Rest and relaxation, undefined

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We recently took a jaunt to Clearwater to give the kid some time to frolic at the beach.  She can be content for hours on vacation, as long as there is a pool of water nearby.

Because it was a quick getaway, we didn’t plan any activities outside of switching from beach to pool and back again.  On other trips, we may have to cook or prepare at least one meal out of the day ourselves, but not on this excursion.  It was all set for me to sit in the sun with my music and read for four full days, while ordering pool side food service.  Doing just so has always been the epitome of a relaxed and perfect way to refresh myself.

However, upon coming home from my recent trip, I realized I wasn’t refreshed or relaxed at all.  I was still super tense and frazzled. And it wasn’t just once I got home that I realized I wasn’t relaxed, it was while I was literally baking in the sun and supposedly relaxing!  I remember sitting there and thinking: “Goodness, I wish I could just get away.” And then mentally kicking myself for the comment.  I was away.  The very thought of going somewhere hot to unwind was what I was doing, and yet still craving.

What’s with that?  How can that be?

At first I thought it could be because the trip was a short one, and having that thought in the back of my mind was keeping me from fully opening up to letting myself go. Or could it be that the stresses of the day to day just keep me from being able to let loose anymore?  Or that weekend getaways won’t even chip away at the weight on my shoulders?

I got home a bit frustrated but didn’t give up. A few weeks later, I planned one of my off days to practice my remedy at home.  I got a new book, put on Pandora and poured myself an afternoon spritzer.  I angled my patio chair to be in a direct ray of the sun and I sat for a few hours.  But at the end of that session, I once again noticed that I wasn’t refreshed from taking a day for myself.

What gives?

Maybe it’s the books I’m choosing.  Or the music I’m streaming.  I don’t know.  But what am I to do now to unwind?

Just last night my husband asked what I do that makes me feel good while I’m doing it? (Clean version — wink wink) I honestly don’t have an answer to that at this point.

Ugh!

Do you?  What’s your thing?

Color me Green

I used to work with two guys.  One was an older gentleman, married, no kids– who ran me nuts.  We’ll call him Grumpy Pants.  The other is the same age as me, married and with two kids.  He became my “work husband”.  Believe it or not, my real husband tagged him as such, because he always reminds me when it is time to request vacation, renew all the licenses that we need every year, and makes sure I’m signed up for the mandatory meetings.  My real husband even calls him during tax time to find out info for my W-2! The point is, my co-worker and I have a nice, fun relationship. We’ll call him Michael.

Working with two gents was the best! Although the one got on my nerves and could be mean, we still had a good system and created a nice place for our patients.  But I was super happy when Grumpy Pants decided to retire!  Although he was the closest thing to being my nemesis at work, I was so happy that he was leaving, I planned his retirement party! I knew his position was to be posted and that he would be replaced but I was glad it would be Michael and myself joining together to welcome whomever was hired to replace him.

Well, in walks a new female to the office.  We’ll call her Renee. Renee is married with two kids.  We get along great.  The only complaint I had was that she took my parking spot.  (Yes, its because I’m always late, and no she never knew I parked there, but still.  It’s annoying.) Our personalities are similar and we have the same interests and we joke the same. The three of us quickly settled into being like the Three Musketeers.  She filled Mr. Grumpy’s full time position and I decided to stay part time.  So, that leaves more time for her and Michael to be together.

Things are pretty good with the three of us.  But I’m starting to notice some changes.  I have been left out of inside jokes that they share together.  But, I guess that’s to be expected, right?  So, I have to shrug those off.  But there have been bigger things. First off, Mike was going out of town with his family and didn’t tell me.  Renee did. I found that odd because he and I always discuss our vacations and where we are going, how much it’s going to run us, which airline has the best rates, etc.  Then, Michael applied for a new position.  Again, he didn’t tell me.  When that fell through, Renee said that although she helped him fill out the application, she was glad it didn’t work out because “she couldn’t imagine working without him.”

Ugh.  And puke!

But, wait.  She knew about this? She helped him?!

Next, Renee surprised me with great news that her and her hubby are expecting. As we’re hugging, Michael says: “We’ve been excited to tell you, but wanted to wait the 12 weeks.”  What the what?!  Well, you know that about blew my mind.  Especially since Renee and I had personal conversations about miscarriages and previous pregnancies, and that she was trying to conceive.  Yet, they both decided to keep this from me? Like they’re the couple?!  No way, Jose’.

