It isn’t easy making time for yourself, for nature, and for simply doing nothing when you have three jobs, are a caregiver to many in your family, and are raising a kid on your own.
Ask Antoinett Atkins, a Tacoma-based Program Manager, who escaped to Getaway Mount Adams last month with her son. But to use her words – she went because she had to and “to show up to life and feel life and reconnect to myself.” She currently works for Reach Center, where she partners with different agencies within her community to offer a variety of services for youth experiencing homelessness.
It’s been a stressful time for Antoinett. Her organization has been in transition, which has forced her to take on a bigger role. At the same time, she works as a political consultant on several special elections campaigns. On top of all this, over the past year, she’s experienced tremendous grief. Her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and she suffered the losses of her best friend’s mom and her cousin. In addition to being a single mom herself, she helps take care of her cousin’s 2 year old son. She’s been called on to be the rock, but to use her words “it’s easy to forget myself.”
This year, Antoinett decided to do things a little differently. Firstly, she started out with a simple mantra: “I am a priority.” With so much going on, Antoinett came to the very simple realization that if she did not put herself first in everything she did, she would not be able to show up for anything. “It’s an investment in myself. I don’t know if we can ever have true balance in our lives, but one thing I can do is take time for myself.”
Antoinett took her son out to Getaway Mount Adams and it was exactly what she needed. The escape provided her with the opportunity to take her 4 year old to nature for the first time, and to take some quiet time to reflect. In that time, she thought a lot about her priorities. How sometimes stepping away from things can help you grow. How getting caught up in the cult of busyness isn’t so productive for any of us. She asked herself critical questions. She notes, “I’m so comfortable being the problem solver, but am I the solution trigger? I think busyness can be an addiction. If you’re not moving… if you’re not up early or out late, are you really reaching for the dream?”
Antoinett’s plan is to continue to explore these questions, at home and on her next Getaway. “The next time I go will be may myself, or I’ll go with another mom so that I can allow her to experience getting away. It’s so hard to be okay just letting go. I would love for another mom to be able to experience it.”
Interested in exploring Getaway Mount Adams for yourself? Find out more here.