Wilson and I returned from Mexico earlier this week and what a fun time we had. As soon as we claimed our luggage in the Cancun airport and emerged into the warm, muggy Mexican sunshine, I knew our impulse purchase was a good decision. Our friendly driver poured us glasses of sweet Champagne and babbled in Spanglish to us as we drove to the hotel. I looked over at Wilson, who almost immediately drained his flute, grinning ear-to-ear as always.
We checked into the sprawling, open-air hotel and upon hearing the soothing roll of the Gulf of Mexico, we both began to breathe a little easier, a little deeper. Once we arranged our things in our suite – Wilson loves to unpack – we strolled to the pool, where we lounged and drank for the remainder of the day. That evening we dined al fresco on the water, noshing on fresh fish, sipping on a spicy red wine, laughing and clapping to the beautiful music of a mariachi band.
It was freaking amazing.
The fact of the matter is, in today’s overstimulated, over-communicated world, it’s really important to unplug. Some days at work I only scratch one or two items off my long list of to-dos because of how distracted I get from all the beeping and buzzing and pinging that goes on with the forty million devices I have that let people contact me. I can only imagine how someone feels that is legitimately important. It’s super frustrating, but damn if this Mexican slice of heaven didn’t heal my electronic device wounds. It’s absolutely pathetic that it takes going out of the country to be able to really relax, but at least we did it. We pressed pause on our busy lives for a moment and made time for ourselves and each other, and it made all the difference.
Thinking back on the trip, the parts I am most struck by were the blinding rays of sunlight breaking through the sturdy palm trees, the sparkling cerulean waters of the Gulf, and the look in Wilson’s eyes after the second day – he was happy and peaceful, and it made my heart so very full. So sappy, I know. I was also struck by the steady flow of drinks we drank, — and the variety, we drank everything — but that’s another story for another day.
On our last day Wilson convinced me to do something other than lie on the beach and off we went on a snorkeling excursion to a barrier reef not even half a mile offshore. Once the boat came to a halt we snapped the snorkeling goggles to our faces and plunged into the inviting water. It’s easy to forget there is an entirely different world beneath all of that blue.
Brightly colored fish flitted past us as we ogled at the wildly beautiful forest of the ocean. I was stunned at how close the coral reef was to us – we were extra careful not to tread water vertically but instead float on our backs with our flippers up when we needed a break so as not to disturb the intricately constructed coral. Never before have I seen brain coral so large or orange. It was massive, the round coils curved perfectly together in a pattern so complex only nature could conjure it. Fan coral waved at us as we floated by, perfectly royal in its striking purple hue, and I gasped as a sea turtle elegantly paddled across the ocean floor, graceful and strong against the current.
A few times Wilson and I held hands as we kicked our flippers through the water, a bit out of character of us as we both get the icks from too much PDA. But it was terrifically romantic and sweet – one of those moments, the ones you never forget, the ones you pull out on a rainy (or argumentative) day to remember the good times.
Like I said, this trip was freaking amazing.
So what is this verbose diatribe about, you might ask after reading a 681-word count blog post? I want to testify against the glorification of being busy, and testify for taking a moment to yourself. So often I catch myself proving to others – and to myself – that I am soooo busy and therefore that’s why I’m soooo fabulous and important and awesome and smart. I often validate myself based on my degree of busyness, telling myself that I am really worth something if my schedule is unbelievably full and ridiculous. Screw that.
This vacation taught me that I can validate myself with how I treat others, including how I treat myself. I’ve always had good self-esteem, but I think I am now broaching the subject of how to truly love myself, and thereby more fully loving the ones around me. It’s great fun learning how to do new things.
So in long, take some time for yourself. Whether it’s for four days in Mexico with your loving husband in tow or it’s going to a 55-minute yoga class or hell even
chugging drinking a glass of wine that you love, be kind to that person inside of yourself. You just may be surprised at how good it feels.