I guess you can see why I am starting to become a little jealous of this “new woman” that has crashed in on my happy work life.  I can’t say that I want Mr. Grumpy to come back.  That’s going just a little too far.  But I don’t know if I’m liking the competition that Renee is bringing to the table.  Am I being replaced with a new “work wife”?  Michael needs to re-evaluate his loyalties!

I know it’s irrational — but, I had to give him a little bit of the silent treatment after the baby news.  And I’m rolling my eyes at him whenever they laugh at one of their inside jokes.  The other day, I finished my own CE credits before he could tell me they were due.  Do you think he’s getting the picture? LOL The nerve…!

My real husband thinks it’s hilarious.  Hearing me come home and fuss about my “other man”.  I think he’s just glad that it’s Michael in the dog house and not him.  But both of them better act right before I buy two divorce packets from Office Max! 🙂

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“Better call Saul”– (Advertisement I saw in Fla.)

 

Certified Emotional Support

I have wanted a pet pig for a long time.  I looked online and asked around, but always heard horror stories of breeders lying about the size of their swine and folks ending up with a 100 lb. hog that they weren’t able to control.  So, the fear of finding a reputable breeder kept me away.  I mean, how can you trust all the “teacup pig” promises you read online?

 

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Aren’t they the cutest?

Because I grew gun-shy reading all that I did, our family decided to get another puppy instead, last November.  And wouldn’t you know, just a few months later, I found a friend of a friend who is a mini pig breeder!  I was even able to go and see the piglets and hold them and see their parents for verification that they were minis.  But even better, I knew I could trust this breeder.  All I had to do was work on my husband to grant me the piggy.  With two dogs already, and one a new puppy still eating shoes and tearing up the kid’s toys, I knew it would be rough, but I was confidant I could do it. But, as I was leaving the breeder’s home, she hit me with: “Oh, you have to make sure your city will allow you to have a pig.”

You know the answer was “no”, right?  I was (and am) so devastated.  The friend who introduced me to this breeder knew how upset I was that my dream of a pet pig was demolished, so she did some searching for me. She sent me the link to a website on how you can certify a pet for emotional support and suggested I do this so my city would allow me to have my baby swine. I laughed at the idea as a joke.  I thought it would be great, but not really the proper thing to do.

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This little piggy went to market…

Until now…

I recently flew to Clearwater for a weekend getaway.  At the airport, I went to the restroom and a pitbull was laying halfway out of a stall with a “Service Dog” vest across his body.  He didn’t jump up when I walked in, but I noticed the owner had to give him treats so that he would stay put while she used the facilities.  I found that kind of odd.  I’ve seen the training that dogs have to undergo to be service animals.  I’ve seen how focused they are and know that you are not to interact with them because they have a job to do.  They are in a zone and don’t need treats to sit still. I saw the dog again later and noticed how he was pulling his leash to try and get to people walking by. The owner still had to bribe him with treats to sit and be quiet.

The thing is, the entire weekend, I saw these supposed service animals left and right! One woman was at the grocery store with a poodle.  One lady had a 6 month old Great Dane at the pool with his vest on.  No dog is ever released at 6 months to be a service animal!  It takes years of training.  And he was all over the place–literally climbing on the lounge chairs and sniffing at everyone as they walked by.  That shows there was no kind of training whatsoever.  When we got back home, my husband and I went to an outdoor event downtown, we saw two “service dogs” there.  One dog really did act professionally trained,  while the other exhibited behaviors like these other dogs who didn’t seem like they had any class time under their vests.

All of this has me reconsidering whether I should be taking my friend’s email more seriously and registering my pig as an emotional support animal!

I love my pups. They honestly bring me comfort.  I would love to be able to take them with me throughout my day to day activities. Whether to work, running errands or during some good recreational time.  I know that they would keep me more calm and I’d be a better person for it.  So, part of me thinks folks should be able to easily register their animals.  Canine, feline or swine!  This world is so crazy that it could just be what is needed.

poochBut then again, is it right for it to be such an easy thing to do? Three simple steps? Will there be pets running all over the place in honor of offering emotional support? I’m guessing maybe there is a difference of the training needed for a service pet, vs. an emotional pet, vs. a therapy dog.  I have no idea.  But if there are going to be dogs biting at my ankles while I run to Walmart, or jumping on my table while out to dinner because there is no training needed for emotional support pets, I’m not sure I’ll like it too much.

