• 2010 Reading List

    What I've read this year:

    "The Other Queen" by Phillipa Gregory (Rating: C)

    "The Welsh Girl" by Peter Ho Davies (Rating: A)

    "Mistress of the Sun" by Sandra Gulland (Rating: A)

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The stuff doesn’t matter

Remember the days when going on vacation was just a simple process? You’d throw some things in a bag, head out, and not look back? I’ve realized this week, that I have temporarily lost that ability. I refuse to accept this as a permanent state of mind, but rather, a symptom of our current circumstances.

We leave for the beach in 4 days. During the next four days, I work 47 hours. Weeks like this one are inevitable in my current position, hence the reason I am looking for a new career.  These long & hectic work weeks are always stressful. Missing dinner with my family is all that it takes to put me on the edge. Alan gets the fun job of pulling the extra weight while I am at work, and between the two of us, the stress multiplies. But, when you add in the pre-vacation “to do list,” the stress is like a physical weight bearing down on me.

I’ve sent panicked emails to family members, stressing about everything from the breakdown of cost, to who, exactly, is bringing the toilet paper.

September & October 102

So, I have decided to let it go. Let me repeat that, for my sake. I AM LETTING IT GO!

I am letting it go that I have not made any bread, or cookies, or fruit leather, or any tasty treats to take with us. I am letting go that we will probably end up throwing things haphazardly into the car, inevitably forgetting something that we meant to take, but really isn’t imperative to having fun. I’m letting it all go.

I am focusing on sand, wind, sun, & beach reading. I’m anticipating taking the kids home after a long day on the beach, and smelling the sun in their skin. Playing slap jack out on the porch, eating watermelon for lunch, and just soaking up time with my family.

I managed to get a few things accomplished yesterday, and that is all that I am going to make myself do this week.

  • The clothes, bathing suits, towels, & sheets are packed, along with a couple of books, games, ball of yarn, and an empty crossword puzzle.
  • I found a friend willing to take in Marco for three nights, meaning that we only have to pay to board him for 2 nights (friends that are willing to keep a Great Dane for 3 days & nights are really good friends!), saving $$$$, which always helps to relieve stress.

September & October 142

Now, I am putting away the rest of the list, and know that Alan will take care of it. Obviously my husband is fully capable of successfully packing all of the necessary items, so why should I waste my time and energy taking it all on? (Well…there was that one time he forget the screen tent when we went camping, and it rained each day, but let’s just give him a free pass on that one.)

So, my new mantra for next week’s beach trip is this:

If it doesn’t answer to the name Alan, Rachel or Seth, it can be replaced!

The entire reason behind this trip is to enjoy time together as a family. It is just so easy to get distracted from that by the worries about the “stuff.” But the stuff doesn’t matter, does it?

* Looking back through last summer’s pictures to add to this post has been very therapeutic. Spanish moss just makes me want to slow down…I can almost taste the salt in the air now!


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