I just came back from Blueberry View Artists’ Retreat. The Retreat, located about 10 miles north of Saint Joseph, Michigan, was started in 2010 by Janet Sullivan and her partner Mark Toncray, both sculptors from the Chicago area. Its purpose is to give artists a space to create away from the distractions of everyday life.
In addition to a cozy apartment and studio space, the Retreat features lovingly tended gardens and the blueberry fields for which it is named. And of course, the inspirational beauty of nearby Lake Michigan. I stayed at the Retreat for just under two weeks, using the time to work on a book I hope to publish later this year. Not only was I amazed by the amount of work I finished during just that brief time period, but I also benefited in other ways.
Taking a break from life’s distractions – phone, internet, television, social engagements and the like – is an opportunity to focus on the things that really matter. A successful retreat, then, is not just a vacation or time away from home, but a time to reflect on values and priorities.
I think that one of the keys to living well is to know what you value, and to spend your time accordingly. In that case, it pays to ask a couple of important questions:
- Do you know what really matters to you?
- How much of your time do you spend on the things that really matter?
Photos by Virginia Olson © 2012