Unfortunately I haven’t had a real vacation this summer. It’s been way too long since I’ve been able to have a few days to just be. What I mean by that is to have enough time to enjoy a string of stolen moments without any stress, anxiety, worrying, or responsibility.
If you met me, you’d understand that this is a pretty tall order because I am a worry-wart by nature. I worry about being on time, about my family, what people think of me, whether or not I’m happy, how I can help someone else, my next assignment, co-workers, friends, and siblings, and how I can respectfully decline an invitation so that I can just stay home (definitely getting better at that last one). My ultimate favorite – I worry about not worrying enough. I have even been known to worry for people I feel just aren’t sufficiently and perpetually worried like I am. Its hard work trying to disguise my constantly panicking state of mind but over the years I’ve perfected my oh-no-I’m-definitely-not-freaking-out-right-now-in fact-I’m-perfectly-calm mask.
Evan is getting way too good at seeing through that mask. He is wonderful in so many ways but when he tells me to quit worrying about something I get all flustered. I get even more agitated because he can actually notice my anxiety despite my careful disguise and then I get defensive of my worrying.I know he’s right and that I would feel so much better if I’d let go of what’s bothering me so much but at the same time, I’ve become so very good at worrying after all these years that sometimes I’m comfortable in my stressed state.
Clearly getting out of this mindset isn’t easy but sometimes if I’m lucky, a vacation will help me to forget it all and pretend for just a little while that I’m more like the person I wish I was – less stressed and a little less concerned with the people around me.
This week was nice though because even though I wasn’t actually away on vacation, I enjoyed some ‘vacation-like’ moments. Twice this week I was able to break free from the constant cycle of worrying when I enjoyed a few quiet minutes on the front stoop watching the morning unfold.
As I sat there, I made a conscious effort to remove my mask and pay attention to my surroundings as opposed to the constant whirl of thoughts bouncing between my ears. I listened to the birds, noticed a depth of color in some beautiful plants I hadn’t really paid attention to before, and just tried to be mindful in the present moment. Even though I wasn’t out there very long, I felt genuinely happy and at peace afterwards (no mask needed). I was happy without distractions and the constant worrying I inflict upon myself.
Thank goodness for these moments like these to put everything into perspective! Things really aren’t as bad as we make them out to be and if we took the time to just see, really see all the beautiful things around us maybe we’d be happier. Although a vacation would be nice, I think in the long run its much better to be able to enjoy ‘vacation-like’ moments all throughout our lives as opposed to every once in a while. I may not be able to go on a real vacation at the moment but who’s to say I can’t bring all the good vacation vibes to me?
Have you enjoyed any ‘vacation-like’ moments lately? Is there a place you like to go to clear your head when you get frustrated? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!