How to Relax, For Real This Time.
The first day I was a complete mess actually. I was exhausted. I had not slept in days. I spent way too much money in New York and I was even being frugal! (I was reminded of why I never seemed to have money when I lived there). And when I got back, I was so stressed out about how much I have to do right.now.
So, instead of freaking out, or rather after I freaked out (because I kinda sorta did), I made three goals for myself: 1. Take a timeout and don’t make any lists (pretty much be George Costanza and do the opposite of what I was compelled to do) and instead, 2. Read a book and 3. Do NOT bring phone down to the beach EVER.
And I was successful at all of these!
I made no lists.
I read Bossypants by Tina Fey which I got forever ago and never got around to reading (she became my hero too) and I did not bring my phone to the beach EVER. Bringing phone to beach compels me to CHECK phone at the beach which means emails and texts and calls.
SO by the 2nd day I was really getting the hang of this! (How can you not when the beach looks like that?)
I finished Bossypants (just for fun) and started reading Female Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington’s A Life Without Limits (which I didn’t finish yet.)
By the third day, I REALLY got the hang of this relaxing thing. I officially stopped giving a crap about any emails or anything else that was going on and I became sure that anything important would wait, even if it was a temporary delusion. (The series of guest posts about pumping last week was a part of that. It only half worked out but that’s better than not at all, right? Cup half full. Did you read them by the way?)
In the end, oddly, vacation was a fabulous learning experience.
I lived in the moment just like them.
Here’s a list of stuff (and other realizations) from beach vacation with pictures sprinkled throughout that make no sense in context:
1. I realized quickly that I need to take more vacations! At least one a month! Or at least relax more at home and make my own relax time that I can call “mini pseudo vacations” that last an hour or two per day.
2. I need to read more! In fact, I’d like to take up Cher from Clueless’s policy of “one non-school book per week.” That’s ambitious but if a fictional high school student movie character can do it, why can’t I?
3. It’s physically impossible to play shuffleboard with a 4 & 6 year old with any sort of rules. Before it is the end of your turn shuffling, they will line up all your shuffleboard pucks and proclaim, “Look mommy! I lined them up for you!” before you get to count your points. Also, as soon as you stop trying to get any points (because any time you actually get points, they cry), that’s exactly when you will get the most points and come out the winner over your 4 & 6 year old, which makes you look (and feel) like a terrible parent, especially when they crumple in the shadow of your (untimely) victory.
4. Bringing your own vat to make your own sangria in is almost always a good idea.
5. Pimples do not realize it’s vacation and will come out any old damn time they want to.
6. Being drunk during the day reminds me of how great it is to be drunk during the day. Which, well, you know, could be a problem.
7. If you get a pink fuzzy fake uterus from BlogHer, your 4 year old WILL find it, nap with it, and call it “Bubble Gum Guy.” Don’t know about my fuzzy fake uterus? Oh yes, there’s a story coming. I’m just glad he didn’t find the “adult toys” that Trojan was giving out which were hanging out with the fuzzy pink uterus in the “off-limits drawer.”
8. Turning on the “Out of the Office” auto-responder on your email is a great idea! Even if your “office” is a kitchen table that almost always is filled with Lego “rocketships” and Matchbox cars. I recommend you do this at the beginning of the week to minimize stress.
9. Every year at the beach, it’s a new experience. It used to be I’d have to do the (very unflattering) run in my bathing suit to chase my younger one who would almost always dart up the beach chasing birds. Finally, we’re past the darting. This year we boogie boarded (and they paddle boarded. Sort of.)
10. Speaking of boogie boarding, I realized I’m not 13 anymore, can’t boogie board like I used to, and have a giant scrape on my knee from dragging my legs on the sand to remind me of this.
11. Currently detoxing from burgers, ice cream, burgers, chips, crap, more crap, and fudge, ice cream, pizza and more crap. Hooking up self to spinach intravenously as week speak.
12. *sigh* Right now, even my lists have lists. But I’m only sort of thinking about it. I’m just happy that I’ve unpacked already, which I never, ever, EVER do. See? I’m ahead of the game.
13. I have prided myself on the fact that for the past 6 years, I haven’t had the faintest clue what an Angry Bird is and now after downloading a free Angry Birds app, it’s all I can think about. It’s addicting! It’s on my iPad and I just downloaded it on my phone too! I need help!
14. Part of this vacation this year was about learning how to relax and stop stressing out as my mind ventures back to all the lists I should be making. Vacation this year highlighted a big problem for me, which is turning off, powering down and being present. I’m refocusing on the fact that there are only so many hours in a day and I will figure it all out. And if I don’t, and instead I clear my head with a couple quality hours of Angry Birds, the world will still spin.
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