I napped. I never nap unless I reach a point of absolute and utter exhaustion. I apparently can also nap if I reach a point of absolute and total relaxation, aided by lots of sunshine, cool sheets, and the company of a book from a local independent bookstore found in the “Southern Fiction” section. I woke up disoriented and oh-so-happy.
I ran. I ran fast — hitting a record for one of my fastest mile times ever. I ran slow — dragging along a teenage cousin who said she’d slow down for me because I’m old. I ran with my 50-year-old uncle who pushed it into race mode as we neared the end of our run. I ran in raindrops. I ran in relentless morning sun. I ran after dinner on the first night, after a 10.5 hour drive. I ran early in the morning to beat the heat and the humidity. I ran until I got a blister — and then didn’t run the last two days. I missed running on those last two days — but I ran the evening we got home after a 10.5 hour drive.
I ate. And I ate. And I ate. I don’t go on vacation to diet. Well, I don’t diet anyway. But I definitely indulge on vacation. I haven’t consumed that many snacks — chips and crackers and dips and Popsicles and ice creams and yes, even fruits — in ages. I ate delicious steaks and hamburgers. I maybe slightly gorged myself on seafood. I ate bagels and bananas for breakfast. I texted my uncle to bring back a candy bar one day; I don’t even like many candy bars. (He chose Mr. Goodbar because peanuts.)
I drank. Ahem.
I slept. I slept the deep sleep of a wife and a mother and an everything to everyone who… didn’t have to be everything to everyone. I dreamed strange dreams. My sleep was not interrupted by little feet and stage whispered voices of “MOM” in my face as they slept the sleep of little boys worn out by waves. My sleep was interrupted by a wicked storm that caused both my husband and I to check our radars on our iPhones in the dark of the night, wind whipping and whistling and whirring around the beach house. But oh, I slept. On one of the mornings I decided not to run because of my toe, I woke up — and went back to sleep. I forgot what being caught up on sleep feels like, how it makes everything a little less edgy.
I played. I played frisbee and ball. I made “quicksand” for LittleBrother. I stood in the waves so BigBrother could boogie board until he couldn’t boogie board any more. I got on the boogie board; I rode those waves. I made wet sand dripping castles, as they’re my favorite; I don’t need no stinkin’ bucket. I buried my feet and unburied my feet and buried feet and legs and arms and butts of kids and other individuals. I looked for shells. I stepped on shells. I stepped on a little cactus, pulling it out of the ground and waving it around in the air with the heel of my foot. I chased little boys. I smacked my husband’s butt. I watched the dolphins. I jumped waves and got crushed by two. I made my cousin snap pictures of my family, and fell in love with the goofy one over the “perfect” one. I bought a Wonder Woman monokini. And wore it.
I laughed and talked. I relaxed and gave thanks for all that I have — for all that stresses me out, for all that makes me doubt who I am or what I’m doing, for all that makes me who I am on a daily basis, for the good and the bad and the stuff somewhere in the middle. I sat on the beach with my feet in the sand, breathing a sigh of contented, restful relief. I breathed in the sweet salt air and exhaled the stuff and weight of the everyday. I allowed myself some time and space, and I am all the better for it.