Things Women (Don’t) Do on Weekend Retreats

When I first started going on weekend retreats to scrapbook with my friends, we had a running joke that all our husbands thought we were at a giant slumber party, wearing frilly pajamas and having pillow fights.

*rolling eyes*

Our scrapbooking retreats were all about scrapping and all about retreating. The cars were loaded with every tool, paper, and sticker that we owned. We often joked that we didn’t have room to pack clothes. One time, someone forgot to pack underwear.

Hey, I’m totally NOT ratting out my friend on that one.

Wait, I just did, didn’t I?  Ooops.

If family members complained that we were going, we’d kindly remind them that we felt like these demon babes:

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy, Mermaids Don't Do Windows
You will not complain when I go on a retreat, or I’ll shoot fire from my eyes…

What women don’t do on a retreat (besides have pillow fights):

  • Dishes
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to feed a baby or let out a dog
  • Laundry

What women do on a retreat*:

  • Work hard in 72 hours to meet the goal of putting 200 photos in albums
  • Stay up late into the night to finish that unrealistic goal
  • Sleep late (7-8 hours a night)
  • Watch movies (multi-tasking ones are best)
  • Stress about REDACTED
  • Talk about REDACTED
  • Listen to music (with earbuds if there are too many REDACTED conversations)
  • Laugh (beautiful laughter!)

*Whatever is said at the Hideaway, stays at the Hideaway. Since I can’t actually redact here, I’ll give you the feeling of it.

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy, Mermaids Don't Do WindowsAccording to witnesses at various retreats, some women also:

  • Sing karaoke.
  • Drink a lot of wine.
  • Read.
  • Sew, knit, crochet.
  • Write. ( 😀 )
  • Make jewelry.
  • Have Pinterest weekends to work on cool pinned ideas that they haven’t had time to make.
  • Threaten a friend of a friend with pillow suffocation if she snores like a freight train again.

By the end of the weekend of trying to get as much scrapbooking writing done as possible (because we know we won’t get another chance until the next retreat), we feel a lot like those demon babes that we felt like before we left, especially when it takes an hour to pack up our scrapbooking supplies.

We’ve missed our families and our pets, and we can’t wait to get home.

Then we return to find the dishes unwashed and dirty clothes in piles that shouldn’t exist and the baby wasn’t fed a bottle that day. (True story!) Or, in some cases, we find that the closets have been cleaned out and all the toys rearranged and organized. (Also a true story!)

*sigh* It’s the Hideaway Blues. We’re ready to go back before we’ve packed up.

While I didn’t scrapbook last weekend, I did write and plot and decided to throw out one book in a planned trilogy (I really don’t want to write a “bridge to nowhere book”). I feel blessed to have spent my weekend with such great friends and gotten so much accomplished.

This week I press onward with work deadlines that were meant for REDACTED.

What’s going on with you? How did you spend your weekend? Do you ever get away to work on projects? Where is your ideal getaway spot?

12 comments on… “Things Women (Don’t) Do on Weekend Retreats”

  1. Your retreat weekends sound fabulous! I think I need to get some friends together and do that every once in awhile. Oh, wait. I kind of do, with conferences. Maybe that’s why I go to so many each year!

    Hmmm, my ideal getaway spot? I’m not sure. I like visiting new places and meeting new people, so I think a cabin in the middle of nowhere wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but then again, a cabin without distractions might be exactly what I need. Apparently today is going to be an indecisive day. I can’t pick! 🙂

    • Diana Beebe

      You need both, Tameri! For every conference weekend, you need a retreat weekend. I’ve always thought that a WANA writing weekend retreat would be a blast. I’m not sure how much writing we would get done. LOL

      Conferences feed the soul in different ways: education, networking, feeling all the energy of similar goals. Retreats are a relaxed working environment where the only pressure is what you put on yourself. One weekend, I wrote 9k words! Also, I always have at least one of my regular beta readers with me. They let me bounce my ideas with them and straighten me out when I go off the rails. This weekend was fun, because I talked through this new story and one of the other guests thought I was talking about a movie.

      I love conferences, but my inner hermit stresses out at them and I don’t get any writing done. 😉

    • Diana Beebe

      I try to go once a quarter, but this year I’ve been only twice. I get twitchy if I can’t go more often than that. Last year, I managed five trips–I’m so spoiled now.

    • Diana Beebe

      Now all you need is a retreat with Benedict! 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I hate to admit that I haven’t see The Fifth Estate. I’m going to look it up right now.

    • Diana Beebe

      Thanks, Ryan. It was a lot of fun. And it was a much-needed weekend.

  2. One of my best friends is married to an accountant, so she goes through a “tax widow” phase every year. Before I moved 5000 km away, we would get together for a whole weekend of crafting, multi-tasking girl movies, and way too many calories. I miss it SO MUCH, but it’s pretty hard to justify the plane ticket just for craftiness…

    • Diana Beebe

      I think it’s absolutely worth it to catch up with your friend! When one of my besties moved to California, she packed up her photos and some supplies for a couple of these weekends. She borrowed tools so she could pack as lightly as possible. 🙂 Soooo, just in case you need a weekend with your best friend…

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