This was the first year of my adult life that I not only took a vacation on my birthday, but that I spent it pretty much alone–with the exception of my Mommy 🙂
The resort was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I genuinely enjoyed myself! My mom and I literally laid out on the beach all day, everyday for four days straight. It was perfection. While we didn’t do a whole lot, I did learn a few things about myself…
1. I don’t know how to relax
As soon as I got on the beach, I instantly wished Grace was there! Of course I missed her face but it was more like I felt the need to be doing something. I had this itch to get up at 8am and make a strudel as if Grace needed to be at school or something. That same night I was genuinely tired, but forced my mom out of bed to get dressed for a fancy dinner, only to get to the restaurant and not feel like doing anything but eating room service in the bed in our suite! It was like I could’t fathom the idea of just doing nothing. My mind was moving constantly until I realized that I just needed to chill. There would be plenty of time to go out or be busy when I got home, but this time was for me to be still.
2. I torture myself with “mommy guilt”
I thought about Grace constantly. She gets anxious when I leave, and I felt bad for making her feel that way just so I could be alone. I felt guilty for feeling like I needed time to myself. I kept thinking, “I’m a mom, I’m supposed to want to be around my baby everyday. What was I thinking coming down here without her!” My favorite line to myself even when I’m not on vacation is, “There are millions of mother’s who don’t need breaks, why should you?” But I had to remind myself that I’m a good mom! I pour into Grace daily and that it’s okay to let my family love on her for a couple days while I rest. Honestly, that was just the voice of the enemy trying to do all he could to steal my peace. To make me feel an anxiety that God never designed for me. I needed to get out of my own way.
3. I don’t know how to disconnect
I was on my phone and computer too much. Granted, I was relaunching the blog, but I wish I had done more to prepare so that I could truly use the time I set aside for vacation to truly vacate! I realized I truly don’t know what it means to disconnect at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, my mother completely left her phone at home!! Looking back on it, I wish I had done the same.
These aren’t things I only picked up on vacation. I struggle with them all the time, but it took me being miles from home and in the quiet of my alone time to truly hold a mirror to the habits that keep me backtracking. Now don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time, but being alone in this space truly made me realize what I need to work on in my 26th year. I need to be kinder to myself by resting when I’m tired and not beating myself up with anxiety about what isn’t getting done. I need to grace myself as a mother–I devote my life to my baby and her every need, but I can’t pour if I’m empty. And I need to embrace the moments I’m in instead of constantly trying to document them for Instagram or trying to convince myself of something to write about. I’m enough as God made me, I don’t need to be anymore useful, anymore motherly, or anymore social. I just need to be connected to the source that’s going to get me through it all.
When birthdays come around we often set goals for where we want to be, and what that next year will look like without acknowledging what bad habits we might have picked up along the way–things we don’t necessarily pay attention to but that can deter us from our final goal. More than anything I’m thankful that this vacation presented an opportunity to reflect on my great qualities and my not so good habits so that I can look ahead to setting goals for being a more complete and present person!
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.“