Sunday, October 19, 2014

10/20/14—Ditching My Vacation

My stress busting laser star projector
Last week I was on vacation. But less than 36 hours before I packed the car to go to our B&B in the country, I canceled all my plans.

There are two main reasons why I did this. The first has to do with how I've been feeling lately. I'm literally exhausted with being exhausted. I think my hormones have gone all goofy during menopause and my energy levels are debilitatingly low. So as I sat at home going over the list of all the things I had to do before I went on vacation—clean house, plan meals, pack for me and my dogs, etc.—it just felt overwhelming. While we love the place we stay, the amount of work needed for three or four days in the country didn't seem worth it this time around. 

The other reason is that, for months, I had been worried about Mystic. When we go to this place, she has free run of the property, which she loves. But this time I was really stressed about her wandering. What if she got lost? What if it's hunting season and someone shoots at her? What if she wanders off the property and gets herself in trouble—one time she got stuck in a neighbor's (empty) chicken coop and couldn't get out! So either I was having some sort of intuition about what might happen or I was just worried about losing my Mystic. She has been to this same place four times in her life and has successfully wandered and stayed within earshot each time. But this time I was worried. 

So I decided to have a staycation. I'm pretty sure I've had one before, but it wasn't really memorable. This one, however, was. 

Mostly I just did whatever the heck I felt like doing for nine days. I slept generously. I cooked a big casserole so I wouldn't have to worry about what to eat. I watched spiritual movies and TV shows. I went out for coffee or lunch a couple of times. I took the dogs to the dog park or on walks. I treated myself well. I basically did what I wanted, when I wanted, which somehow resulted in the house getting mostly clean along the way. And, perhaps the biggest thing, I wasn't allowed to judge myself at all for how I was spending my time. 

The results of all of this? Probably one of the most refreshing and enlightening vacations I've ever had! I didn't have to expend any energy to get the relaxing, energy-increasing benefits of time off...and let's face it, we usually expend a lot of energy planning, packing and commuting to and from our vacation spot. 

And, for me personally, it was enlightening, because I haven't felt this good emotionally and spiritually for a while because of the physical issues I've been facing. Just when I was starting to wonder if I'd feel miserable for the rest of my life, I had the experience of my spirit feeling good again. And while I still have to figure out what's wrong with me hormonally/physically and get help for that, it doesn't feel so insurmountable anymore. 

Moreover, I got the chance to see where I needlessly stress myself out over things. I kept much the same sleep schedule over vacation, but with a little more sleep perhaps. Normally I beat myself up for going to bed late, but while on vacation I didn't. And there's really no need to beat myself up over it. While I know it's better to go to bed earlier, I make my choices. It is what it is. I also found myself doing more in a day on some days. Normally I would tell myself there wasn't time to get A, B and C all done in a day, but without deadlines or appointments to worry about, I saw how efficient and effortless running errands could be, for example. 

Whether during my normal routine or on vacation I always feel like I'm working against the clock. It's nice to remember the clock doesn't always have to be ticking. Many of the things that made me start to feel like I'm getting back in groove are things that don't take extra time or effort to do. Like one night I just listened to New Age music and put on my laser star generator and blissed out. I don't have to wait for a vacation to do stuff like that. I just have to remember how to take care of myself and treat myself kindly. Somehow I'd forgotten that. It was nice to get the reminder. 

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