We recently got back from our honeymoon to St. Thomas. We were able to get away for nine days to relax and unwind of all of the stresses of life and just enjoy being married and all that we have accomplished together in our six months of marriage. We were also able to detox from technology too because our phones didn’t work down there … oh darn.
This trip was also a chance for me to remove all of the stress and overwhelmingness of my job and the layers of day-to-day life that had accumulated. It didn’t come easy. The first day or two, I found myself looking forward to what was next to do and thinking beyond where I was in that moment.
About the third day, I think I finally lost track of what day it was and knew that relaxation started to settle in. I had read a book or two, which is a huge deal because I am definitely not a reader. One book stood out in particular to me. I had picked it up awhile ago but never got around to reading it. I think God had a better plan and allowed me to find this book to take on our trip because He knew I’d have the time and energy to focus on not only reading the book but letting it absorb into my being.
The book is Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford. I wasn’t sure that I fully understood what she was saying so I actually read it twice. It identifies nine habits for overcoming distraction, living better and loving more … and who wouldn’t want a life like that instead of our technology-driven, overwhelmed and overworked world?!
This undistracted, fully present person is definitely who I want to become. I have accepted that I will be a work in progress for quite some time as I do my best to step away from my Type A personality. I am going resist that urge to be present in the future instead of where I should be planted … firmly in this moment.
These days, we all spend so much of our time in the hustle and bustle of life. We get caught up in our “to do” lists and don’t give ourselves much permission to just breathe, just be or even relax. Most of us rarely take a vacation, even when we are in desperate need. So when life gets so hectic that I can’t seem to keep up, I close my eyes, make the effort to slow myself down and transport myself to my happy place …. my own private tropical island.
I picture myself sitting in the cool, soft sand, where the warm, bath-like water calmly laps up to my feet. I can hear the palm trees rustle as I feel soft breeze flow lightly past me. Being able to feel the breeze on my face is by far the best feeling in the world and one that makes me know I’m alive. The sun peeks in through the branches of the palm tree and it feels so warm against my skin. I listen to the waves and the birds as I lose myself in my surroundings. I even spend time talking with God. He sits in the sand next to me and we spend time catching up. He knows my heart and always helps make my burden light.
Suddenly, my “to do” list is a distant memory as I strive to be in the moment, appreciating and thanking God for all that I have been blessed with. I become hyper-aware of all that is going on around me and yet completely content with exactly where I’m at, at the same time.
This escape to my own private island seems like I’ve been there, relaxing for hours, but in reality, I was able to get a few cherished minutes to revitalize myself so that I can continue on with my day and with my week.
I am a Type A personality and a planner. I am constantly thinking about what needs to be done next and how I can organize those tasks into a doable “to do” list. I love the feeling of constantly checking items off as I go and I feel accomplished.
Today was my day off work, yet I’d say that I got a fair amount crossed off my to-do list. I got our passports, stopped by AAA to ask about travelers’ checks (just so you know, no one uses them anymore) and Verizon to talk about using our smart phones out of the country.
You see, my husband and I are getting ready to finally take our honeymoon at the end of this month – we’ve been married for six months now. We took a mini-moon to San Diego right after our wedding but wanted to have a bigger trip to look forward to as we settled into our first year of marriage. We are headed to St. Thomas, one of the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands.
This past week, I had a work trip to Lake Tahoe and decided to leave my suitcase out until our trip so that I could “make peace” with it. I figure if I stare at it for long enough, it will just pack itself, but more realistically, as the week goes on, I’ll throw some clothes inside, giving me some time to “edit” my choices before zipping it up and heading to the airport. To prepare for this trip I’ve even pinned instructions on how to pack for a two week tropical vacation. (My inner planner is showing …)
I am looking forward to this time to spend with my husband so that we can take some time to reconnect and relax and truly enjoy our time spent together as newlyweds. We’ve already looked over some of the excursions and found ones we’d be interested in doing, but I am going to do my best to let go, go with the flow and forget about planning for a week and do my best to be in each moment with my husband.
St. Thomas, here we come!