Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Monday, July 03, 2006

Bye Bye, Vacation. I Love You.

Today is the tenth and final day of my vacation. I started relaxing on day nine.

I needed this. While we were in Vermont, I found myself stressed, frazzled, stressed, and stressed. What is WRONG with me? I asked myself so many times a day. I argued with Jim, snapped at the kids, and generally felt awful. My sinus infection was bad for the first few days, and it rained, rained, rained...but those weren't the problems. On Wednesday night, Jim and I put Caleb in the "Kid's Night Out" program and a babysitter (provided by the resort) took care of Liam and Aidan at the condo. Jim and I went for a nice dinner and then drove for a bit. It should have been wonderful, but I felt so...stretched. I just couldn't relax into it. Tears, unfortunately, were part of that night.

I finally realized that I was trying so hard to have fun that I was sort of missing the whole point of the vacation. I intently scanned the resort's schedule every morning and evening, planning the day ahead. I was so disappointed when the rain prevented us from doing so many things...all I could do was think about how we could salvage some of the trip.

I think, looking back on it, that it had been so very long that we'd taken a real vacation that I just...didn't know how to do it! So much has happened over the past several years...three kids, five (yes, FIVE) moves, graduating University, career changes, moving away from our very much more. I can't even begin to list all that has happened in our lives. I've been so busy doing that when I finally got a chance to sit back and enjoy a break, I didn't even see it for what it was. I just kept doing. We got home Friday, and spent Saturday getting ready for Aidan's party. Saturday night, I had the mother of all Irritable Bowel attacks. I'm talking pain so bad that I blacked out a few times and had to work really hard at not puking. Pain so bad that I ended up with wads of my own hair wound around my fingers and then thrown in the trash.

Then yesterday, we had my darling Aidan's fourth birthday party, and it was really lovely. I was busy throughout, of course, but I was so exhausted and just so...done...that I couldn't muster any stress. I laughed with our friend and daycare worker, who brought her kids. I asked my vegetarian sister if she'd like a hot dog (oops...sorry, dear!), and laughed over that, too. I ate cake. I howled with laughter when the kids tried to bash open the piƱata (has anyone actually had the kids open one of these and not had to rip it open themselves? 'Cos that's what I ended up doing...just tearing that motherfucker apart and dumping the contents all over the grass). Strangely, amidst the chaos, I found myself relaxing. I went to bed feeling something so peaceful and amazing...something I haven't felt in a while: Contentment.

Today, on my last day before I return to work, I've been calm. Anxious about going back; about losing the bit of peace I've gained back, but generally at peace with the world.

To all of you who I owe emails (it truly has been on the fritz, but it's been up and running for several days and I've been lax), I'm sorry. I know I owe some of you a phone call, too. Sorry again. No. No, I can't be sorry. I needed this time. But here's what's true: I've missed you! And you know what else? Liam is so deliciously cute all the time, but when I'm relaxed, he's nearly unbearably so. And Caleb? He's so damn smart - the kid blows my mind. And my newly four year-old boy...what a dear soul he is. What a loving soul. And Jim, that man of my heart...he is good. He loves me. I am so, so blessed.

Even rain smells better when you're relaxed, you know. And hey! I'm not worried so much. About...well, about everything. I know the stress will creep's inevitable. But right now, right in this moment, Jim is sitting on the step watching a storm roll in. The air is cool. I'm going to go join him.


At 11:10 PM, Anonymous mamatulip said...

It sounds like you have had a lot going on over the last few years and now that things have settled down in to a (somewhat chaotic) routine, you're resisting initially. I did the same thing after my mom died; I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that there weren't a million and one things going on.

I'm so glad you went on vacation...I really felt it would be good for you.

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Jo said...

IBS AS WELL?! Good Lord girl, I marvel at how you manage at all. Seriously, I know you get anxious and doubt yourself constantly, but believe me, I am in awe of how much you manage to cram into your days. I have only one child, only work two and a half days a week and I spend my evenings collapsing in front of the tv instead of touching other people's lives with remote readings. I'm glad that after nine days of holidays you are finally managing to sit back and relax. Hold that thought!

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Margaret said...

I have so much compassion for your vacation situation. I'm glad you did finally get to unwind even though it was near the end of your trip.

Now, about that our last birthday party a kid did knock the pinata open and it was CHAOS! The adults ran for cover and children dove in as the candy and toys flew through the air in every direction. It was like shrapnel. Everything crashed to the floor with such force that about a third of the contents (most of it plastic junk, but still, plastic junk kids L-O-V-E) shattered. You know it's bad when the petrified taffy breaks apart. But it was Crazy Funny. Birthday parties are the best!


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