The house is quiet as I type, and even with the doors and windows closed I can smell the saltiness of the air. The kids are sleeping, having quickly fallen into slumber shortly after we tucked them in. We're all happily tired after a long day of sand under our feet, water splashing our legs and a sea breeze whipping at our hair.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to go on vacation every year. If not several times a year. We made a yearly summer pilgrimage to the local beaches (New Jersey or Delaware), and during special years we made it to Florida for Disney World. Sometimes my parents would venture out during the off-season to various locations. All of these travels make for amazing memories. Some of my earliest mental pictures are of sunshiny beaches and the loudness of boardwalks at night.
Yet here I find myself feeling guilty that we've never taken our children on a proper family vacation until now (even on this miniature 3 day version). To be honest we've not had the money to do so, and many Summer's we were working just to make ends meet because Hubby is a teacher. My kids were never wanting, nor did they know what they were missing out on. And it has been amazing to watch them take it all in for the first time.
Still, the guilt seeps in. Have you ever noticed that negative feelings have a magnetic domino effect? As guilt weighs on me, anxiety creeps up to knock on my door. I feel the tension of what I have to do when I get home, the work that awaits me, the responsibilities. And it's hard to shake. Guilt and Anxiety call their friend Dread, and I find myself a bit nauseous over thoughts of Chica's first day of Kindergarten in just a few short days.
Soon it's a spiral and the dominos fall.
Have you ever felt like this?
Friends, I'm realizing whether you are on vacation for a day or a month, whether it's your night off or the weekend, it is important to learn to TURN OFF. We can't be "on" all the time. Life is constantly clawing at us for attention. Our minds and hearts need time away, if even for a few hours. We need to embrace saying NO. We need to embrace saying NOT RIGHT NOW. We need to learn that this down time helps us focus, reenergize and start fresh.
There is something refreshing and motivating when we can start with a blank canvas. When we can get our bearings to start treading instead of gulping for air amidst the waves. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not mowed through. We need to take time to focus on ourselves, our families, our needs.
Hear me say it: It's okay to get away for a while.
Hear me say it: You don't have to feel bad about taking a vacation from Life Stuff once in a while.
If anything, it's good.
You'll be a better person for it.
So I'm going to take my own advice. I'm going to relax. I'm not going to face stress or responsibilities for these precious few days with my family.
Those things can wait.
These memories cannot.
Do you Turn Off from time to time?
Do you struggle with letting go?
How do you embrace relaxation?
I'd be encouraged to hear your stories and advice, so please leave a comment!