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Reading this book, I wanted to achieve a number of goals. Aside from completing each of its “to-do’s” I was hoping to answer the age old question, “who am I?” In case, I forgot.

That may seem silly or juvenile but I assure you it’s a necessary self evaluation from time to time.

After my boyfriend passed away I lost some jobs, cancelled my plans to go to summer school, and spent a few months allowing myself to think. I slowed down just enough to spend the time I had in the car, usually spent thinking of what my next move was for the day, what I was going to make for dinner, what bills needed to be paid, or what was going on in my relationship, to instead think of myself.

You’d be surprised how much time I spent thinking of my relationship. Then again, you’d have to first be surprised by how much time I spend in the car.

I’m pretty sure, thinking about my relationship was all the time I had to dedicate to it. Which tells you how much, and by that I mean how little, time I spend on myself.

Eva’s book recommends making the most of the fact that no one is around to constantly knock on your door when you’re trying to take a bath. As someone who enjoys a hot bath semi-regularly after putting my son to bed, I felt the need to upgrade this one.

Truth is, my relationship was a bit reversed in terms of roles. My boyfriend did a lot of the care taking and house work while I was the one employed. Had I been single all those years I’d be well off. But my boyfriend and I foresaw a future together, I was dedicated to the relationship, and this was the way our family functioned best. I spent so much time working, I never did anything really for myself and money was always tight. With my boyfriends passing, there is one less mouth to feed, less person to cloth, no date nights of movie rentals, less spending. That may sound morbid or harsh but it’s part of my new reality.

So with more money and time for myself, I got a sitter for the day and took a bath. A full day, phones off, Kohler spa kind of bath. Kohler, maker of many innovative showers, sink, tubs and other bathroom and kitchen products own a resort in Wisconsin and smaller spa in Burr Ridge, Illinois. There you reserve one (or more!) of the MANY treatments they have to offer and the Kohler spa world is yours to access for the day!

Upon arriving, and I recommend going early, you are instantly submersed in the serenity as the sounds from the waterfall surround you, inviting you to stay the entire day. After checking-in, a hostess will escort you the woman’s lounge (or men’s, depending on your sex) where you are provided a locker for your belongings, a robe to undress and change into, and sandals. Bring a good book and spend some time relaxing in the main lounge on comfy, cushioned, Romanesque chairs enjoying a variety of teas, coffee, or waters (lemon, citrus, or cucumber) and some dried banana chips or snack mix. Around your reservation time someone will come find you and bring you to a private room for your treatment. I recommend the body balancer but you can view their treatments options in detail at

http://www.americanclubresort.com/spa_br/services/spa_br_services.html

After your treatment you can go back to reading or change into your swimsuit (Be sure to bring it. Though you might think you have no interest, when you see it, you will!) and enjoy the circle of tranquility. A round room with a sauna, steam room, hot tub large enough for 20+ people to sit more than comfortably, cool pool to dip in, waterfall and three Kohler showers to rinse under. I personally start with the sauna, followed by the hot tub, and lastly the steam room, taking dips in the cool pool inbetween each one. The steam room is my favorite, it smells a bit like vicks, and is amazingly therapeutic. Taking a dip in the cool pool, though chilling, is a rush that makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

Feel free to leave the spa for some shopping or lunch at one of the many restaurants in the Burr Ridge shopping center, my choice, Coopers Hawk, for wine and truffles. You can always come back to the spa and relax all over again!

While enjoying the rounds of the tranquility circle, thinking of myself and my life, I noticed the date. It was the 9th of the month, marking ten months since my boyfriends passing. His death had brought me to be a bit more spiritual and faith filled. Sometimes I allow myself to think not all things are just a coincidence. You don’t have to agree with this but it certainly helps me cope when I’m having a rough day. The fact that I happened to have off that Tuesday, that I had just received a 50% off coupon to the spa in the mail, and that I was able to get a sitter (which is no easy feat), all makes me feel like my boyfriend was offering me a gift, repaying me for the years I cared and devoted to him. Reminding me as he so often tried to do, that it’s ok to take time for myself.

Slowly I am becoming more and more aware of that. If I keep living for other people, I will never fully be seizing the moment.

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Pictures provided by google.

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