What I Learned While On Vacation

by Ginger on October 13, 2014

in Downtime, Family

Aloha! So nice to see you on this lovely little island…can I interest you in a Mai Tai?

Wait, what do you mean this isn’t an island? And there’s no Mai Tai? What sort of nonsense is this?

***

Hey, did I tell you guys we were going to Hawaii? For 6 days? For an actual, honest to goodness vacation? Well, we did! And it was amazing! And seriously, Hawaii is just utterly, almost indescribably, fantastic. But MAN, I did not want to come back. So, yeah, reentry from vacation is still kind of going on. Hard to imagine that coming back from a tropical paradise makes things like “reality” and “responsibility” kind of less interesting than they normally are (and you know, they’re normally SO thrilling).

But oh, vacation. It was…restorative is a good way to put it. For my mental health, for my stress & N.C.’s stress, for my marriage, for my family–it was just all around good for us. Remind me that we need to do that more often.

***

I’ve been thinking about the idea of self-care a lot lately. There are a lot of superficial (but still important IMO!) ways that I’m fairly good at it–I make time/money to get my hair done (which makes me feel awesome), I take time to experiment with & use makeup (which makes me feel awesome), I’m first in line for doctors & dentists (which don’t always make me feel awesome, but the point stands about taking care of myself). But there are a lot of ways I’m still not very good at self-care–I tend to take on emotional responsibility for the emotions and problems of those around me, I am a people pleaser to my detriment, I’m bad about speaking up about things that are bothering me, I’m not good at taking chances and risks for myself because of what others might think/my responsibility/my family needs/fear/etc.

A few days away from real life though, was like a bit of a reset button on my worst tendencies. Taking those days to recharge reminds me that self-care sometimes means more than just giving myself a manicure. It means treating ME, not my physical body but my emotional and mental self, with care and respect. It’s amazing to me how clear that becomes with a few days away.

***

Vacationing with your family can mean…compromising. With a five year old along, there were some things we just couldn’t do, and frankly, even the two adults weren’t always on the same page about how to spend our time. But that’s ok. That was another good reminder while we were there–there’s usually a middle ground between what I want/think, and what others want/think, we just need to take the time to find it. In the day to day of life, sometimes it feels easier to not take that time, to just do whatever to make life easier. Over time though, that can create frustration and bitterness, which just so happen to be those things that just slowly erode your relationships with your family, not to mention increase your own stress. But on vacation, we were in a special place, and so we made sure to take the time to figure out what we all really wanted/needed to be happy when we got back on the plane to come home. The extra little time to find that middle ground sometimes feels like too much in the real world, but how much better would we all be in the long run if we took that extra bit of time?

***

Hmmm. Maybe there were more things I took away from my vacation than just an appreciation for garlic shrimp & Portuguese sausage and an overwhelming desire to go back & see every island. This? Just another reason vacation is important.

(I’m going to do a post on what we did, where we ate, what we saw. But I needed to get this out of my head first).

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A Boy of Five

by Ginger on September 30, 2014

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

Standing next to me, he fits right up under my ribs. It occurs to me that the last time that was true was a little over 5 years ago, but then it was more his feet bruising my ribs from the inside. Five years was forever ago, five years was just yesterday.

Beach boys

***

He is so full of personality* these days.

“OF COURSE we’re not going to have donuts for breakfast today Mommy, OF COURSE.”

“Mommy, I just can’t talk about that right now.”

“In a MINUTE Mommy. I’m busy with this.”

“NO. I said NO.”

*Personality, attitude, same difference some days.

Little Hulk

***

He is also full of sweetness.  He is free with hugs and kisses, for friends and family, and mommy and daddy. He loves to cuzzle at the end of the night, asking me “Mommy, let’s talk about our day.”

His smile and laugh are infectious. His joy is radiant. He is a bright sparkling star, bigger and brighter than anything I could have imagined.

Smiling School Day

***

I sometimes think, even five years in, that I don’t have what it takes to parent this vibrant ball of energy. He tests me, almost daily–tests my patience, tests my smarts, tests my energy, tests my compassion and what I think I know about parenting. He is my opposite in so many ways, and I don’t always know what to do with that.

And yet, I also know that I am perfect for him. Even when I’m not perfect. Even when I screw up. Even when I’m sure that something wasn’t my finest parenting moment. I’m still his mommy, and the perfect mommy for him.

Me & my boy

***

Sometimes I look at him, at his smile and exuberance, and my heart catches in my throat. Parenting him is not easy, no. The challenges are real, and hard, and I can only hope I screw up less than I succeed. But the rewards? Oh man, the rewards are just breathtaking.

Holding Hands

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Bring Back the Words

by Ginger on September 24, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

Someday maybe *I’ll* actually write something with one of these prompts, but my boss is out on medical leave, I’m going on vacation in a week and a half, and my kid is basically taking up pretty much all of my evening time, so….that time is probably not right now. BUT! I’ve had a request for more prompts, and I live to serve!

1.What’s something about you today that would totally shock 10 year old you? Why the change?

2. Highs & lows (whatever that makes you think of/want to write about)

Alright, now do it to it!

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Bring Back the Words

by Ginger on September 9, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

I’m falling down on the job over here. Let’s get some prompts up, shall we? And don’t forget you can write about any prior prompt at any time!

1. Tell us about a product you’ve been loving or hating lately.

2. Sunset (whatever that makes you think of/want to write about)

Now get to writing!

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So Much For That

by Ginger on September 3, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

Well, it’s pretty obvious that I completely failed my August challenges. I at least feel like on the writing side, while I didn’t come close to my 5 times a week goal (HA!), I did manage to make 3 times a week pretty much every week. It’s not what I was hoping for, but it’s better than it was. I’ll take the failure that’s still an improvement.

But oof, my commenting challenge. Yeah. That. Not so much. I don’t know WHAT it is lately with commenting. What ended up happening was I kept pretty much all the posts I *meant* to comment on in my reader, so by the end of the month, I had something like 200 posts. Yeah. That wasn’t going to happen. I dunno how to get myself back into the habit. Maybe it’s just time to admit that comments aren’t a thing anymore? I keep trying to hold on to that part of blogging (even though, yes, I do lots of commenting on Twitter & FB, so it’s not like it’s totally gone, just shifted locations in a lot of cases), but maybe it’s time to give up the ghost? I dunno.

Anyway, I’m still glad I challenged myself. Even though I wasn’t successful, it did remind me of the whole liking to write thing that sometimes gets obscured by the whole I’m-really-lazy thing. I need to try and remember that first one more and get past that second one.

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