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Trying to Exist and Enjoy

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Going on vacation stresses me out so much. It’s always been like this for as long as I can remember. It’s so weird, even embarrassing to explain...

The packing and preparing is fulfilling though…and brings on a sense of urgency.

What will we eat?

What will we wear?

What will be do?

When will we leave?

Then of course, the actual driving. When nothing is unexpected. Bad traffic. A flat tire. Not enough coffee. Or even worse: bad coffee. You never know.

When traveling, the only thing that gives me solace is keeping track of time. How much time will this take? Are we on track? Are we behind or ahead of schedule?

In the case of our camping trip last week, this was no different.

Finally, after 12 hours, we arrive. We set up our tent. We sweep out bugs and dirt from our last camping trip. Then, I started dwelling on issues. Bugs biting. My boys fighting. It’s raining. It is 8 pm and we have not eaten (now there was the root of the problem!)

Finally, it’s time to relax. We are on vacation, right?

I can’t. My mind races to next week when I will go back to work. How much time do I need to prepare for my classes? Will I be able to adequately prep for them?

I think about how many calories are in the three s’mores I just devour. So much for my weight loss attempts.

I worry about our house: Did I turn up the thermostat? Did I feed the fish before I left? Did I pay the water bill? Or was it one of the ones on auto pay?

 My mind races and I can’t enjoy a thing. I can’t simply exist and enjoy the moments. I look around. Everyone else is mingling, eating s’mores and laughing. I’m jealous.

Finally, I just decide to give it up. I look around me. I breathe in the air. It’s so fresh, so delicious. So much different from humid North Carolina air. I decide to talk with people I don’t know. A fire chief. He told me stories. An electrician. He also had some stories.  A recently engaged girl. She told me stories. I talked and listened and enjoyed and worked on pushing issues aside and resting in the moment. That’s right. The moment. It took some work, but I think I did a good job.

I read a book, laughed some, ate some hotdogs, potato salad and numerous s’mores, went swimming, went hiking, read my book by the camp fire. I tried to relax. I really did.

On Sunday, I was ready to leave, to go home, but I wasn’t as eager as I usually am. Well, that is until we planned to leave by 11 and didn’t pull out until 12:30. That caused me to count down the hours until we would be home (after 11 pm) but it was fine.

I am working on it. 
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