This past week I have been on vacation. My husband was invited to a work event that took place at the Ritz Carlton in Orange County, California. By attending, his airfare, rental car, and lodging would be covered, hence if I could find some decent airfare and someone to watch our kids, it would essentially be a free vacation for me. I, of course, took the opportunity.
On my first day in paradise, I struggled with what my plans for the week were going to be. I knew that I was going to need to do SOME work over the course of the week. But I didn't want to spend so much time working that I felt like I was "wasting" my vacation. However, I'm a little too Type A for my own good and I knew that if I just layed around by the pool I would feel like I was "wasting" my time when I could be DOING something. Ugh. Two things are clear at this point. 1) I need to learn how to relax. REALLY relax. And 2) my constant struggle to find balance has followed me on vacation.
The good news is, this week at least, I found it. I worked a couple hours each morning, but did it primarily from my super-comfy bed with a beautiful breeze coming though the French doors to the balcony and the sound of the ocean waves crashing in the distance. Not bad. I also did my very best to delegate tasks that needed to be accomplished instead of feeling like I had to step in to make sure everything got done. (And of course, the team back home managed just fine without my constant presence.)
But not only did I find the right work balance, this week I also broke free from relaxation guilt. I decided to not feel guilty about relaxing the way that I really wanted to relax. This was harder than it sounds.
We arrived at the resort on Monday, so Tuesday was my first full day to relax. Tuesday morning, after a couple hours of work, I decided to grab my iPad and head down to the pool so I could sit in the shade on a chaise lounge chair and read some new as-yet-undownloaded eBook. Tuesday afternoon I hung out with my husband for a couple hours before we both headed to a work-sponsored dinner. Not a bad day.
Wednesday morning though, was when I made my big decision. I thought about going to the spa or back to the pool or down to the beach. But you know what, those pool chairs weren't nearly as comfy as my bed. And the beach chairs would be the same. I didn't really feel like swimming, and the spa SEEMED good, but I just wasn't really in the mood. (And you don't pay $100+ for a massage unless you actually want one.) The bed I was in was comfy. Like SUPER comfy. And with the doors to the balcony open, there was a beautiful breeze and the constant sound of the ocean, which was awesome. And I finally realized that the spa and the pool and the beach SOUNDED very relaxing, but what I REALLY wanted to do was not have to take a shower, lay in bed, and read. Now normally, this is when a little voice in my head would pester me with thoughts like, "Wow, great use of the resort, with its with great food, a beautiful beach on the Pacific Ocean, a great pool, beautiful views, a spa, great little shops nearby, and so much more, you're going to spend the day doing something you could do at home." But this time, I ignored that voice and, as a result, had a wonderfully relaxing vacation. I did almost nothing the entire time. Slept. Read. OCCASIONALLY showered. Slept and read some more.
Plus, it turns out, that little voice is feakin' stupid. When can I ever spend 5 consecutive days at home just sleeping and reading whenever I feel like it??? (Skipping an occasional daily shower though, that might not be so rare.)