I’m lying in bed listening to one of the wonderful sleep mixes Dan has put together for us. The view is crystal clear after last night’s storm blew away most of the remaining leaves. Marley is snoring between us and the fluffy comforter feels wonderful on this chilly night in Birmingham. Along with listening to the music, I am going over my packing list and my ‘to-do’ list, along with my ‘what-am-I-forgetting’ mantra that plays endlessly in my mind whenever I’m preparing to go on a trip. And yes, I said the wonderful word trip that means the other even more wonderful word, travel. Ahhhh. We have missed traveling a great deal.
Dan and I need this trip, possibly more than we ever have before. As so many of us do, I have a lot of professional stresses and obligations on me right now (and will for quite some time), and some of my closest friends are going through extremely tough times. Poor Dan has been working with the handy man he hired on home renovations for three months now (okay; in all honesty, our 101-year-old home has always been and always will be a work in progress while we live here. It’s a sickness, truly. ..). On top of that, we are dealing with some worrisome health issues, always in the back of our minds. We never need to escape our home; we love being there. What we needed to escape was routine, the stresses of incessant emails, the never ending bad news on the television, the little ruts we all get into from time to time. Travel shakes us up, gets our creative juices flowing, It opens our minds and our hearts to new people and new possibilities. It can feel like an emotional fresh start at things- and boy, do I need that.
Dan and I are extremely routine-oriented people. Not a bad thing at all, but you have to be on the lookout for the inevitable personal ruts that can happen. I am especially rigid with myself concerning work, exercise, and when and how I eat. I never hold others to the same standards that I hold myself to, but beat myself up mercilessly. I really hope that I can learn to let all of that go, but I know that some lessons just take longer than others. Being away from home and work allow me to finally put myself and my needs first (along with Dan, of course), which is something I rarely do. I have some weird INFJ-empath thing where I deny myself things that I want to do before I’ve completed some Herculean task list (impossible to complete and setting myself up for failure), and ultimately feeling like I don’t deserve to do the things I’d like to do- often just really basic stuff, like time to read the book I’m really enjoying. Time to look at and dream about cabins, time to take photos, time to write. Lots of great talks with my therapist about it, but I’ve not been able to much change on that thinking as of yet.
I was cleaning out my photos in preparation for an upcoming work trip overseas next week. This photo was from a few years ago, celebrating a birthday or anniversary…or a ‘just because-er’. It made me remember yet again how precious Dan is to me amd made me ask myself who knows how much time we have to take adventures together and add to our almost nineteen years of collecting happy memories? I talked to my sweet man and we decided to make a run for it to our favorite, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30-A along the Florida Panhandle. I found an amazingly inexpensive efficiency condo right across the street from the beach that welcomed large dogs, made some good dinner reservations at some of our favorite restaurants, and then the Gaineys “loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly…Hills that is. Swimming pools, movie stars. Oh wait, wrong place. Seagrove is much more humble than Beverly Hills, thankfully. Okay, so we loaded up the Mini, our bikes and our stuff (looking an awful lot like The Beverly Hillbillies), got our wonderful house sitter, and look forward to a few days of hiding from the world together during this Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you for coming along with us.