I am typing this post from a FREEZING cold Starbucks. It was 8:00 p.m. when I left my parents house, and I was 87% dead tired, but decided to motivate and get out of the house to try and feed my soul. There are a lot of days when tired or busy or distracted wins in the battle for my well-being.
Here's the thing: Before I left for Hawaii, when we bought this cute little laptop baby, Mike and I talked long and hard about keeping up my writing while I am *away*. This blog is a child to me, it takes up that much of my time and attention on a daily basis; but it also feeds a part of me that has great purpose (I think. Or so I've been told). And so, even on the days when I would really like to get in bed at 9 p.m., the blog baby takes priority. Mostly, this makes me cranky and sleep deprived. But the bigger picture is that it is has disciplined me, gotten me into the practice of writing again, helped me to find my VOICE. If I waited to write until I had the time or the energy, I might be 90 before I scribe another word--and then, let's face it, I'll be high on chardonnay.
Prior to this blog, I didn't really have a voice. Because I think on paper, like a story. I can never speak, in actual words, the way I write. This may be very, very confusing to some of you who actually know me. Because I pretty much suck in person.
My usual trips back home are a flurry of activity--fitting as much of Hawaii into two weeks as possible. There are fried foods to eat, and relatives to visit, and beaches to fry on, and dolphins to swim with (kids request) and more fried foods (slathered in gravy) to eat. It is always a fat, manic race.
Except this trip, which was purposefully planned over a month, to allow us to SLOW THE HELL DOWN. It's what we always want, isn't it? A minute to catch our breath, free from our everyday responsibilities, with extra help (grandparents) for the kids, in one of the most beautiful places on the earth?
Glorious. For 48 hours. Until I start twitching a little for lack of projects. Or schedule. Or art supplies. Or my familiar, routine, freedom-crushing life. Today was a tad bit rainy on my parent's side of the island, and so we played it close to home and swam a little and went in search of a nearby beach with sand (doesn't exist) and ate some shave ice and watched a lot of television. Someone must have told me that television watching on the part of my kids made me a douche, because I can't seem to relax when my kids are having a t.v. kind of day. Makes me kind of want to punch that Nazi in the mouth for ruining my quiet time with such paranoia.
I am currently reading a book by a gal who talks of having unstructured time with her kids, how they will take off for an adventure, or lay around in pajamas until 2 p.m., or go for a family run in the park, or do whatever they feel like. And it sounds glorious! But unrealistic.
It seems that I am always moving. Doing something which requires at least an hour of preparation. Getting from one activity to the next, for fear of boredom on the part of the children. And being in a new place, without schedules, without the familiar dance of our day...it's unsettling. In a way that means I am being broken of meaningless habits.
I've talked a lot about simplicity lately, and this trip is the pinnacle for me--one adult and four children packed up into 2 checked bags for an entire month (Mike is on his own, but plans to carry-on everything he'll need for his 2-week stay). Nothing but clothes and toiletries. No toys, no crafts, no Hobby Lobby down the street. Coincidentally, I did visit Honolulu's Wal-Mart yesterday--Holy. Hell. That place is nuts-on-steroids, and no promise of acrylic paints or playdoh or Mod Podge can lure me back.
Anyway, I've put a lot of thought into the SIMPLICITY of my things and possessions and what I actually need to survive happily; but not so much into my lifestyle. Or the lifestyles of the four people I am responsible for. Every activity back home seems necessary and important to our well-being, but this month away is going to test our capacity for being spontaneous, together. RELAXING. In front of the t.v., if that's how it turns out. The Hawaii we are visiting is almost exactly the same place I remember as a child; very few things have changed, as local Hawaii (not tourist Hawaii, they are different) is constant, right down to the Bon Jovi poster on my wall. My kids are seeing the same pool, the same park, the same grocery store I grew up with. They are playing with my ACTUAL toys. I am struggling to bring their fast-moving, battery-operated, constant activity world to a place that is slow moving, and easy and unplanned. And they are going with the flow, and I am one step away from nervous panic.
Working on less frantic, arm flapping movement. Chilling the hell out. Which apparently, is a lot like alcohol detox, based upon the jittery un-ease with which I am doing it.
If all goes well, then upon my return, you can expect me to wear pajamas or a bathing suit (and NOT care) everywhere I go. Big win for you, blogworld.