Despite all that, I needed a vacation pretty bad. I knew it, my family (who suffers the brunt of my stress ;-) knew it, heck, even the dog knew it.
For Spring Break, my husband booked the whole family on a cruise. I was dreading the time away (I know, how crazy is that?). Just thinking of how far it would put me behind, all the work and e-mail and mail I'd come home to (I still have a lot of e-mail to get caught up on so if you e-mailed me and I didn't respond, it's just me being snowed under!). Before we left, the thought of a vacation was more stressful than relaxing.
I had made a conscious decision, however, that this time when I took a vacation, I'd REALLY take a vacation. I haven't gone on so much as a weekend trip in years without taking work along. There's always been a deadline, a copy edit, a proposal, something due.
I had all those same things due this time, too. A book to finish. A proposal to flesh out. A new series to plan. But even I could tell I needed a break--a real break--from work. So I left it all home. I did bring along my new Alphasmart Neo (more on that toy in another blog) but never even turned it on.
I returned, seven pounds heavier
We visited Cozumel, Honduras (note: don't try to give blood after going there; apparently there's a malaria risk. Gee, wonder why the cruise people don't put THAT in the brochures? So, I'm off the Red Cross's list for a year), Belize and Cancun. Cancun was the one time we went off the tour we'd paid for because our tour guide was a PITA so we paid a taxi driver to take us to see the sights; it was the most fun! We went to their zoo; the animals are caged but just behind chain link. None of that fancy-dancy glass walls and "don't feed the animals" stuff we have in the states. Here, you can actually get close enough to PAT THE JAGUAR (which we didn't) and feed anything you want to the monkeys. It was sad, actually, to see a zoo like that.
The whole trip was magical. We did ATV rides through the jungles of Cozumel, snorkeled along the reef in Roatan, recovered huge shells along this itty-bitty island off the coast of Belize...amazing, forever memories. I gained a bit of self-confidence (and a new skill) when I mastered the ATV (much to my daughter's relief who was on the back with me).
I found the 10 days away from work were restorative, rather than stressful. When I came home I did, indeed, have a pile of tasks and phone calls waiting to be returned, but I was able to attack it all with renewed enthusiasm. The book is swimming along faster now, and the new proposal is coming together well.
As for me, I'm ready to go again...any time!