We’ve been back a couple weeks now from our annual week at the beach with our best friend Max, and for the first time ever, I’m still finding myself actually refreshed and renewed. Usually after a vacation (since kids, anyway) I need another vacation to recover, but not this time. I truly found some recovery and healing this year.
As you might know or guess, I plan everything. Our vacation had a meal plan-including snacks-and matching grocery list months ago. I planned which clothes I’d bring and which I’d pack for the kids. I ordered sunscreen for this trip in May. My intended relaxation for this trip was mapped out as well, in great detail.
I would do yoga on the deck every day, and I would also take a long walk on the beach alone. I would meditate and do progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing. I would make these things a priority because I would rest.
Well, I did do yoga and walk on the beach alone the first day. I did yoga the second day, but not after that because there were Always dudes on the deck of the house next door. I didn’t do the meditation and PMR daily, because… I didn’t.
You know what I did?
I let it all go and I lived in the moment.
I’m almost in tears writing that because I found so much freedom and enjoyment in it.
I took a three hour nap after playing in the waves all morning with the kids.
I spent three late afternoons just sitting with my chair right at the water line, the sun on my skin, a tumbler of sangria in one hand and my kindle in the other. I periodically looked up the beach, breathed deep, and listened to the waves for a few minutes.
This was what I needed.
I stayed up late with the guys, drinking wine (Corona with lime for them) and watching Rifftrax or Silicon Valley or Bachelor in Paradise and eating weird snacks like Birthday Cake Oreos (Max’s purchase) or Buffalo wing flavored pretzels (Scott’s purchase), or Organic Korean BBQ Beef Jerky (My purchase, obvs) and laughing so hard I thought the kids would wake. I wasn’t counting calories or looking at ingredients. I was free.
Intention is good, but in many cases, the space to allow possibility brings freedom.
I need routine (and even a schedule sometimes) when I’m here at home, but what I learned this year on vacation is that, for me, when I’m at the beach, I need to be as fluid and free as the waves.