A Lesson I Learned From Our Vacation

As you probably know, Brandon and I recently returned from a vacation to Catalina Island with Brandon’s family (if you don’t know, you can read about it here and here). I know people have different ideas of what a vacation should be. Some like to cram in as much adventure as possible, while other’s feel that physical activity on a vacation should be limited to nothing more than lifting your tropical drink. I lean mostly towards the R&R camp, but I do like to get a little activity in while on vacation. For instance, I was really looking forward to trying SUP and getting in a few runs along the beach. Mostly, though, to feel like I’ve had a successful vacation, I need to come home with a tan and having read at least 1 good book while lying on the beach.

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Brandon and I were really looking forward to this vacation as a chance to put the stress of every day life behind us and have some together time. Brandon’s been super busy with real estate lately and, of course, the remodel is a constant project. Both are great things, but he’s been one busy boy. I just finished up my season with Girls on the Run, and work has been busy the last few months because we’ve been short a coach. Time together, just the two of us, wasn’t happening as often as we wanted and our marriage needed.

Our week away was exactly the chance we were looking for to spend some alone time together (we’d sneak away from the rest of the fam for a bit each day to go on a walk, shopping or out to get a drink) and take a deep breath to de-stress. At times, I felt like we were on a second honeymoon because we just had so darn much fun together!

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If I’m going to be honest, we did fight quite a bit too. Shocked? I was. We were on vacation, for crying out loud! We shouldn’t be arguing! But when we got down to the root of the issue, we realized that we had these arguments because there was never time at home to connect and communicate the way we needed to. We just watched an episode of The Office where Brian, the sound guy, when looking back on his broken marriage, says “When we were fighting, it felt like the relationship was still alive. It wasn’t until we stopped fighting that we realized it was over.” And everyone always says that make up sex is the best, right? (Don’t worry, I won’t go any further down that road. ;p ) I’m actually grateful for these opportunities to quarrel because, even though I had to cover my face with huge sunglasses after each one (I’m definitely an ugly crier and I cry during pretty much any serious conversation), we walked away from each encounter closer than ever.

Now that we’re back home, I’ve noticed life starting to ramp back up to the busy speed we left. The remodel still needs work, Brandon has to catch up with his clients, I had a Group Centergy/Girls on the Run event yesterday that I needed to prep for, my half marathon is in less than a week, and my supervisor is going on vacation so I have extra work hours this week. I feel like it’d be easy to slide right back into that pattern of busyness that we were so excited to get away from.

When we were on the island, we had no agenda. We just woke up each day and did whatever we felt like doing and it was great! Obviously, that’s not practical for real life, but I think we can mimic it to a doable extent by limiting things we commit to. My take away from this vacation, in addition to an awesome tan, is the idea of saying “no.” No to the things that are going to fill my days to capacity and make me a crazy stress case wife. There are probably going to be some really great things that I’m going to have to say “no” to – things that I want to do – but my marriage is more important than those things (and so is my sanity). I want to capture a little bit of the island life in my everyday life, and I plan to do that by not filling each blank space on my calendar and leaving time to relax, connect, and communicate with my hubby. Thanks, Catalina, for the sun, sand, and salt water taffy, and for teaching me to schedule a little down time into my busy life.

 

How do you make time to connect with your spouse?

Do you struggle with cramming your calendar full?

How do you find balance?

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