plan them. It’s even worse when things are not working as intended when you have an audience. Trust me, I know from experience, lol! But if you have made a promise to yourself, keep it. There are enough promises broken by people we encounter in life that it would be a shame if we don’t keep the ones we make to ourselves. Be nice to YOU. It’s really that simple. We spend so much time cheating ourselves out of self care, words of affirmation, personal time, or completing that New Year resolution. And you want to know something? Had it not been for being nice to myself, I honestly don’t know if I would have had the strength to grab the bull by the horns despite how my year started. I made the decision, after the infamous year 2020, to take time for myself. I am glad I did because otherwise, this month’s blog may have sounded quite different. Reflecting on the wonderful things in 2022 that landed me here made me count my blessings instead of the things that appeared as defeat.
We all are unique and have our way of being nice to ourselves. One of the nice things I treated myself to in the later part of 2022 was a trip with a group of women I have been exploring wine for the last year. Now I know what some of my friends are saying. Tawana is no wine connoisseur. Yes, you are right. However, I chose this group for this exact reason! See, for my entire career, I judged how good wine was by the level of its alcohol content, not by its fancy name or the vineyard stamped on the label. I used to turn my nose to anything less than 12.5% alcohol. I am chuckling as I write this, but it’s the absolute truth. Luckily for me, I recognized this as an area where I could grow and decided to invest time and energy to improve my knowledge of wine by joining the group. I took an extra big leap when the opportunity presented itself to check an item off my bucket list – traveling to Napa Valley. And I did with a new group of women I have grown very fond of.
Studies have proven that socialization improves health and even longevity, so it’s not just about having fun.
It’s one thing to meet for brunch but quite another to spend a multi-day trip with people for the first time. It’s been said that you only truly get to know someone if you work with them or live with them, and for a few days, my travel companions and I were hanging together tight for the duration!
Traveling for leisure can be challenging to fit into our schedules. But if we don’t carve the time out, it will never happen. We don’t talk about it enough, but it’s a necessity for women’s overall mental health to socialize and bond, not just for our minds but also physically. Studies have proven that socialization improves health and even longevity, so it’s not just about having fun. That feeling of love, that connection, it sparks so much. Our sense of creativity, well-being, and our hearts, both literal and figurative, all grow so much through interaction and growing with each other, our lives intertwined.
It was bittersweet as we returned to our regular lives after our adventure together. Even though we’re all very happy with our chosen paths, the end of a vacation always gives us time to pause and contemplate where we are on our life’s journey. Will we all get to be together like that again? It’s impossible to say for certain what the future holds, but we’re on the road together, and we know that looking back, we always have our memories of Napa. And if nothing else, taking that time for myself in 2022 reminded me to count my blessing when the times started off rocky in 2023. I hope you find your self care goal and do the same, sis!
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