How Can We Make Our Weekends Feel More Like Vacation?

Photo Credit: Amber French from recent vaca

Recently, my husband and I returned from a very relaxing, lazy, wonderful beach vacation.  We decided a few months back it was mandatory that we go lie on a beach somewhere and do nothing for at least three days. We had the perfect excuse to force us into going; we are coming up on ten years of marriage and it was a fantastic way to celebrate!

This vacation was more than just needed, it was a wake up call for me. I tried to really slow down each day by taking in every sight, sound, and feeling. Floating in the ocean felt so good it was like I was back in the womb (which reminds me, I need to add that sleep deprivation tank experience to my list that a fellow SMM writer wrote about).  First and foremost my eyes didn’t ache! To my office peeps, don’t your eyes ache from looking at the computer screen all day? Ugh, it’s the pits. Taking a break from my phone was really nice too. I used it as a camera mainly and internet was very spotty so we only used it once a day to check in on the kids and family at home for the most part.  It made me realize we go way too fast and I need to get away from the computer screen a little more in my day to day. My head just felt…right.

This is why this vacation meant so much to the both of us and almost felt too good to be true. It hadn’t been since our Honeymoon that we had been somewhere that we could just be complete lazy asses and do nothing for a solid 3 days.

Reflecting on the other short trips prior to this one, I believe each one was definitely in rush mode. That’s part of being a parent I think. Something feels off when you’re not with your kids.  Probably working mother guilt plays a part. It is also largely due to having family far and having to ask them to fly in to watch the kids. This can be tricky logistically and puts an extra strain on everyone involved.

When I think about the time I spend with my husband, and my children too, it is mostly rushed. We are running around in the morning, sharing a bathroom to get ready for work and taking turns getting the kids prepped and ready to go to school.

Some nights my husband and I get lucky and there’s some time for Game of Thrones or Walking Dead and just vegging on the couch. But more often than not, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to complete obligatory tasks . Other nights we pass out with food hanging out of our mouths and pints of ice cream melting on our bellies. Not really, but I really like envisioning that because it actually sounds kind of nice. Except the part where we’d be waking up in a pool of melted ice cream. Gross.

My husband is much better at going at a reasonable pace, and for that I am grateful because he reins me in and reminds me to just chill. He says daring and crazy things like, “the dishes can wait until tomorrow.” Or “Who’s really making you clean all this up right now? You are. Just don’t do it. Who cares?” And he’s right, because I can’t keep up. It’s not possible. So seriously – who cares?

Back in August we took the kids to the Jersey Shore on a vacation with another family. It was so much fun. After returning from this trip, I felt like Ron from Office Space. My brain was existing in this sea of calm and tranquility where nothing could shake me or send me into a “yank” as my Mom likes to call it. Miraculously,  I was able to hold onto that chill feeling for like a month.

For some reason though, when returning from this recent amazing trip to the Dominican, the zen was gone after only a few days. It was like having someone run up behind me and shove a skateboard under my feet and push me into traffic shouting, “Go faster and watch out!”

Why do so many of us go at this crazy pace? Do we have unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves?  Are we not taking vacations or mini- breaks because we simply feel like we can’t? I don’t know what the answer is. But I do know how wonderful it felt to be on that beach doing nothing. And I want to get part of that feeling back. It needs to be injected somewhere in the week. It can’t be healthy to feel crazed all the time.

I daydreamed while there of moving my family to a tropical island and living a very simplistic life along the shore. My hair was braided and hippie-like and my gait was a permanent slow sort of sashay due to my eternally mellow state of mind (cue Bob Marley music).  The way I earned money was to roam the beach and sell hand-made jewelry to the tourists. My children were carefree, their blonde alfalfa sprouts blowing in the wind while they pranced around happily chasing the lizards. Enter my husband, bringing me a tasty alcoholic beverage  in an actual coconut. This daydream sounds like Harlequin Romance meets Blue Lagoon. It was just too easy to go there while lying on the beach and letting my mind wander after a few frozen margs.

So now, here I am, actually trying to reboot myself and go at a slower pace. Please universe, I beg you, let that vacation-esque feeling come back!  Sniff sniff…

In an attempt to get my vacation vibe back, I tried something out over the weekend. The kids and I had a stellar movie marathon all day on Saturday consisting of some greats such as Napoléon Dynamite, Trolls, and Clue. We left the house only to pick up lunch. The beauty of it all was absolutely nothing was planned. We were in a nice little cocoon. Just us, in our warm house, with nowhere to be. So I closed the blinds, stayed in my PJ’s (thank God for drive-thrus), cozied up on the couch with the boys and put the phone away along with all of the other electronic devices. It felt really nice. Almost as nice as lying on a beach and doing nothing. Almost.

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