Thanks to some generosity of a very dear mentor I was able to have a long overdue vacation/adventure recently. For once I decide to take a gift as a gift and not be sensible but to use it toward finding my ability to take a deep breath after a long while of being unable to.
As the day approached I was terrified. Scared of not being at work. Scared of my first adventure as the only adult. I was anxious and nervous and downright afraid. An 8-hour drive, being soley responsible for 2 teenage girls, spending money…it all caused my breath to hitch and my hands to shake.
I reached out to my support system. My friends listened and encouraged me. I was still afraid but I was supported. I took a deep breath and began my first adventure in a long, long time.
I drove and took advantage of the captivity Of my Neice and daughter to sneak in some good conversation. We listened to the radio. We sang and car danced and generally had a grand old time. The first 2 days weren’t planned-we winged it. I spent a little more than I should have on a crappy room but that spilled milk as my momma would say.
It wasn’t all easy. I wasn’t prepared for the sad I felt not sharing my adventure with a mate. I love to travel and loved traveling with a companion. I didn’t expect after so much time to miss that. But I did. Because I did my stomach was tight and my breath shallow. But it was temporary. I pushed it away to be present in the moment.
Seeing my daughter and Neice so delighted and awestruck at the cruise ship we boarded made me smile. After the slight eeriness of passports and custody papers and health warnings at check in it was a welcome feeling.
13 old girls made glorious distractions. They wanted to see and do everything immediately. All I had to do was follow. We took a shopping class, explored the ship, ordered virgin daiquiris and bounced on beds in the first hour alone. By the 3rd hour we had completed a lifeboat drill, donned bathing suits and hit the pool. Oh-and ordered more virgin daquiris. We sent a message of thanks and I reminded the girls of the importance of having fun but being cautious. They scurried here and yon and I followed-ever watchful.
We ate dinner on a formal dining room with new found friends. They Ukraian watiee doted on my girls and our table mates seemed delighted by their company. Night after night they tried delicious meals that WERENT chicken fingers. They ordered bisk-way (bisque) and never knew they miss-pronounced the word because our delightful waiter and sweet new friends went right along and called it bisk-way too.
The Bahamas port was scary for a mom and 2 BEAUTIFUL teen girls but I was determined to give them the experience of it all. We shopped on exclusive stores, braves the assertive vendors of the straw market and walked our way to a hidden jewel of a beach where we played in crystal clear waters.
The next day we landed at the cruise lines private island. The girls, of course, were busy snorkeling and sliding and playing on the inflatable zone. I found a chair, donned my sun hat, opened a book, ordered a drink and….at last-at long last–took a deep breath. There on that island or didn’t matter that I was single or overweight. I had no stress. No dinging emails. No deadlines. No politics. None of the stress of everyday life. There was a breeze. There was water. There was sun and there was me. Breathing.
On my adventure I breathed deep while battling my fears and giving my Neice and daughter the memories of a lifetime. On the last night there a photographer asked to take our picture. My Neice threw her arm around me. It was the sweetest moment of the trip for me. We’ve never been super affectionate so that gesture let me know that this trip meant as much to her as it meant to me.
A deep breath and sweet moments with my girls. I am forever grateful.