I need a vacation.
Wait a minute . . . I am going on vacation. That's why I'm so stressed out.
Oh, great. I'll never get anywhere with this kind of circular reasoning!
But it's true. There are so many things to think about, so many things to plan for, so many things to stress over.
Will my cats be too lonely? Will my plants survive without me? Will I survive six hours in a small car with my youngest children?
What if I forget to leave a light on? What if I accidentally turn on the stove? What if a window gets left open? What if I forget to empty the trash? What if I leave clothes in the dryer to get all wrinkly? What if I forget to pack my swimsuit?
I could go on.
The point is, getting away from it all is not all that easy. There are last-minute purchases to buy. Final plans to make. Bags to pack. Loose ends to tie up at work. The entire process is really quite daunting. How much easier it would be to stay at home, stuck in the same-old-same-old, following my ordinary routines.
But then I would never feel that beautiful, freeing feeling of having just a little bit of time away from all that work . . . all that sameness . . . all that . . . NORMAL.
And that is what it's really all about. Getting to see different places and meet different people. Eat different food. Maybe try something new.
And that feeling is so light and fresh and wonderful, I know I will forget about all that stuff I worked so hard to worry about before I left. After all, that stuff will not go anywhere while I'm away. It will be right where I left it when I get back home - untouched, unphased, unmoved.
No amount of stress or worry will change any of it.
So I will let go of all that stuff and enjoy every minute of my vacation - even those hours spent in the car listening to my sons fighting over whether the bag of snacks is too far over on their side of the seat, handing my husband fruit snacks and granola bars and water bottles while I'm trying to write my blog (!), and being reacquainted with every annoying road trip song I ever sang as a child.
Because when I finally let go of everything that has been weighing me down, I will truly be on vacation. Then I will be building memories that will live forever in my memory as a precious portion of my life that I may never get back.
But I will never forget.