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What it looks like on the other side of a vacation -warning - long post

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Alas. The long anticipated vacation is over - and I'm looking at the world from the Other Side - and I believe I could use a vacation. LOL.

For a long time I've been dreaming of spending a week at the beach. I did this 10 years ago and came home so rested. Of course - I was 10 years younger and with a different crowd. This time I was with my sister and her husband, her son, his wife, and their new baby - and was joined by a cousin of my husband and her daughter. My own Himself did not come, nor did my son though both had been part of the original plan. In both cases, work intervened and they missed out.

Of course organizing the schedules of 4 families required compromise and I am usually the first to yield if it's possible, mostly because I like things to work far more than I like them to go my way. And while technically the 2nd week of June was an open slot for me - I knew that taking the week before the big kick-off of our summer children's programs at the library was really skirting the edge of my comfort zone. But I also knew I had good staff and we had months to prepare. I consented to the time and for the most part I think work is going to do just fine. I'll know for sure after we close the books on the fiscal year and the July programs start up. I don't *think* I'm stressed about this summer, but I'm also sure I will need aNother vacation in late August. LOL

Other stressors involved driving to an unfamiliar airport in an unfamiliar city to pick up family -a *beach* city on a Saturday in the *summer*. A city with a 4 mile back-up to the tunnel - and me an indifferent country driver. It didn't help that I caught a cold/allergy a few days before it was time to leave.

I used my classic mental tool for dealing with them, though - and it goes like this.

I am stressed out by having to do _________. i.e. drive in a big city
Blank is something thousands of ordinary people do all the time without mishap.
Surely I can do what thousands of ordinary people do.
Do it.
Hey - no big deal!

We had a nice big house to stay in and lots of beach time. It was good to be with my own family since I live in the Land of Himself's Family and have been married so long that I often forget that I came from different people. Most of the people I know and *all* of my best friends are Himself's cousins. I got lots of beach time, no sunburn, even learned how to use a boogie board - though that is an activity that will so fill your bathingsuit with sand that it's almost not worth it. My own favorite ocean pastime is to get shoulder deep in the salty water and just cavort - diving beneath waves, floating on my back, swirling my arms and legs, swimming along in the troughs. I got plenty of that kind of fun in too.

Other beach fun involved shopping therapy - something I never do when traveling with Himself. The mental picture of my darling Himselfedness waiting docily in a dress shop utterly staggers my mind ... in stark contrast to the gently smiling face of my brother-in-law who slipped back inside to purchase the purse my sister admired! There are many kinds of wonderful husbands out there.

I scored big-time too - with a new hat and a new bathing suit. I will worry about the Visa bill when July gets here.

All in all it was a good time - but there was something about the whole week that had me feeling a little - different? On the outside? no. those words are too strong - I felt watchful. I think it was because I felt a little sick too - because my nose ran the whole time and though the rental place was scrupulously clean for the most part, there was mold in the ground floor and with the dregs of a cold/allergy thing - I was bound to feel it. The watchfulness had to do with eating, though. Because I was with some chunky gals and what struck me most was that there was ALWAYS someone with a hand in a bag or fingers in a mouth. These beloved family members were eating all the time.

Now - vacations are times when we like to let our hair down - kick back - chill out. But watching these dear folk nibble their way through so much stuff shed a bright light on weight-gaining behavior for me. It put snack food, and all other junk food too, into perspective for me. It redefined just what the word "treat" should mean. We stopped by a fudge and ice-cream store on our shopping foray and everyone bought some candy - including me. And we sampled a bit to see which flavors we wanted. When we got back home I went on-line to calculate the nutritional info about fudge and see how much I had already eaten, was horrified, and then packed mine up to take back to my staff - while they nibbled away on theirs the rest of the trip. I had the treat of sampling the fudge. It was really delicious. But I don't need any more. I was curious. My curiosity was satisfied. I was done.

Important insight.

Treat means once. Noshing means weight gain.

I did have the massive sea food dinner at the rich'n'cheesy restaurant. But I knew I was going to do that on our last night and I'd saved up wiggle room for that. And though I already knew how valuable it is to save up for big events - it was good to see me actually do it.

All too soon the week was over. The return trip involved mapping and then actually taking an alternative route through new territory - driving convoy with my cousin through some of the most lovely green Virginia countryside. We took the Jamestown Ferry across the river - ALWAYS a delight. Stopped at the outlet malls in Williamsburg - not a good idea on a summertime Saturday - though I did pick up a darling size 12 dress to wear to a wedding next month. It is very dragon lady in design and color - and feels like a million bucks.

And then I was driving across the county line - and then there was that first view of my river - and for the very first time I came home from the ocean and thought "I like my green gentle river better." Wow!

So. What does it look like on this side of a vacation?

* A vacation is time off from a busy schedule doing different things - not time off from the prison of eating healthy foods to gobble chips'n'candy
* A treat is once ... in a while.
* Saving up for something big makes enjoying it 100% fun and leaves no after effect
* East or West - Home is Best

Oh - and one final thing - there was a half pound weight loss yesterday at my WW meeting. Yippeeee!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Way to go on your weight loss on vacation! That is not easy.

    We took a vacation at the end of May/beginning of June...also to the beach! I loved every minute. But, like you, it was a crazy time to be gone, right at the beginning of the Summer LIbrary program. Also, like yours, my staff did JUST FINE!
    2129 days ago
  • JLITT62
    Love the photo but damn! I'll be in williamsburg next week. Sometimes life just isn't fair! I'm so jealous of your half pound loss - I will not be replicating that, altho I will try.

    It's always really nice to get home, but I really love getting away, too!
    2129 days ago
  • SHEILA1505
    Well done, Bess!
    2130 days ago
    So much planning, new experiences and new sights to
    see yet staying firmly grounded in the present and the
    habits of healthy living. You still had time to focus on
    good choices and you were rewarded with a loss. So
    glad you had fun. HUGS!
    2130 days ago
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