What do you guys think? Have you seen an influx of “support animals”? Do you think it’s okay for it to be so easy to register a pet as a service animal?

Share your thoughts…

 

 

Hats off to Walt

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In honor of The Lion King being released this week, I want to share some random thoughts on Disney movies over the years.

I know that there have been Disney cartoons for decades–years before I was born–but there was something about them during my teen years that really turned a corner for me.

When I was little, I remember being sad for Dumbo, falling asleep on Bambi and not being able to pick a favorite dwarf from Snow White.  I rented Fantasia on VHS and was so confused and bored, that I fell asleep and can still say I’ve never seen it.  But none of those movies, or any of the “classics”, ever impacted me to any great degree.

Move forward to the era of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.  I don’t know what it was about these movies, but they affected me, I’m sure, as Walt Disney himself had intended.  I remember as a teen, my girlfriend and I cried when the last petal fell from Beast’s rose.  I cried during Mufasa’s demise.  I sing along to “Kiss the Girl” like I’m auditioning somewhere and I can recite entire movies verbatim, from watching them so many times.  This has actually become a detriment because the new live action movies don’t follow the scripts!  (Which makes me not like them as much.  You can’t change perfection.)

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Still, it amazes me how I turn to my Disney movies in time of need.  When I’m low or have a lot of irons in the fire, there’s nothing like one of my animated faves to reset me and bring me back to center.  When I’m sick and snuggled in my pajamas with chicken noodle soup, one of my movies has to be playing the entire duration of my fever.  Ariel helped me through a miscarriage, believe it or not. And I connect with my daughter over our favorite lines from the movies.

The point of it all is how nostalgic and beneficial Walter’s movies have been for me.  I still find new ones that hit the spot, and still some, not as much.  But it amazes me how often I go to them for comfort.

I won’t review the movies or list my favorites in order.  But I do wish Walt was still alive so I could give him a few kudos: “Well done, sir.”

Youth is wasted on the young

 

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Such a cliché title and yet so apropos.

If you follow me on social media, you know I just came from Ireland.  It was a good trip, despite missing our flight on the way due to a 5 minute discrepancy.

While there, a tour guide made a comment about traveling, or just enjoying life in general, while you’re young and still can.

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This took precedence with me because of the issues I’ve had as of late while traveling. I am starting to feel that I am too old and that my body isn’t cut out for visiting far away places.

I don’t know what it was about having a kid–but after she was born, I felt the need to explore the world.  When she was still quite young, I had to fulfill the desire to finally see Europe.  From there, each year brought on a need to cross certain lands off of my bucket list.

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In the past, the only place I’d gone and experienced stomach issues was in Mexico.  Gradually, that has increased over the years to include any travel outside of my hometown!  I could always understand it happening on international vacations.  The different foods, sanitation guides, parasites in water… But now, just traveling to Florida can bring on the bubble guts, burning/cramping or just steady discomfort.

This same thing happened day two of being in Ireland.  Which I find very confusing since most of their food is organic, grown locally, and they use no fructose corn syrup.  A much healthier array than what I get here at home.

Needless to say, I spent most of the time fretting over how the rest of my trip would be while taking my remedies to try and keep the pains at a minimum.  But like stated, this now happens pretty much every time I travel.  Which means there is a degree of apprehension and dread anytime we pull out the suitcases to go anywhere.  I am almost to the point that I agonize over traveling at all!

That’s why I wish I would have done more traveling when I was young and didn’t have gastric problems.  Yeah I went on trips and cruises.  But never to the places that I so desire now.

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I understand that with age, certain desirous destinations can manifest that weren’t there before, but I’d still have had a good list under my belt that I could feel good about.

Now each vacation is spent with me carrying a pouch of guilt for the family needing to cater to my needs, and hit places that have foods that I can eat that won’t irritate the belly.  I now need to pack a heating pad for the pain and have the hubby rub essential oils into my stomach to ease the discomfort.  Or sometimes tell them to go somewhere and eat without me so they can enjoy a meal of their choice.

