This week I have been on my long anticipated family vacation and for my weekly check-in I decided to share the thoughts I experienced each day.
8:30 am - The first thing I realize being on vacation is that I definitely stressed too much about what I should pack. I am floating in the middle of the Bahamas and have no use for shoes (thank goodness I only packed four pairs). I am also fairly hot right now and it isn’t even 9:00 am so likely I will be wearing exactly what I was foretold…bathing suit and t-shirt. Maybe not even the t-shirt.
10:00 pm - As I sit here at the end of this beautiful day, I am reminded that what meant most to me today was not the clothes I wore, but the family I am part of. The happiness of watching my kids playing together in the ocean..my youngest excited to see a Barracuda in the water and wish on the first star at night (although I actually think he wished on the planet Venus). I experienced the simple joy of a lounge chair on the beach under an umbrella with a soft breeze and a good book in my hand. At the rate I’m eating I may not be able to fit in any of these clothes by the end of this vacation anyway.
11:00 pm - Another beautiful day in the Bahamas. I have no WiFi and have not been able to catch any of my favorite fashion blogger posts. I also have not been able to get distracted by online shopping. There was a pair of Vince Camuto sandals that keep drifting in and out of my brain…I haven’t bought them yet because my bunion sticks out and I hate when that happens, but I really love everything else about these sandals and keep trying to convince myself that I should not be self-conscious about my bunion. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet to buy these shoes, and I believe that now I will let it go. I am paying attention to how this feels…I am very disappointed that the sandals don’t fit me right. But I also realize I don’t really need the sandals. I have other beautiful shoes that could be worn with the same outfits these new Camuto sandals would be used for. Other than these shoes, I have not been thinking of shopping. I do love the items I packed for my trip and am actually excited to wear them again once I get back home. I buy so many clothes and I try to wear them all so I am not the type to still have tags on their clothing at the end of a season (I suppose this is just another way I try to convince myself I don’t own too much). But all this actually does is prevent me from wearing the items I truly love more often. Wouldn’t it be better to own less but really love what I’m wearing? Of course when I buy something I think I love it, but in reality I love some things more than others…I think when I get home it may be time to take another close look at what I own and remove the items that are not on my favorites list.
5:00 pm - There’s nothing better than spotty WiFi to help decrease my online shopping. I accidentally cut a hole in my white swimsuit while trying to remove an annoying tag. I really liked this bathing suit and immediately tried to get online to purchase a replacement. The wi-fi here is terrible….slow…slower and many times none existent. I realized I had purchased this bathing two years ago and found out after fifteen minutes of trying to search for it (amid the intermittent wi-fi) that I might not be able to locate a new one. Surprisingly, I also realized that I didn’t feel like wasting anymore time looking for a replacement. There were other, better things I could be doing. Wow…that was a surprising thought and I’m happy for it. Yes, I like this bathing suit and it’s a shame I was so careless when yielding that scissor, but I actually think I’m going to survive without it. I bought several new swimsuits this year and except for vacations I do not wear them often enough anyway.
10:00 pm - Today I wore less makeup, let my hair dry naturally and didn’t feel anything but the peace that comes with a truly relaxing vacation. I finished reading two and a half books in the last few days, and also had plenty of time to work on my writing. On top of all that I did two things today with my family that shocked everyone (including me). I went into the water with the sharks and touched them as they swam around me (ok so they were nurse or reef sharks…but still they were sharks). Also I went snorkeling for the first time in my life. Yes, I got my hair wet and put my face under the water! Since I’m usually the “by the water” not “in the water” type this was huge! Snorkeling was such an amazing experience. When I’m sitting on the boat gazing out at the ocean it is no doubt amazing…endless miles of varying shades of blue…from navy to a deep turquoise to a glistening aquamarine and then as if the low clouds melted into the warm waves the water lightens to a sky blue. From the boat all I see is what appears on the surface. Then, when I dipped my head under this blue veil and opened my eyes inside my snorkel mask, there was a whole sea world that I never imagined could be there. It was like walking through a large tent and seeing a colorful animated circus all around me. Although the surface of the ocean was beautiful, what lay below was breathtaking. I am grateful for getting the courage to look underneath and not just be a bystander. This made me reflect on what we, as humans, show the world on the surface of ourselves, but how the real depth of who we are lies beneath…our greater beauty is inside. So I guess you could say that today I gained several memories that are more valuable than anything I could have bought in a gift shop or hotel boutique!
9:30 pm - Today brought clouds, sporadic rain and unexpected strong stable WiFi. Although we did adventure out to see the pigs on the beach (which was hilarious), most of the day was spent sheltered.
I did enjoy catching up on some blogs I follow, and although I had access to shop online I happily did not have the urge or desires. Going over all the clothing and accessories I purchased in the last four months I know I have all I need and more for the rest of the summer. Now I must take another harder look inside my closet and discard what I still own that I don’t really love. I need to sort out the items that are just “okay”, but not “great”...the ones that I choose to still wear out of guilt since I spent good money on them...the items I see that don’t make me feel my best but instead remind me of my mistakes. I need to let go of my mistakes.
10:30 pm - Happy Birthday USA! Today we enjoyed our last day of vacation. It was mostly a relaxing day with a beach bar-b-q, but passing dark clouds had us stranded on the beach for twenty minutes while the rain poured down. This was a small secluded beach that you could only reach by boat and there was no shelter to be found. We just needed to wait out the storm. I can’t recall the last time I simply stood in the rain and like a child tilted my head back and opened my mouth to catch it. The clouds passed over letting the sun do its job, and another simple, magical memory was tucked away.
Tomorrow brings a day of traveling back…packing, customs, airport security and the lengthy ride home. We will all be returned to our routines, jobs, bills waiting to be paid, and of course reliable internet. This was truly a great vacation and I received more from it that I could have expected. I knew we’d get great family moments together, but I did not know how much I would enjoy not shopping, barely thinking of shopping, and certainly not stressing over shopping. I hope I can carry this feeling with me as I get back into the swing of my ordinary life.