People talk about needing their vacations, but I’m telling you, we really needed ours. We’ve experienced our share of fears and worries in the last 18 months after we each received an undignified job loss (also known as a layoff). Even our little Jack Russell pooch seemed skeptical at times about whether there would be a meal cut-back but happily none of us has missed one yet.
On the day before we left, I wrote in my journal, “I’m going to leave all the trauma/drama of the last 18 months on the beach as an intended sand sculpture. Let the waves wash my emotional angst out to sea.
“I surrender–there is no need to pack it around anymore. All that crap really over-stayed its welcome anyway. I’m ready to move on without it. There is a new me coming; this time next week my arms will fling open wide to welcome the next phase of this life adventure. But first there must be an emptying to make room for the new.”
The timing of our trip coincided with Easter Week–I’m a huge fan of symbolism. I wrote, “This week is the perfect confluence of my birthday, Easter Week and a beachside surrender.”
My Caribbean birthday
First, a shout-out of thanks to the Valentin Imperial Maya Resort–wow, did those folks make me feel special! Throughout our stay, they sent me two beautiful cakes, a bowl of incredible fruit and an exotic flower arrangement. Plus, my sweetie decorated our suite top-to-bottom with confetti, streamers and birthday signs.
As I sat writing on the veranda on the morning of my birthday, gazing at the mangrove forest and the sea beyond and listening to the massive bird brigade, I felt blissfully content. I wanted nothing more than what my senses absorbed in those moments.
Later, as we walked the beach, knowing that love had no limit, I started to let go, and that process continued for the next five days. Our time at the beach was restful simplicity followed by big decisions like whether to nap at the pool or read in the cabana.
Each day was filled with bright, sun-drenched beach walks, ocean swims and dining al fresco. We recharged our minds and refreshed our spirits.
The reality of reality
As our vacation wound down and new adventures back in Dallas beckoned, I found myself trying to bridge the divide between beach and everyday living. Sure enough, our first days back were a sensory overload of city sounds. Where oh where was Beach Cabana #19?
And, how could we bring the peace of the beach into our day-to-day?
It’s simple, but as with the 12-step program I follow, definitely not easy. The answer, as I see it, is to figure out a way to find a solid rightness about simply sitting and being, which of course means scheduling in breaks during workaday activities.
Here’s what I’m doing:
1. Starting my days as I did while at the beach. This means reflective contemplation and journaling.
2. Getting outside and moving. We walked four times as much at the beach than when at home. My body is more fluid than it’s been in a long time.
3. Connecting with nature. Although we’re landlocked here in north central Texas, with the exception of a few sizable lakes, there are plenty of trees and plants blooming and birds flitting.
4. Breathe deeply. Observe intently. Spend time staring into space. And above all, continue to let stuff go.
(One more: Start adding to the next vacation jar!)