I treated my husband to a short walk down my memory lane this morning. It is to his credit that he didn’t allow his eyes to glaze over or his snoring to interrupt my story. I told a tale of visiting Miami as a child, actually Hialeah, but we might have driven through fancy Miami beach--just to see it. I helpfully listed the Florida relatives we visited and their relations: Uncle Bert, who married Minnie and had sons Clayton, who married Norma and Junior, who married Betty. Also, Aunt Mabel who never married after her husband went down in a plane during WWII . . . and on and on like that. I know--you’re about to snooze, too. I’ll move on.
The detour came up while I was talking about taking a trip to Miami. I think I’ve only been the one time and that memory is dim, but I may have been trying to justify my plans. None of those relatives even live there anymore, although there’s an aunt I’d love to catch up with in North Palm Beach. My parents and several cousins live over on the west coast of Florida and inland, but for some reason I had Miami Beach in my sights. As I talked out loud about it, I began to understand why: I really don’t know anyone there.
Of course I love to visit friends and family, particularly when they live in warm, sunny places and have guest bedrooms. What’s better than that? However, my brain kept dragging me off to warm, sunny places in which I couldn’t send a friendly email to anyone suggesting they might enjoy my company for a few days. I think I began looking up airfares the day I came across a rant on a woman’s Facebook page that complained quite dramatically that she had been drained dry of giving to others and was going to, basically, run away because she was sick of all the takers around her. (No worries, dear readers, it wasn’t any of you. I was creeping strangers' Facebook pages. I know. It's a problem.) I thought she was quite melodramatic about the whole thing and naturally her tirade garnered dozens of messages from her friends, ranging from the sympathetic (“Don’t forget to be good to yourself”) to the equally dramatic (“Don’t move! I’ll be right there! Please be safe!!”) “Ho-hum”, I thought to myself, “so self-serving” and I moved on to the pages of other people I don’t know who might be more positive and entertaining.
Soon after, though, I began visiting Expedia on a daily basis and getting familiar with Google maps-Miami. But it wasn’t until this morning, when I hijacked my husband’s usually solo morning coffee to share with him my plans for a trip, that I realized what I was doing. Depletion from giving my all was showing itself, and hopefully not in as whiny a way as the Facebook lady’s did. My subconscious, savvy vacation planner that it is, was nudging me to flee to places where I didn’t know anyone so I could take a break.
Life may be a little more stressful than usual, but it’s not like there is anything unmanageable happening. Much of it is wonderful stuff--like I get to have my grandson living with us again for a while. Plus, I like doing things for my family and my friends. But stress is stress; it takes energy to do even the fun and wonderful things. And, not that men can’t be givers, but it’s usually women who end up providing the support, legwork, comfort and hors d’oeuvres in any given situation. So, I guess I don’t have to go to Miami to take care of myself, but I do have to remember to take a little vacation every once in a while to recharge myself. Not just remember, but actually do it. Close the door to my room and read for a half an hour. Stay a little longer at the office and creep strangers’ Facebook pages. Take a drive all by myself. (And don’t offer to pick up milk and eggs! Wine is okay though.)
|Aunt Minnie, Nana (Helen) and Aunt Mabel formerly of Florida, currently in Heaven (most likely).|