We just got back from a truly restful vacation. This is what we were hoping for, and we are incredibly grateful for a lot of rest and relaxation.
Over the course of the ten days we were away I discovered several things.
1. Sleep is really important.
I obviously know in theory that sleep is important, and have often lauded the benefits of good sleep, but I discovered on vacation how very important it is. We slept better in the last ten days than we have slept in a year. I could not believe how much better I felt physically, and how refreshed I woke up in the mornings. Sleep really is that important.
We made a decision to make sleep more of a priority. With a heavy academic load, my husband needs sleep to be at his optimum physically and mentally. I realized that I, too, need to make sure I am getting enough rest in order to be at my optimum. The main reason we are not getting good sleep is outside of our control and we realized being in a quiet house on vacation how much sleep we actually were losing. Short of moving, I am not exactly sure what we can change, but we are on a mission to try to get better sleep.
This is going to sound like an ode to the smoothie! We are no strangers to smoothies at our house, and it is an excellent way to add in a lot of good nutrients to your diet. I had not, however, thought of it in context with vacation. We would come back from the beach tired, hot, and hungry. The kids, though, were too hot to eat anything very substantial.
The smoothie was the perfect refreshing drink right after a morning at the beach. I was also less worried about the kids less-than-healthy diet while on vacation. I knew that at least once or twice a day they were getting a solid amount of good food by way of the smoothie. It is definitely worth throwing your blender in the car for a great vacation food.
3. Don’t fight the kids internal clocks.
Our kids are early risers and rather than fight it, we decided to go along with it. As it turns out it was perfect for being at the beach. Most mornings we were at the beach before 8:30 and since apparently most of the world sleeps in on vacation (ahem, our kids didn’t get that memo) we had it nearly to ourselves. By the time it started to get crowded we were worn out and ready to head home. We also missed the hottest part of the sun and nobody burned, including me, which is nothing short of a miracle.
Once you jump off the Ferris wheel of consumerism you realize that one of the benefits is that it is easy to get excited over little things. We gave the kids some beach toys from the Dollar Store, and it was extremely exciting to them!
Brian and I both enjoyed small things like some foods we don’t normally eat. And of course the two times we went out were a big deal for all of us. It doesn’t take much to make an exciting memory.
5. Time is a cherished thing.
Time to rock Silas a little longer. Time to sit and watch while the kids play. Time to play an impromptu game of floor hockey. Time to read. Time to sleep. Time to just be together.
Removing the clock for a week was like giving our family the gift of time. No schedules, appointments, or events to keep up with. Just being.
My kids could not get enough of the water. They were fearless. It was so fun watching them delight in the waves over and over and over. Brian and I enjoyed lots of reading and simply enjoying each other and the kids. It was a much needed, relaxing week and now we are ready to get back into normal life with renewed energy.
And after a week off of blogging I am ready to get back into it. I missed you all and I am glad to be back!