Yes, part of this is a sob story.  But the other part is that I really do see the purpose behind the saying about young ones wasting their youth.  This is just one area that I feel I wasted time and could have done things better.  (Maybe some of the other areas will be discussed in future blogs) I could have spent my early years sightseeing waterfalls and different cultures when my stomach could handle the cuisine and when my knees could handle the activities.  Who knew this would be my plight?

I really don’t want my days of travel to come to an end now, at my “old” age, but something has to give for me to be able to freely enjoy going away without my additional carry on of medications and remedies.

If you’re young, use your time wisely.  You never know what you’re future is going to bring that will cause a handicap to your desires.

Remember this: “Sometimes later becomes never…”

Burpee, Clean & Jerk, Push Press AMRAP

 
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I’ve been working out at a gym for the past few years doing Bootcamp-style exercises.  Before joining, I was a Bally’s girl–pumping weights on machines with a half hour of cardio on an elliptical or treadmill.  Then,  I purchased my own cardio machines to do at home along with some free weights.

When I heard about this bootcamp place that offered battle ropes, box jumps and weighted bar workouts, I was excited.  I pictured myself buff and fit and looking like a body-building mom.

Although I have found myself to be a bit stronger than before, I can’t help but to still compare myself to the other young patrons of the gym.  When I first started, I knew they were stronger than me and I was okay with that.  But just as I have gotten stronger, so have they! As time has gone on, I find that some are stronger than myself even though they joined the gym later than I did.  These young girls have been working out for less time and yet I can still see the definition in their arms and legs.  Their back muscles flex as they lift the bars (with much more weight than I add on) and their spandex shows heart shaped bottoms firm and taught. I realize that I’m kind of lingering in the dust.

I try not to let these young punks intimidate me.  (Please note: all, except for maybe one, are actually very sweet.  But they are punks today just because I’m feeling extra fat.) But I do feel and recognize my inferiority.

Most if it could be due to age.  I do have some years on these hotties.  But…yes, I eat potato chips as lunch and the house is ALWAYS stocked with a party size bag of M&M’s that I usually eat by myself.  And if I’m being honest, I do sometimes cut the reps we are told to do, in half.  If they are doing 20 burpees, I may only do 10. (I will do closer to 20 on a good day.)

When I’m verbally comparing myself to them, I’ll keep blaming the 14 year age difference and make educated-sounding comments on metabolism and muscle loss, but not mention anything about the foods I’m eating.  Let them think this is what they have in store! 😉

Expired Nail Polish?

 

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We’ve all seen the pics, clips or videos of patrons in all kinds of crazy clothes, wacky hair or just odd behavior at Walmart.  And we’ve all laughed and “tsk’d” at what we see.

Well, let me share what happened to me the other day.

I decided to treat myself and go get a pedicure.  I had a bunch of runs to make so I took with me an old pair of house shoes (a Wamart product no less) just in case I needed a little more drying time.  This could actually be what sealed my fate.

I sat my toes under the little foot dryers for two cycles before leaving the salon.  I wore the paper shoes the nail tech provided to run next door to get some dog food.  Because they give more support than those paper flip flops, I put on my slippers and settled in to the 7 mile, 20minute drive to get my shopping done.

Low and behold, when I get to the super center, my toenails are still not dry!!  I left a finger print in the fourth toe of my left foot trying to check!  What was I to do?  I had four stores to get to by the time my kid got off the bus and no time to wait around.  Not only was I going to look crazy in house shoes at the store, but it was a cold 42 degrees outside.  I was wearing open toed house shoes with a puffy down jacket that has a fur trimmed hood.  A fashion oxymoron. But I did what I felt I had to do.  I wore my house shoes into Walmart.
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Let me assure you this was no easy decision to make!  I worried over it for a good 5 minutes, trying to think of other ways and days to get my chores done.  But there was no other option.

I walked in with my head low, hoping that no eye contact would save me from the stares and quick eye diversions that mark a person’s disapproval.  But they happened.  Within a few minutes of me walking in, I started to get the looks.  I felt if I could explain myself to just one person, ALL the patrons and employees would nod with understanding and give me a pass for the day. I tried to shop as fast as I could, which caused me more angst because I was forgetting things off my list and found myself backtracking to aisles I had previously been in, running into yet more people now in that row!  It was awful!

