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 crapton -technical term- of Kindle books (Highlights include but are not limited to): Looking for Alaska, The Book Thief, The Off Season (actually I read all three in this series but this one was the emotional sucker punch), Innocence: A Novel, and 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.
And, 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?