I had a chat with myself about how I wanted this spring and summer to be different—a departure from the seasons of last year (and especially those in 2020). I made the decision to take a step back to examine how I’ve been moving through life.
I’m a busy father with three kids at home. For the most part, if I’m not working or dedicating time to them, I’m reading, walking my neighborhood or journaling. It can be hard to squeeze in time for much else. That got me to thinking about something I used to do frequently that stopped in 2020—the artist date.
Inspired by Julia Cameron’s bestselling book, “The Artist’s Way,” an artist date is a once each week break from normal life to spend a few hours on a weekend day feeding your inner child or tickling your curiosities.
As you may have gathered, like romantic dates, artist’s dates can require money, though they don’t have to. But, if you’re taking yourself out for a treat day, why not splurge a tad to make that inner kid jump for joy? This led me to review all of my subscription services and begin purging those I could live without.
During the height of the COVID years, we found ourselves in the house a lot despite playing in the front yard, riding bikes, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. My kids still wanted to stream various shows across networks, and it was a great occasion to enjoy a little down time. So, in mid-April, I decided to cancel my subscriptions, keeping only the ones bundled with my phone—Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+—and NBA TV (got to see the Celtics play!). That move saved me about $30-plus a month. Then I cut my internet bill in half by choosing a slower speed since the kids aren’t home or hybrid learning any longer. Now, for my artist’s dates, I have about $80 available each month for personal adventures coupled with anything extra that I add to the pot.
I share this because since we’ve recently celebrated Mother’s Day this month, it’s important for moms to think about self-care and what moves the soul. It’s easy to lose your identity when it’s wrapped up in your family day in and day out. Finding money within the budget for a weekly, biweekly or monthly outing could be the elixir your soul craves and needs. For me, it’s been going to Five Below and grabbing bags of the 10-cent candies I ate as a kid, taking a morning to peruse the Farmers’ Market, or spending the afternoon with some choice takeout at a favorite park. The options are limitless; the only rule is that you go.
As I have learned, the kids will be fine, the house can be cleaned later, and for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, the only person whose needs you need to meet are your own.
You’re worth it.