I’m back from a week’s vacation and I’d like to tell you it was full of fun and adventure, but the truth is, it wasn’t.
Due to several circumstances beyond my control, or anyone’s control for that matter, it was a staycation without much excitement. Turns out, it was exactly what I needed.
It was a good reminder that life isn’t so much about what you’re given, but how you handle what you’re given.
I learned a lot about myself.
I’m a work in progress and I believe, based on the thousands of self-help influencers that fill my social media accounts, and the stack of self-help books on my night stand that encourage me to buck up and soldier on, that this is the point of life: to evolve.
This brings me to two things I learned on vacation: get off social media and stop reading self-help books. Not forever. Just for a few days.
Step out of the constant reminders that I’m broken, not good enough, not where I want to be at this stage of life, or that I need to be fixed.
Turns out if I steep a cup of tea, throw a cushion on my favourite orange Muskoka chair and park my backside in the garden, I’ll solve a lot.
Instead of listening to the noise in my head of what’s missing in my life, what’s wrong with my relationships or the state of the world, I planted my bare feet on the ground and listened to the world revolve around me.
The answers to some of these mysteries came to me organically. They were inside me all along. Or, I remembered they weren’t my mystery to solve. Let it go.
I remembered that everything in life doesn’t require an action or reaction. It can just be.
I heard the breeze move through the trees and watched the squirrels, nature’s circus clowns, leap along the fence, landing with thud atop the metal shed.
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal flew around in the canopy of trees, calling out to one another, unabashedly flirting in real time. I made a mental note to do that with the Carpenter later, giving me something to look forward to.
It doesn’t mean I wasn’t still feeling frustrated by my life status, or questioning if my dreams will become a reality, or that I didn’t worry about my bank balance, or what the future holds.
“Oh honey,” I told myself, “those worries can wait.”
Sip that tea. Hold the warm mug in your hands. Those pangs of anxiety are persistent, I know. But you deserve a reprieve from worry that does nothing to solve anything anyway.
Put the phone away.
Stop scrolling through the social media landscape that has been manipulated to convince you that you aren’t achieving enough.
Curate the newsfeed muck that stops you from seeing the joy your friends are sharing. Be happy for them, even if their vacation is more fabulous than yours. Cheer them on. Celebrate them. Be that friend.
I spent much of my vacation in that orange Muskoka chair with the world moving around me, due to circumstances I could control. I know the difference.
Stillness is never a waste of time.