This past week, I had the opportunity to take a spur-of-the-moment vacation and, surprisingly, I took it. Now, why is this a surprise, you ask? Well, I am a lot of things, but spontaneous is not one of them. Having more than one deadline looming over my head and the limited internet and phone service did not help a bit. I mean seriously—me without Facebook and Twitter? (gasps) Preposterous!
However, I did it. I made it seven full days with minimal outside contact to the world. If you don’t believe me, you should check out my email inbox, notifications, messages, tweets, blogs, triberr…the list goes on and on and, oh yeah, on. Man, that totally makes me sound like a social networking addict. Oh well. If the shoe fits, wear it. Right?
So, instead of obsessing about why I shouldn’t go, I jumped in with both feet. Boy, am I glad I did. The week I spent at the beach was unlike any other trip I have ever taken. No, I did not strike gold or find the Fountain of Youth, and I did not figure out the meaning of life or discover the cure to a life-threatening disease. Hell, I didn’t even compose a symphony or learn a foreign language. But, and this is a big but, I did get to do four very important things. I lived and learned, laughed and loved. And I could not ask for more than that.
I lived by getting out into the world. See, I have this tendency to get rather wrapped up in writing. Okay, you got me. I admit it—that is an understatement of epic proportions. I get wrapped up tighter than a flipping mummy. I’m an intensely, insanely focused person, and I have to make sure to not get lost in the sea of things to do. This trip was perfect for that, especially right now in one of the busiest times of my life. Hold on, though. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. I got tons of work done while I was away, but I did it in a way that I had time to relax, too. In all honesty, I probably got more done than I would have here. Something about the area did it for me, and my creative streak went wild.
I learned about myself—as a person and as a writer. This was the first time I have ever been on a vacation where I couldn’t completely walk away from the world I find myself in. As a relatively new writer, I am still discovering things about my writing gig. Well, since I couldn’t suspend every deadline or turn off the characters and plots dancing around in my mind, I had to find a balance. That alone taught me a lot about myself.
I laughed and loved with my family. Yeah, I get to do this all the time. I’m lucky like that. But getting a chance to do it away from all the pressures around us is unbelievable. It was lovely to be able to go and do things at our own whims. My husband didn’t have to worry about work, and my daughter didn’t have to run off to school or watch her favorite television shows. We just spent quality time together where we goofed around. We joked, teased, tickled, giggled, hugged, and cuddled. Oh…and we ate fantabulous food! Now, I am a total foodie so this rated pretty high on my list.
Sadly, I have returned to reality, and I have tons of things to do. But it was worth it. Every second, every minute, every hour was precious and memorable. I wouldn’t change a thing.
“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” –T.S. Eliot