Usually by this time of the year, I have committed to the dates for taking a vacation with my son. But this year is different.
Now that my son has graduated from college and started his new paying job (love to be able to say paying job), we both are pretty sure that the rest of the summer will be different from other summers. Since he isn't living at home and his job requires him to work on Saturdays, it's a pretty good bet that our usual August vacation isn't going to happen.
But we are trying hard to make some variation of past vacations happen this year. So right now there is a lot of negotiation going on about the when and where and that's okay. Every family reaches this fork in the road when their children don't spend the whole vacation or any vacation time with them and it's not the end of the world. I knew this day would arrive, I just didn't think about it very much.
For me, it is one more step in building a life that is different from the one that I had when my husband was alive. Vacations were automatic. Setting up our annual vacation followed the same timetable every year and it fell into a comfortable pattern.
Now, once again, endings become beginnings and I am learning the value of moving on and doing something different. It's part of rebuilding your life and when you face it positively, good and unexpected things can happen.
I do believe there is a certain rhythm to life and that certain changes present themselves at certain times. Life doesn't happen the way we always want it to happen to us but that's life. It's the beginning of a new chapter, a chapter in which I think staying flexible and having faith is key.
It can be a bit of a tricky place but trying to take one day at a time has always served me well.
Right now, vacation is my priority. I need a vacation and we'll figure this out. I don't want to vacate (as in vay-kay, road trip) by myself but I definitely want some time with others at the beach. It's possible that my son may be able join me for a few days but not the whole week. Between my wonderful son and my great friends, I will figure out a some well needed time off from work.
I also remind myself that I am lucky to be able to take a vacation and I am grateful to be in a position to take some time off and relax among people I love. As Greg Anderson, the founder and president of the American Wellness Project, says, social wellness means more than simply belonging. It means getting along with others. . . and cultivating caring, supportive relationships.
Are we there yet?