I took last week off of work. The whole week! My mom and sister, Lauren, are teachers, and they decided to spend Spring Break in Nashville with me. My family being my family, though, if three of us were together, all of us wanted to be together. And, so my dad and my sister, Janel, came, too.
Vacations are equally wonderful and difficult. The wonderful part is usually from 5:00 p.m. on the last day of work before the vacation to the evening of the last day of the vacation. That’s when the fun stuff happens. The difficult part starts sometime during that last evening, when the reality starts to set in that your normal life and busy schedule and responsibilities are all about to come flooding back to you. You’re about to reenter a world that didn’t stop moving while you were taking time off.
Last week – the wonderful part – really was wonderful, though. It was refreshing and slow and exciting. Life-giving, clarifying. Together, my family and I worked on my house, painting and planting, and we toured the city, and ate delicious food and retold our favorite stories. This weekend, after my family returned to Michigan, I had a few days to spend with Bryan; quiet, sunny days that allowed us to enjoy each other’s company.
Having time off made me realize how much I really want to live in the moment. To focus on the things that are happening right here and now – what I’m seeing, who I’m with, how I’m feeling. I realized that I spend a lot of time either worrying about what’s on the horizon or overanalyzing what I’ve already done. (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)
Like right now. It’s Monday. Monday truly is the roughest day of the week, can we agree? I have 240 unread emails in my inbox. It’s also 5:20 a.m. I haven’t been awake this early in 10 days. I haven’t been to the grocery store in a week, so I guess I’ll have to go tonight, after work. That means I’ll need a grocery list, which means I’ll actually have to think about what I want to eat this week. I also have to go to the gym, because I overindulged on delicious food over the last 10 days and my body’s not sure what’s going on. And, I have to check our bank account and call the insurance company and – is it supposed to rain today?
But. It’s (a little after) 5:20 a.m. I woke up to the sound of birds chirping, and I got out of bed easily because it’s important to me to spend a little time writing first thing each morning. I’m drinking the most delicious, warm coffee out of a favorite mug that my friend Chelsey gave me as a wedding gift. I love morning coffee. I’m wearing my favorite oversized sweater, a great discovery from a Goodwill trip a few years ago, and I’m wrapped in a soft blanket my mom gave me for Christmas. My kitties are snoozing next to me, side-by-side, unsure why we’re up this early, but loyally following me around the house like they do. I love that they want to be near me. My house is quiet. My house. The one I’m fortunate enough to own with my husband. My husband! This is truly quite a life, indeed.
Soon, it will be hard to live in the moment. After all, I quite literally have to read all those emails from last week and plan for things that will happen over the upcoming days and weeks. That’s just the nature of things, I guess. But, I hope I can carry this with me a little longer. To take deep breaths throughout the day, take a look around and truly experience the blessings all around me. Since I’ve been paying attention, the blessings seem pretty abundant after all.