Monday, April 5, 2010
On Letting Down
Getting ready to go on vacation, on top of the regular responsibilities of everyday life, is always quite an ordeal. Everything has to be well thought out, because the trip has to be perfect. I only have spring break once a year, and I've looked forward to this trip since last April.
The preparation comes long before the packing. Even clothes worn the week before vacation can not be the clothes I'm intending to pack. Nonetheless, laundry is done every night of the week. Yes, for two people. The house must be in order, pet needs cared for, bills paid, and then there's the packing. It's a gradual process that starts with trying on everything I own, imagining the types of activities I might engage in while gone, creating outfits, consulting weather.com, and pairing shoes and accessories with every fashion option. Does everyone else have a shoe suitcase? Normally, two thirds of what I pack in my suitcase isn't worn. But it sure feels good to be prepared for everything.
This spring break we headed for the beach with a goal of letting down. After the rush to prepare, picking up Mom from the airport, packing the truck, making lunches for the road, borrowing a bike rack, and strapping the bikes to the truck, we all let out a big sigh as we finally hit the highway. (And this was after two Easter services and a stop at Starbucks for a quick change into comfy travel clothes.)
Letting down is hard for me. With how tired I ususally am upon beginning vacation you'd think that it would be easy. You'd think that a seven hour road trip would start the relaxation process. But arriving at my longed for destination always puts me in an excited tizzy. I'm bouncing off the walls excited to finially be here...so what should we do first?
Unpack! I absolutely love unpacking the suitcases and organizing everything into the dresser drawers of someone else's condo. Get those suitcases out of sight. This week, this place is mine.
Food! What are we going to eat? Are we going out? Should we stop at the grocery store and cook in? Since it was Easter Sunday, we didn't have many choices, so off to a restaurant we went. (Horrible experience, but this post is NOT about that.)
Today, I finally started to let down. Well, after a six-mile run that is. I snuck out of the house early enough not to be missed, but late enough to have felt like I slept in. Running along the flat, coastal road while dodging beach cruisers gave me that little bit of "me time" I needed to start my day.
Then I sat. I really sat. I sat and talked with my family. The husband, his parents, my mom, and I just sat on the third floor deck and talked with cups of coffee and ocean breezes lifting weight from our shoulders. The husband had to have been proud of me.
What's the plan for the day? There isn't one.
What time should we... Any time we feel like it.
Yes, he was definitely proud. He rarely hears those words at home.
Letting down sounds easy, but it's hard. I like to be prepared. Grocery shopping has to get done. Otherwise, what are we going to do when we're hungry? And of course, Mom and I have the extra issue of being gluten intolerant. We can't just rely on food that happens to be around. We have to make sure we have gluten-free options available. So, yes, we did grocery shop, and we did stop at a fish market for fresh red snapper, and I did make a gluten-free birthday cake for the husband's birthday celebration (a week early), and I did make an amazing dinner without my favorite kitchen gadgets. But in between all that, and in the midst of it, I also began the process of letting down.
I looked at my stacks of magazines and smiled. I'm going to have time to read them this week. not today, but soon.
I closed my eyes for a few moments. It wasn't a nap, it was a moment. But maybe by day four I might actually take a nap.
I walked on the beach. The pace may not have been leisurely, but maybe tomorrow will be a little slower.
Oh, and I ran another four miles later with the husband to keep him company. So, that wasn't really resting, but I'm in a process here.
All a part of letting down.