My daughter trying to cheer up her baby brother on the beach. He did not like the sand one little bit.
I have decided that I don't want to be in real life anymore. I want to be on a permanent vacation. Even though our vacation consisted of driving 2500 miles with five children under the age of ten, I still found it to be enjoyable and relaxing, at least once we got on the road that first day. Planning it and doing all the preparations for it gave me major anxiety, but on the trip, the only moment I felt any anxiety, or panic really, was when we walked out front of my brother's house in California and discovered our car was not there. Fortunately, it had only been towed, wrongfully towed, I might add, and a window got busted during the tow, something we still haven't had fixed. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
I loved the drive and almost wish that we didn't have an exact destination and a time crunch. We took the Pacific Coast Highway from Monterey all the way down to Santa Monica and, although it was slow-going at times, it was a fabulous drive and I enjoyed looking out over the ocean and stopping at a few different beaches along the way.
I enjoyed not worrying about paying bills (took care of that before we left) or caring for our aging dog (we hired someone to come take care of him) or the day-in and day-out issues of raising children. Though we still had to deal with exhausted and bored children and dealt with the usual sleepless nights with our 16-month-old, it seemed less serious, less urgent to take care of these matters. We were on vacation, after all, so I felt like we dealt with things with a little more patience and a little less stress.
The best part was seeing all the family we saw. Three of my five brothers and their families. My parents. All of my husband's siblings, their families, and his mom. Many members of the extended family on both sides as well. Visiting with them, talking with them, relaxing with them, all of that was so wonderful for me. Probably because I crave such contact with other people and at home all the social interaction I get tends to be limited to the screen of my computer. I wish it weren't that way, but the only time I ever really get out and interact with other people is at our ward's once-a-week playgroup and those conversations just aren't enough for me to feel fulfilled intellectually. I rather enjoyed the deep conversations I had with my parents about child-rearing philosophies and ideas about higher education and other social issues. I enjoyed discussions I had with siblings on gospel topics and also conversations that took us down memory lane where we reminisced about the past. Why is it so hard for me to find deep, meaningful friendships now that I am married with all these kids? It seems like often the only people I can have such discussions with are people I knew in my non-married life--family members, former roommates, and old friends from high school and college. People who know who I am outside of wife, mom, homemaker.
Now that I'm back to real life, I can feel the anxiety acting up again. My stomach just churns and churns about every little detail of my life and I can't seem to do anything about it. Right now, I wish we had an endless supply of money so we could have more vacations like that. Real life seems dreadful. Not that it's boring--it is certainly filled with ever-changing ups and downs--but it just seems like such a drag compared to the last two weeks of traveling.
Though I must admit, it is good to be back in my own house.