Bean1In a world where your level of busyness is practically indicative of your self worth, it can be hard to make time for yourself. It’s easy to get overcommitted and not think about yourself. I know I’m guilty. I may not have left my fingerprints at the crime scene, but I’ve definitely left my fair share on late-night cups of coffee trying to get everything done.

I decided to challenge myself. I said “no.” Instead of taking on another commitment, I decided to think about myself and took a spontaneous trip to Chicago. One of my favorite singers was performing at the United Center, so I loaded up my car, grabbed two friends and drove.

We rented a beautiful three-bedroom apartment in Pilsen, the little Mexico of Chicago. The décor was trendy and minimal, clearly the influence of the real estate developers that owned it. The red leather couch. The sliced bread-shaped coasters. The espresso maker stained brown from perpetual use. It was perfect. It was close enough to the heart of Chicago that we could explore downtown but also right off the highway so we didn’t have to fight the infamous Chicago traffic to get there.

One unexpected bonus of the trip? Pad & Quill helped shrink my packing list. I’m a chronic overpacker, but my Pad & Quill iPhone case helped combat that. Since it held my phone, cash and cards, I didn’t need to lug a bulky wallet and purse around Navy Pier and Michigan Ave. It left me free to take pictures, eat and otherwise act like a stereotypical tourist in the uncharacteristically balmy November sunshine.

Chicago was a mental reset. It put me back to my factory settings, if you will. Yes, life gets busy for everyone, but for me, the challenge will be about maintaining the balance.

So try it. I challenge you to reset your mental clock this weekend. Take some “me time.” Read a book. Take a spontaneous trip. Whatever you need to do to feel “you” again. Trust me, your brain and the bags under your eyes will thank you for it. And if you're “me time” happens to involve a trip to to check out our newly launched Lowry and Classic Slim watchbands, well, we wouldn’t be opposed to that either.