The closer my trip to Phoenix and San Diego gets the more I realize that I need a vacation. It's like the universe is throwing extra stressful, extra tedious, extra annoying things, tasks and people at me so that I really appreciate the upcoming time off. All I can think about is sitting. Sitting on the beach. Sitting on the beach with no make-up on (okay, maybe a little bit of make-up). Running on the beach. More importantly, I look forward to being on vacation with two of my very best friends, enjoying. . .whatever it is that we decide to do.
I made a spontaneous <insert anxiety and heart palpitations here> trip to visit family this weekend. My original plan for the weekend was to pre-pack, make packing lists, revise my pro/con list for my work and departure schedule on Wednesday, sleep, catch up on school work, sleep, work out, work out, and sleep. Instead, I packed a bag and drove through the night to southern Missouri so that I could attend my great-uncle's 80th birthday party. My g-Uncle is one of my very favorite people so there was no way I would miss the celebration; however, I am not a spontaneous person. I like to plan spontaneity. So while I was excited about the weekend, in theory, all I could think about was my upcoming, very needed vacation and the fact that this little weekend excursion was not in my timeline nor in my budget.
BUT. I love when there's a "but". My weekend excursion was not in my timeline nor in my budget. . .
But I arrived at my parent's house and got to spend hours of one on one time with DudeGuyMan (my younger brother). He's a freakishly talented musician so we listened to some of his latest recordings and laughed hysterically, about random things, until the early in the morning. It is only with DudeGuyMan that I make midnight ventures out to Taco Bell. . .and actually eat Taco Bell, which I later regretted. My head was like, "You know better than to eat fake, overly processed fooooood!" and then it applied excruciating pain to my temples. It was worth it.
But I was able to spend a few hours with my sister, who had to attend a rodeo to take photographs for the county newspaper. Quality time with my sister AND experiencing a rodeo=priceless. Rodeos are not my thing, but cowboys might be? I'm just kidding. . .I was definitely out of my element and every part of me screamed, "I'm a city girl!!!" to the locals.
But I got to sit outside with my mom and eat ice cream. I got to drink coffee and eat breakfast with my mom, sing with my mom, just spend time with my mom.
But I spent time with 5 generations of relatives, some of whom I haven't seen for years, and who all used to be constant, integral parts of my life. It was like nothing had changed even though so much has changed. These are my people. These people taught me how to hug, how to really love, how to make bottlerocket launchers on the 4th of July. . .etc.
|My mom, my aunt, and me|
On my drive home today, I spontaneously took a different route home with the help of my iPhone navigation system. It turned out to be a much shorter, much prettier drive AND the speed limit was 75 mph which means setting my cruise control on 80 mph was totally acceptable! The route also took me by a few different small municipal airports so I was able to view single engine planes and gliders taking off, descending to land, or just flying freely above me. As I neared home, to my left, I saw several hot air balloons floating majestically in the sky, with the setting sun behind them.
Turns out, in addition to needing a vacation, I also really needed every spontaneous and unplanned, unbudgeted part of this weekend. I was provided with everything I love: family, time, the privilege of watching flight, alone time (in the car during my trip), and the realization that it really is the simple things in life that make me happy. If not for spontaneity ruining my plans I would have missed out on all of it.