Family Vacation: the importance of skipping town once in a while

My recent health issues (of both body and mind) have really caused me to pause lately and look at a phrase I throw around a lot in my everyday life: health and wellness.

I’m pretty sure I’m clear on what health is, but what exactly is “wellness”? It’s meaning gets even more muddy when we separate it from the idea of physical health. “I’m working on my health” is pretty straightforward, but telling someone that you are “re-examining your wellness” just might garner some funny looks.

But that really is what’s on my mind lately, whether anyone gets it or not. (Not you, my ever-supportive readers…you always seem to get it.) In short, my wellness just ain’t what it used to be, and for good reason. There have been times over the last year when my whole world seemed to be falling to pieces, and I have often found myself clinging to thoughts like “Well, at least my son is healthy. As long as I have that, I’ll take my lumps as they come…” But living with those thoughts, bargaining in that way, is no way to be, and it certainly is not the way to be well.

So, as I hinted in my last post, I’ll be spending the next few weeks exploring some of the ways I plan to delve a little deeper into figuring out how I lost my grip on wellness, and how I can get it back. First up? Vacation.

Last weekend, my husband was sick with a nasty stomach bug. I had planned to do some volunteer work for Breastfeeding USA, hosting a comfort station for nursing moms at our local artsfest. Since hubby was down, I took Little Man with me and we spent the day in the sun, helping moms, making friends, eating curry and buying some art.

Throughout the course of the day, a funny thing happened. (Well, there were toddlers everywhere, so lots of funny things happened, but I digree…) I felt my soul heal. Just a little…but it happened.

I wasn’t in a hurry. I wasn’t irritated or stressed out. I was fully focused on my child, And I was happy. Happier than I had been in a long time. And so was he. It went so well that I decided to devote Sunday to him, too. And by Sunday night, I felt reconnected in a way that I can hardly describe. We fell asleep on the same pillow that night, nose to nose, with him showering my face with kisses as his eyelids grew heavy. It was bliss.

This is how it’s supposed to be, I thought.

News? Not really. I know you have to do more than just be with your child – you have to be, with your child. But with my husband out of work and 2 houses mortgaged out, my eye has been focused squarely on the prize of maintaining the day-to-day in the best way I can.

Which brings me (at long last) to my newest priority: family time. Not lazy time, or non-productive time, but time off remembering who I want to be as a mother. For the last several years, we haven’t taken any time off or gone anywhere, and our summer fun looked pretty much like this:

This year, we’ll be heading to Sesame Place for a 3-day Elmo-fest, but next year? Next year we’re thinking a real vacation. A sand-between-your-toes, not-checking-the-clock, live-and-love-the-moment vacation.

How does Virginia Beach sound?

Pretty good, right?

I love the idea of Virginia Beach for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s within driving distance of Central PA. Major plus. Second, I don’t want “spring break, Jersey Shore, or the any of the things I was looking for years ago, when packing light meant only having one keg in the trunk. Now I want beautiful beaches. Diverse, interesting food. Family-friendly places to explore.  Unique attractions that make me feel as though I’ve stumbled upon a landscape of local treasures. I want it all, really…and Virginia Beach has it.

Now, to figure out what “packing light” means with a toddler in tow … :lol:

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The vacation account starts today! Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Tell me about it!

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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  1. [...] too long ago, I told you all how I was hoping to plan a family vacation soon. It’s been one looong year, and some time away as a family is sorely needed. Like, [...]

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