“Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
While there are many things I am good at, taking time off, away from work is not one of them. I will occasionally take a day or two off here or there, but scheduling an actual vacation, where you leave your home, drive to another location, and stay for an extended period of time…well that I just can’t bring myself to do.
Until last week.
For years I have gathered up vacation time, only to have it slip away at the end of the year. Each and every year I deprive myself from taking time off…to relax, to regroup, to decompress.
The last real vacation I remember was 22 years ago, back in 1994…REALLY? REALLY.
2016 has been dubbed the year of change for me, so in February I planned a getaway with a few of my girlfriends. We were off to the beach, a place I had not seen in 25 years. Once my deposit was sent in, it was official….I was going on vacation.
It didn’t take long for regret, and doubt to set in.
I would have to spend money.
I would have to find someone to care for my dog.
I would have to actually LEAVE my dog.
I would have to take off work.
I WOULD HAVE TO TAKE OFF WORK!!!!!!!!!
That last one was a big one for me.
Who would fill in for me?
What would happen if I took off?
Could they EVEN make it without me?
For the next 4 months I did nothing but fret, worry, and stress about going on vacation. What the crap is wrong with me????? Most people hit the door running, and I was practically being pushed out by my co-workers.
A week ago last Saturday it was finally time to go. I tearfully kissed my fur baby goodbye and hopped in my friends car.
Vacation was ACTUALLY going to happen.
The drive was uneventful and tiresome, but before long I saw it…. the ocean! We rolled down the windows and sucked in the salty deliciousness that abounded. Within mere minutes of throwing my stuff in the room, I was out the door and on my way. It had been 25 years since the ocean and I had met, and I was ready to reconnect.
She met me in all her beauty and awesomeness, and it was glorious!
What had kept me away for so long? Suddenly, I could no longer remember.
I took in the majesty and power of the sea, and felt my anxieties and worries drift out to sea with each receding pull of the water and sand. I found myself enjoying sitting on the beach….doing nothing, walking and talking with my friends in the evening, and exploring places I had never seen. It truly was a vacation.
My week flew by fast… too fast. As I stood on the waters edge that last evening…. I made a promise to myself and to God…..
I would not wait so long for my next vacation. Work, responsibilities, and life will always be waiting for me. Rest is not a sign of laziness or weakness, it is needed in order to remain strong. God even encourages it….
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Take time to rest. Take time away. Life will be there when you return. I promise. How much better you will feel once you drink the wild air!