Oh, vacation, you were magic. I feel like someone set the reset on whatever part of my brain controls giving a damn. Cheese danish for breakfast, lounging around in my bathing suit, sleeping in hours later than I should, letting the kids stay up late to chase fireflies and search for catfish by the docks, reading for hours on end.
Credit Image: Jason & Kris Carter on Flickr
It was amazing. Like, full-on sigh amazing.
Spending our days swimming in a crystal-clear lake, breathing in mountain air, watching the kids squeal with delight as they discovered new things. Don’t get me wrong, traveling with kids is challenging, especially when there are nine-hour car rides involved. Hell hath no fury like a five-year-old who thinks that her brother’s foot is slightly on her side of the backseat.
We also experienced a very early setback on our first day when two sleepy spiders were discovered on a pedal boat we’d taken out into the lake. We almost capsized during the ensuing panic, and we couldn’t get the kids back out for the rest of the week. Remy and I ended up taking a lot of solo kayak trips while the others stayed on dry land.
And now, we’re home. We drove through town with wide eyes, like we hadn’t been here in years, ooohing and aaahing at every small, possibly imagined difference. Look! They’ve gotten the brick face up on the new medical center!
We unpacked, fetched the dog from my parents’ house, bought a couple odds and ends to fill our barren fridge, and started on the laundry. I’m currently on my third out of approximately fifty loads of laundry, because I not only feel the need to wash all the things we wore, but all the things we packed and didn’t wear because they smell like rarely used suitcase and mothballed cedar drawers.
I took a much-needed and appreciated shower, and it felt like I was on the receiving end of a fire hose because I was so accustomed to the gentle drip of the cabin shower, the kind that requires you to rinse three times just to get the soap off.
And now, although I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed (our rustic cabin had beds that may or may not have been made from burlap sacks stuffed with bricks), I’m feeling a bit of the post-vacation blues coming on. All the excitement of the past week, the lack of obligations and schedule and need to lift a finger for much of anything, the fact that all four of us were together with barely a care in the world – I’m sad to see all that go.
So, I’m not going to let it disappear.
My goal from this point forward is to keep the relaxed, peaceful, easygoing state of mind for the next 365 days. Worry less, schedule less, fuss less. Give the kids more leeway to explore and delight and enjoy life without worrying that it’s two minutes past the time that I normally give them a bath. There’s no reason that there can’t be magic each and every day, here in my little town, with my little family. Just because our location has changed doesn’t mean we have to.
This won’t be easy for me. I’m not exactly a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. I survive on schedules, structures, and order, and I was always secretly afraid of what would happen if that all just went away. I laugh it off as being a Virgo, being a teacher, being a mom – but really, it’s a choice I make. I seek solace and comfort in total predictability. When someone would remark on my organization, I’d take pride. Thank you! I order my life and demand that those around me so as well, lest it fall apart!
So, this past week, I made another choice. I ripped up the detailed schedule and agenda I’d made for our trip and just let it happen. The woman who thought that her survival depended on order let it all go to shit, and found out that her fears were true – she ceased to survive.
Because she started to just live. And just living was glorious.
So here’s to a year of vacation mindset, of just living instead of being too caught up in the details to actually feel it.
It's going to take a lot of cheese danish, but I'm up for the challenge.
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