I felt really free today. One day of vacation with my husband at a hotel in a fun city. We’re going back home tomorrow. One day is perfect! I could enjoy it without guilt. We stayed late at dinner with friends. In fact, we talked until after MIDNIGHT, which is way later than our usual bedtime!
I didn’t think once about what time it was or about having to rush home to the babysitter. But I’m also so happy to go back tomorrow to see the kids. I think that long vacations are totally overrated. One good day is much better than a full week of vacation.
There are all these great benefits to having a good one-day “power” vacation (like a power lunch but longer):
1) It’s so much cheaper than a long vacation.
2) You can splurge on whatever you want to do (again because it’s probably going to be cheaper than if you had stayed longer).
3) It’s less time away from your kids…ergo less guilt and MORE fun.
4) Because you know it’s going to end soon, you savor each moment: Every ray of sunshine, every bite of delicious food, every step of a casual walk, every deep relaxed breath. And finally, one day means less packing, less carrying, and less unpacking!
I’m on vacation and my mind is blank. But in a good way. I have no anxiety I can tell you about. Nothing eating at me or driving me nuts. I’m not tormented about my work, I’m not thinking about house projects and I’m not even thinking about the many plans I need to make for the events of the next few months.
No, today I had the simplest kind of fun. I went to a local festival in a small town by the ocean. I just sat and watched the waves crash against the sand and instead of contemplating life’s mysteries, I just breathed and let the breeze brush against my face. You see, for me, that’s rare. I can never just let my mind have some rest. I’m in a constant state of contemplation. Whether it be about my family, my work or myself, my mind is always working. But tonight, I am happy to report that my mind is at rest and hopefully I will be too in a few minutes.
A Window into Addiction
I’m sure you have heard about how Amy Winehouse died. If you haven’t, well, she died of a drug overdose. It’s truly sad, but not surprising. Which might be the saddest part of it all. She died from addiction, and no one is surprised because we all saw that one coming just around the bend.
I’m not a huge fan of her music, and I’m certainly not a fan of the public persona she had adopted. But more importantly, I was preoccupied on Saturday with more important, better things. My husband’s cousin was getting married.
I was adding another in-law to my little club of outsiders, of which I was the sole member for the longest time (four years on Thursday!!). My club added its second member a mere eight weeks ago, and now here we are a club of three!
I love my cousin-in-law and am so excited for his new wife – a wonderful young woman, who obviously adores her new husband and puts up with all the rest of us.
Melissa puts up with the rest of us. My husband’s family is a lot to take in. They are inclined to drink to excess. Beyond excess. They are inclined to drink to oblivion. This family can be difficult to be around. As the drama and emotions begin to spill over, as the wine begins to flow with reckless abandon. As loving as they each are, they are overwhelming, emotional and dramatic. It is a drama that enters your veins and, like poison, slowly takes over rational thought. Drama feeds on drama, and in this family, the drama is well fed, its thirst well satiated.
Russell Brand wrote a beautiful and moving article, reflecting on the passing of Amy Winehouse, as well as his relationship with addiction:
“Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there.”
We all know drunks and junkies. We all do. I do.
Amy Winehouse touched the lives of so many, who put up with her antics. I’m sure she had loved ones who tried to make her go to rehab (and she said, “No, no, no!”). I’m sure she had loved ones who tried to reach out to her, to keep her safe. And I’m sure she had loved ones who were simply too tired to try any longer.
I watched this weekend as a lovely wedding and reception turned into a raucous after-party. Full of emotion. Full of drama. More drama than should be invited to a wedding. I wish I could say that I didn’t, in some way, add to the drama. I did. I wasn’t the worst culprit, but there I was making a scene. Over something as stupid as pizza.
I love my husband’s family. They are my family. And I worry about them. I worry for their health. I worry for my relationship with them. I worry for Laura’s relationship with them. I heard about Amy Winehouse and was not surprised. Then I read Russell’s beautiful words and felt tears well in my eyes. How much can I do for Nate’s family? How much can I do for myself?
“We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to [addiction]. Not all addicts have Amy’s incredible talent. Or Kurt’s or Jimi’s or Janis’s. Some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.”