Find your me-spot

Want to get away from it all without venturing far from home? Learn how three busy women get into their groove by uncovering joy in everyday places.

Sing like a star

Who she is Natalie Hanson is a reporter and editor and mom to Nicholas, 2 1/2

Where she goes It may be the grocery-mobile and errand chariot, but her family’s silver 1998 Mercury Mystique sedan is also Natalie’s favourite personal zone. Give her even one small window between dropping her son off at day care and heading to the office and she’ll pull out one of her hard rock CDs from bands like Live, crank up the volume and start singing like she’s performing for a stadiumful of fans. “It’s just me in the car with the music,” she says. “You can hear me coming!”

What it’s like “I get weird looks,” she says, laughing. Like the time she pulled into the Toys “R” Us parking lot blasting Eminem and every grown-up in the lot turned to stare. “I have that whole vision of myself as a 16-year-old wild and free teenager,” she says. “I feel like Thelma and Louise except with a car seat in the back.” When she’s in her car singing, Natalie is in heaven. She doesn’t think about work or mortgage payments–just her longtime love of pounding tunes. “By the end of the drive, I feel as if I can take on the world,” she says. “It’s sort of this ‘I am Rock Goddess’ feeling.”

Why it’s worth the trip “I don’t have time to goof around a lot, and this is just my time,” says Natalie. She gets to be in control: of the route, the song, the volume. “These may seem like small things,” she says, “but they’re strangely empowering.” It’s also a wonderful stress release. During extra-hectic weeks when she can’t seem to sneak in a solo car trip, she misses the time to herself and craves the opportunity to be loud. “I’m not a very quiet person by nature, but when you’ve got a little guy around, you’ve got to tone it down a bit volume-wise,” she says. Her ritual allows her to let loose. “I can feel when I haven’t had time to do it.”

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