Stress sucks. I think everyone will agree with that statement. And I am certain that pretty much everyone in our society (US) below the 1% is under far more stress than our bodies and minds are designed to process.
This year, even though we really couldn’t afford it, I forced us to venture away from home so that we could essentially press the reset button and get a fresh breath of life beyond the stresses.
Reset attempt #1 – A couple of weeks ago the husband and I along with a friend took all of our kids to the beach for a short vacation. In addition to giving ourselves a much-needed change of scenery and time to “unplug” from our daily lives, we were hoping to “re-set” our kids. HA – EXERCISE IN FUTILITY!!
We stayed up late playing games, and the second day we slept in and didn’t go to the beach until later in the afternoon/evening because we all got a wee bit too much sun the first day. We all know better, but we did it anyway. We casually worked our way through the last two days. I love vacations that are not piled full of scheduled events – I don’t consider that kind of routine a vacation. I want no clock or calendar telling me what I’m supposed to be doing.
When the beach trip came to an end and we began the trip home, we had four cooked kids and three less stressed adults. The ocean claimed my too expensive magnetic sunglasses – you know the kind that stick to your prescription glasses. But I’m okay with that, those kinds of things can be replaced. I’ll be replacing them by wearing my DD’s sunglasses over my regular ones – going cheap!
Why would I wear them out into the surf and crashing waves? Well, I have a deep-seated need to be able to see my kids clearly as they stretch my nerves to the limit by progressing ever further out into the surf. And, I find myself watching little schools of fish, worrying about bull sharks – or any shark for that matter. And, I LOVE to watch the brown pelicans dive for fish. They aren’t pretty birds, but so very cool, and one of my favorites. And, in all honesty, I love playing in the waves as much as my kids do. That’s why my sunglasses are gone. I love the ocean. Always have, always will.
Even though I had to scrimp and save and borrow for our little trip, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My friend and I have figured out a way to share our vacation time on a tight budget and really enjoy ourselves. We aren’t picky, and so are comfortable staying in older cottages. As long as we have a kitchen, bathroom with a shower, clean beds, working AC, and no creepy crawlies all is good. My friend and I are very fortunate to share very similar patience levels, and our kids have always gotten along famously. They’ve been great friends now for 10 years. Oh boy, that just aged me. My husband serves as our comedic relief carrier of heavy stuff. 😉 Now, back to this idea of pressing the reset button.
Every summer, every holiday, and a lot of weekends our kids fall into nocturnal mode. Much to the detriment of my rare and much-needed alone time, our circadian rhythms, and smooth starts to school weeks. My friend has the same problem. What does not help is that we, the adults, also fall into the pattern of nocturnal existence. I’ve always been happier working late into the night and sleeping until 9-10 am. But, that does not work for my teaching schedule at all. Nor does it work for a student of public schools. Are we too soft with our kids? Yes. Could we be more assertive and demanding with them? Yes. Will we be successful in doing so? That answer is pending review of upcoming events.
Reset attempt #2 – We need to add more control to our lives and get these kids back on a regular sleeping track well before school gets back in session. Mandatory pool time minimum two hours of hardcore play time.
NO COMPUTERS, NO TV, NO SMARTPHONES – FOR ANYONE!
We had us and our kids, my friend and her two kids, and another friend with her two kids.
The goal? Get some stinking exercise, outside; relate with your friends in person instead of online, and get a better night’s sleep to get your bodies back on track.
Did it work? Yes and No.
The kids did have a blast even though half of them complained at first. While they played in the water, the adults caught up and made carpool plans for the coming school year. We had blueberry muffins, cream soda pound cake, Nutter butters, and tacos – odd combinations, yes. Kool-aid, green tea with honey, water, and wine (not for the kids, if you need clarification there).
We had planned for two hours, but it grew into 3 1/2. That’s more than okay!
The results: Our DS, he was in bed asleep by 11pm and awake this morning by 8am- amazing! On his own today, he went out twice walking with his group of friends! His blood is circulating again!!
DD not so lucky. She was still up way too late. I’ll be tackling her with a different strategy. No excuses, she is predisposed to sleep issues. On the positive side, she did have a friend over and spent a few hours in the sun and water. Progress!
The kids all thanked me for having them come over, and I know they enjoyed themselves. You can’t really fake enthusiastic enjoyment. I announced that this is not the last one.
We will be hosting a few more “get your butt outside” events before school starts – we all need to press our reset buttons!
Me, I don’t want school to start back up, I want to go back to the beach.