Well, it has been more than a week since I returned from my family vacation and I am finally getting myself up-to-speed. We returned home last weekend and spent the time trying to get rid of our jet lag while cramming in a little 4th of July fun.
On Tuesday July 5th, I returned to work only to realize that it was year-end and had to work more hours to catch up. Long days at the office mixed with trying to play catch up in my personal life, I had to say buh-bye to my blog for an additional week.
The relaxing moments spent on a tropical beach were long forgotten.
But now that I have a moment to breath, I am finding myself better for having taken the time away from work and life as I know it.
I have to say that I loved Aruba, and I thought it was one of my best Caribbean vacations.
We actually did a whole lot of nothing but, this time away, made me realize that I truly don’t know how to relax. It took me about 3 days to actually comprehend that I was away on vacation and allow myself to unwind.
On our second day, I was out by the pool with my travel guide, excursion list from the resort, and my pad and paper – creating our itinerary for the week. If it hadn’t been so hot and humid, I would have had my notebook out there creating a spreadsheet. I didn’t even realize that I was being so obsessive until Jason told me they were out of jeeps on the day we wanted to explore the island, and I totally went ballistic.
But Jason being Jason, he totally schmoozed the AVIS guy and made it happen: So we had an amazing day exploring. However, it was a real eye opener for me because I realized that, up until that point, I hadn’t really been on a break.
By day six, I was finally letting my hair down and, by the time we left three days later, I was completely relaxed and missing my vacation before I even left for the airport.
But in those last four days, I found myself doing a lot of introspection and was able to think with clarity. My mantra to myself and Shane – who kept saying that he didn’t want to go home even though we were only half-way through our holiday – was to live in the moment.
I tried to calm my mind and let all the stress that was waiting for us here in LA to just melt away. I truly found myself enjoying the simple things that our time-away had to offer.
The complete abandon of just jumping in the ocean or pool – or the combination of both – with my 6 year old son – was the most carefree I’ve been in years. The sound of his deep belly laughter was like music as I would throw him into the pool over and over and over again.
I loved that I got to run almost every day and pause half-way on a jetty of rocks watching crabs scramble away from me and letting the ocean spray cool me down.
Another treat was sitting down and eating three healthful meals a day with my family that I did not have to prepare.
Not wearing make-up for a week was refreshing and – since it was too damn hot anyway – I only did my hair twice.
On my last morning, I set the alarm and got up early to do my daily run. I actually stopped at my half-way point and imprinted that beach in my memory the way it felt to just be at that moment. Afterward, I woke up Shane and we both ran down and jumped into the ocean.
Then I had the grand idea to check our itinerary and realized that our 3:30pm flight was actually at noon and we had less than 2 ½ hours to finish packing, get to the airport, and go through customs in order to make our international flight.
The floodgates opened and the normal feeling of panic and anxiety filled me once again. And, even though the next few hours were stressful – especially since we were randomly selected to be treated like drug smugglers by Homeland Security [Please see my post dated July 4, 2011] – we all handled it well. There were a few tense moments, but overall, since we were still in vacay mode, we transitioned quite well.
I just wish it hadn’t taken me part of my vacation to get to that point of bliss but, I am only glad that I had the experience at all. Now I am glad to be back home – getting caught up – and back to posting. I have missed my writing and realize that it is extremely cathartic to me.
Now, it is about trying to retain that feeling of calm. I wish I could have bottled the peace of mind I found there, just like the white sand of Aruba, but they say paradise is where you are right now.