Every February, my husband and I fly off together to escape the Montana winter and to spend some days in the Floridian sunshine. But this year, I am taking this vacation solo.
My family thinks I'm having a mid-life crisis since I've never taken a vacation all by myself, aside from traveling back to the Philly area to visit my parents. My sister-in-law asked me if I was cheating on her brother, because why else would I want to go alone?!
Everyone is wondering why I decided to take this trip by myself this year and so let me give a bit of an explanation.
First, I am totally landlocked in Montana and spent every summer of my youth at the Jersey shore. I love the salty air and the feel of my feet in the sand. Not having this in at least 6 months has been hard on my spirit. I've gone longer without it in the past, but with the restrictions of COVID and extra anxiety that arose this past year, I NEEDED it!
Second, Jason was totally against travelling since we had our house on the market and since we are living in my in-laws house without paying the mortgage (their choice, not ours), he felt like it wasn't right for us to take off on a vacation.
I totally understand, but when our house went under contract and we received our stimulus check, I justified booking the trip. After all, we received as much as we did with the stimulus because I gave birth to these kids.
Jason's work schedule is sporadic and I wasn't sure who we'd have to watch the ids and honestly, no having to compromise or clear it with anyone when I want to leave the hotel room sounded like a dream.
As a mom, I'm always on call. I wake up early but even then, at any moment, my kids could (and have) called out and needed my help. People are always depending on me and that's okay. But getting the break is also okay.
That's not say, I am totally comfortable being here by myself. If I think too hard about it, it's rather scary knowing that if I were to go out and not come back, no one would know where I even went.
But that just means I take extra precautions and not share with anyone that I'm here alone and I'm always aware of my surroundings. If I have a drink with dinner, I keep it to just one.
Speaking of, I'm not one to eat out by myself but I am pushing past my comfort zone here which is a good thing. Confidence comes with action and I'm for sure doing things that will grow my confidence.
I've continued to wake up early and went to watch the sunrise both days. I got completely crisped on my first full day at the beach and had to switch from SPF 15 to SPF 50. I spent less time at the beach today but I had some work to do so it worked out.
This afternoon, when I came back from the beach, I sat by the hotel pool and even swam a bit. I'm showered now and ready to go find some dinner. I may eat there or I may not, but whichever it's my choice and it's not a decision I need to make right now!
May is mental health month, which means that this first week of May is the perfect time to take charge of mine. This means taking care of myself and for me this is the ultimate form of self-care.
I may make this an annual thing or maybe by the end of the week, I'll feel differently. Time will only tell. But for now, I am enjoying the moments I have. This is mindfulness in practice. This is self-care.