Sunday Confessional with a Splash of Margarita

Heather says:

This isn’t particularly Home Ec related, but sometimes life is more than the chores that make it easier.

As many of you know, last year was incredibly difficult. Okay, I can see my therapist giving me a look, last year was insane.

Yet I’m still standing.

In fact, now I’m standing with a few more freckles. I just got back from Cozumel, Mexico. I saved up for and took my first solo vacation. (Trust me, Customs thought it was a little weird, too when I re-entered the country. Are you sure you traveled alone? You didn’t meet friends?) Back in November, as things were just starting to fall back into place a really good Groupon deal crossed my radar. I jumped on it and bought that “dream vacation.” Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to go somewhere warm and have nothing to do. And. if anything, last year taught me that life won’t hand you the things you want and may cut the ride short.

So I went.

It turns out that I am truly awful at doing nothing.

I brought a crap ton -technical term- of Kindle books (Highlights include but are not limited to): Looking for AlaskaThe Book ThiefThe Off Season (actually I read all three in this series but this one was the emotional sucker punch),  Innocence: A Noveland Socially Awkward: A Novel I dove back into the Flavia de Luce Series which I highly recommend if you’re looking for a book for pre-teens with a strong, smart, sassy female lead. Yes, I read YA and teen fiction and quite happily, thank you. If a book is well-written, it doesn’t matter the demographic.

It turns out you can avoid a lot by being busy and last year I avoided mourning by burying myself in work and busyness.

So what happens when you go to Cozumel alone, armed only with books?

You meet wonderful people who offer to drag you up to North Dakota to set you up with a man -completely unnecessary and I’m sure North Dakota is perfectly nice, but I live in the South for many reasons and warmth is fairly high on that list. (And please understand that’s only what’s wrong with that idea on the surface, we aren’t going to get into the deeper aspects, that would get too ranty for my taste.)

You take SCUBA lessons and get PADI certified for Open Water*, only to rupture an eardrum and end up spending a lot of time sitting in a boat with a captain who speaks no English and probably has no interest in your clumsy grasp of kitchen Spanish.

You learn that all-inclusive means that margaritas are way too easy to order and end up going to bed ridiculously early. When you go to bed ridiculously early, you wake up ridiculously early in a town that runs on tourist time. Hello many more hours to fill.

You learn that hot water is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures. (My room had none.)

You learn that you can survive without a smart phone, but that you miss all the people on the other side far more than you ever imagined.

And you finally cry. A lot. Mostly in private, but I’m pretty sure the staff at the hotel wondered who the weird, crying woman was. And apparently you let perfect strangers hug you in the bathroom.

And weirdly, you start to feel better.

NotesAnd, maybe, just maybe you’ll see yourself in a book. Tsh Oxenrider, in Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World stated, “[…]work is my leisure of choice.”

I know what that looks like and I’m finally okay with it. 

So this wasn’t the standard Sunday Confessional, but it’s a big one for me. I know I need to make sure important things don’t fall off my radar, but I need to quit trying to define myself in ways that don’t fit my preferences.

What about you?

What do you have to get off your chest?



  1. Cheryl Smithem on February 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Heather what a wonderful breath of fresh honesty. You remind me that honesty with one’s self is critical to getting on.

  2. Michael Carnell on February 18, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Good rant, good confessions, and good therapy. But I do have to admit – you were missed. And don’t go to North Dakota!!

  3. Pamela on February 17, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Heather – thank you so much for your honesty!!
    I’ve been following you for about 2 years now (give or take) and have watched your life’s changes and trials.
    Thank you again for totally telling it like it is!
    You rock.

  4. Keter on February 17, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Heather, you did exactly what you needed to do, and thank you for sharing it. ((((HUG!!)))) – bathroom or anywhere! You may have inspired to action the many who need to make some solo, uninterruptible “me time” in a location that has no connection with their “real life.” Even if one has not had “the year from hell,” it is psychologically healthy to remove oneself from the local dramas and all the crutches that prop up our sense of self so that we can honestly evaluate who we really are and what really matters. Blessings to you!

    BTW, you are not alone…I’ve had quite a year, too: my son’s marriage and the birth of a granddaughter; finding out my oldest friend spent decades being a false friend (road trip confession! I forgave him and he’s finally starting to be honest with himself); finding out that my husband is a true friend (I would rather have a true lifelong friend than a fake partner faking it badly); taking a trip halfway across the country to meet an amazing online friend who is my true partner and helping him complete his healing from betrayal; battling cancer (winning!).

    Takeaway: Honesty really is the best (ONLY!) policy. A lifelong policy of complete honesty and gentleness got me called “naive,” “too open,” and even “a doormat,” and put me at a disadvantage with the bad people of this world, but that policy ended up being the key to getting through this incredibly challenging year with all of the people I most care about in better relationships (with me and with themselves) than before. It took over 50 years to bear fruit, but this year it paid back with a few miracles.

  5. James Moffitt on February 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I am glad you were able to get away and have some ME time. 🙂 I have never been to Mexico but Katy has. Please tell me you did not drink the water. LOL. Grief does suck but it is something you have to work through at your own timing and in your own way. No one will understand nor can anyway explain to you how it must be done. Tears are a language that God understands. Hugs to you my friend. You will be fine. I just know it.

  6. Ode to Mrs. Katz Cohn on February 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Heather, sounds like the trip was just what you needed. And if I saw you crying in the bathroom I’d give you a hug too. 🙂


  7. Anne on February 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Crying whether alone of in public bathrooms isn’t nothing. It’s important grief-work. 🙂
    First time I looked at your blog; enjoyed it!

  8. sarah jane on February 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Sending warm thoughts your way.

  9. Carlysa on February 16, 2014 at 10:39 am

     I had a horrible life event consume my life 6.5 year ago. I can totally relate to your personal struggles. I found journaling helped and then found blogging. I’m slowly putting my blogs back together after another horrible event, my divorce. I’ve posted 2 of my ‘therapeutic’ writings, one a poem on my blog. Sunshine & If a Heart Had Wings

  10. Gregory Pittman on February 16, 2014 at 9:17 am

    A nod and smile of approval from a friend.

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