But then again, it is Walmart, right?  So you know I finally started bumping into — the people.  Which were now, my people. There were a few folks that caused me to double take.  Some unnaturally colored hair that was a bit much.  I even saw one woman with house shoes similar to mine, but she had on socks with hers. I wanted to keep her close to me.  Shop alongside her so we could both look as though our shoe choice was planned.

I made it through the shopping and one other store.  It took about 1 1/2 hours.  I finally put my Koolaburra’s back on (my feet were freezing through the dairy section!) and hit my last two errands.  And do you know, that after all of that agitation, trying to walk quickly past folks before they could look down, and keeping my toes free for more than 2 hours–my nail polish was still ruined on both big toes?!  In addition to the thumb print I made earlier!!! What. The. Fuss?!

Whatever!

But, hey! The next time that spam email comes through your inbox of questionable attire seen at Walmart, how about you cut them (ME) a little slack? lol

No dress code

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Yesterday, my sister invited me to go with her and a friend to a local dance club.  I haven’t been in about four years.  We used to go weekly — to salsa, bachata and merengue all night. I guess I burned out from going so much because I slowed down in my frequency until I eventually just stopped.  For whatever reason yesterday, I decided I would once again strap on my dance shoes.

The moment I agreed to go, the wonder began over what I would wear.   I used to try and dress a bit appealing.  Nothing too over the top, but still appropriate for night-life.  So I felt I had to keep up with this same dress code.  But with age comes a lack of concern, and after a busy day of two doctor appointments, (and one for the dog) and ticking off two errands, being tired added to my lack of desire to be impressive.  But I still stood in the closet and fret over what I should wear.  The outfits from before have long since been tossed.  Either from no use, or no longer fitting.  Because I didn’t frequent any dance spots since, I  never felt the need to replace that style of dress.  So, I had to walk out of the closet and return a number of times with fresh eyes, to figure out something to wear.

I settled on a pair of leggings and a fitted black top.  But I needed not worry over it in the first place.  I was shocked to find that what I used to consider a dance club dress code has been replaced with workout gear.  The guys dressed the same. Most in jeans and t-shirts or patterned button ups.  But, I can’t tell you the number of girls I saw wearing spandex workout capris with a sport bra tank or a shelf bra camisole.  Two had the workout pants on with the see through slits up the side of the legs. I guess that was super fancy in their case.

I consider myself swiftly moving to “old broad” status.  So I believe in comfort over fashion.  As I am sure you could guess from my chosen legging outfit.  And I do feel like dancing to Spanish and Reggae beats for hours can be considered a workout.  But I was still a bit taken aback at the amount of exercise gear I saw out on that dance floor.

I’m not sure I’m knocking it too much. I may have been a bit envious of how comfortable they all must have been.  And if any of the gear had some of that wicking technology to pull the sweat away from the skin — the idea of wearing Under Armour is ingenious.  I just thought that there would be way more sexiness going on.  A lot of low-cut cleavage reveal.  Short skirts that would swirl when spun around to show cheeky undergarments.  (Pun definitely intended) Tight jeans with even tighter cotton shirts.

I’m not sure how I’ll dress if I decide to go again.  But I’m glad to know that I can add my Danskin and Avia as possibilities.

Ex to the next

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I conduct a semi-annual Social Media Stalk Session (SMSS).  Before you pass sentence, you must know that I only track three people.  An ex friend, and two ex boyfriends.

One ex in particular sparked considerate interest a few months back when I trailed his activity on Facebook. His posts have always been mundane–movies he’s seen and perhaps a picture or two of his nieces and nephew.  Most never got too much response from anyone besides a perfunctory “Cute kids”, or “We saw that one in 3-D”.  And he never really said anything in return.  Well, out of nowhere, some woman posted a comment that stood out to me.  I don’t quite know how her message caught my eye.  Perhaps she added an emoji or an extra exclamation mark to her post.  Whatever it was, I also noticed that he responded to it.

This commonplace interaction caused me to expedite my next SMSS to only three months.  And sure enough, in that short amount of time, these two became an item.

I can’t lie, not seeing any significant others on his account always had me inwardly bragging. He can’t find anyone as good as me. But I am twenty years, one kid and three dogs into my forever, so it wasn’t his finally finding a woman that tickled my jealousy.

Before I reveal the source of my vexation, let me give a limited history.  He and I dated for two years.  I can comfortably say that he was my first Love.  Our relationship was pretty good. It could have been great; except for one complication.  And let me say that having this one major contention in our path did not diminish my desire to be with him. I still would have married him if he would have asked.  But that is the wrinkle–he would never have asked–because we were not the same color.

He didn’t feel his family could handle our relationship as a mixed couple, but promised he would tell his family about me. Again and again. And I held on to those promises every time he proclaimed them.  I swear I’ll do it by the end of the month. Everything else was so great that I tried to overlook the elephantine dilemma.  That shows either the intensity or the naivety of my feelings for him.  Undoubtedly, I categorized this as extreme passion at the time.

So, naturally, I think you would understand my reaction during my SMSS when I saw a picture of him kissing a woman of a different nationality than his own.

I was flooded with mixed emotions. Glad that he finally put himself first and is going after what he wants, what will make him happy.  But also a bit disheartened that he didn’t do it for me.  What could we have been if he would have?  After all these years, I had an absurd feeling of being snubbed. I suddenly wanted to try to contact him and find out why he chose her.  Figure out how different he was now to the guy he was back then–and what changed him.  Ask if his family knew of her and approved of her background.  I wanted to look him in the eye and rhetorically ask: “Really?!”

I was shocked that it took me about a day and a half to quiet the thoughts and sentiments that were triggered by this. I don’t regret how things turned out for me, but your first Love will always have a distinctive place within you. And there is always that curiosity of what might have been.

We will never know.

I am glad that he has found someone and I wish them happiness.  I guess I’ll continue my scheduled SMSS to see how things go.  😉

 

 

 

Paid Time Off

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Nothing beats a good vacation.  The sun is number one for me.  Followed by having my family with me. lol I love not having anywhere to rush off to, the relaxed pace, and the actual feeling of becoming revitalized.  It sometimes may take a day or two, but I can feel my body losing tension and start to unwind.  That’s when my mind gets to going, juices start to flow.  I start to enjoy my family more and see them as the loves of my life.  I feel tranquil and actually don’t mind cooking–or any other “ugh” chore that I have to do daily.  I am ready to engage in any task asked of me and won’t feel like I am cramming it in while contemplating a full list of other things to add to my day.

I even start to think of how I can extend the feelings I get on vacation to my everyday life back home.

But it’s this time that I think and reflect on myself that also gets me frustrated and down once I get back home and settled into my routine.

On vacation, I conjure these grand emotions of ways I can be a better mom and wife. I can see clearly how to accomplish it.  And I think how I can treat myself better, spend more time on myself rather than run out the house with no make-up and a hat on because I couldn’t get to my hair.

It all seems so inviting and feasible.  But two days after unpacking, hitting the grocery store to refill the fridge, and washing sand and chlorine from the vacation clothes, I always realize that it’s just a pipe dream.  It saddens me that the hustle and bustle of our lives keeps us from being the kind of parent or wife that we would like to be.  I’d love to wake up and make breakfast for my family every morning.  Sit with them and discuss our dreams from the night.  Try to figure out what we ate or watched that caused them to be so spectacular.  Walk or ride our bikes to drop the kid off to school.  Walk her into her classroom and kiss her forehead goodbye in front of her classmates. Maybe visit the hubby at his job for lunch. Take my time getting home after work to toil in the garden and pick vegetables for our dinner.  Play board games as a family before we eat, then act out our favorite books before bedtime.

No, this doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, but that’s what makes it so depressing.  It’s not even a once a week thing with all the items that have to be done day-to-day.

I don’t want to say that it makes me not want to go on vacation!  I mean, come on!  That’d be crazy!  But I do tend to get a bit downhearted once I get home and can feel the tension entering my shoulders, start to fret how I’m going to get my “to do” list accomplished and see how the visions I had of becoming this new person are quickly diminishing.

I don’t like that my family only gets two weeks a year of the person I like to be.  They only get a measure of her when she can force herself out every once in a while when vacation is so far off.  How nice would it be for them to see that part of me at all times?!

I don’t know a way to make it happen more regularly besides taking a vacation twice a month!  Can you even imagine how happy the family unit would be if we had more time to be ourselves?!  I cherish the idea!