Have you ever taken a real vacation?

This is a picture of the first restful and forced vacation that I can remember in my adult life. Let me explain...We're all wired differently and with the help of my friends and business coach I realize I never shut off my brain and usually put others first. I'm in a constant state of new ideas, growing, goal setting and curiosity. I absolutely LOVE my job! This is not a bad thing and I get physically and mentally exhausted at times because of me. No demands from others. Just ME! I'm a Giver, it's been a life pattern. I'm learning to receive, relax and ask for help. Well, it's a process and I'm mindfully working on it. 

When I take vacations, I want to explore, have a full schedule of activities and see everything possible. I want to see the tourist areas and go beyond to immerse in the local experiences. I love to talk to locals, eat at the hidden gems off the beaten path and learn the culture. I usually come home tired and excited. Have you ever experience this? I usually don't want to go back to the same location because there is so much of the world to see. I've always valued experiences, time and memories more than possessions. My fondest memories are family vacations, traveling and exploring with friends. 

So this gets us to the forced vacation part. I purchased this beach vacation 4 years ago and extended it every year until now. Honestly, I tried to extend it this year and was told NO followed by take the vacation because you can't extend it or get your money back. I was annoyed at first and then burst into laughter and scheduled it. If I place such high value on spending quality time with family, friends and my love for travel, what was stopping me? LIFE! We get so caught up in life sometimes that we forget to live it. 

I took my vacation and I have to share that I really rested. I stayed in bed in my pajamas and only ate cookies (with sugar and gluten) the first day while watching the perfect scene above change from sunrise to sunset.  I didn't wear makeup, may have not bathed one day and wore a hat throughout our stay. I didn't make any decisions about where or what to eat. Do you ever find that exhausting? I didn't read anything about Real Estate or personal growth except for my daily devotional. I RESTED! I TRULY RESTED! It was great, what have I been thinking? 

I was more consciously aware of everything.  Surrounded by all the beauty that God created for us to pause from life and enjoy. The sky was mesmerizing with sunshine, shifting clouds and a gorgeous blue sky. The smells of the ocean air, the constant changing sounds of the waves drifting in and out, the birds singing and then the sand under my toes. All of my senses were enticed and heightened. The sweetness continued as I noticed heart shaped creatures flying toward me. Grateful for google at that point, I figured out that it was Dragonflies mating and it wasn't an allergic reaction to eating sugar.  I allowed others to make decisions and nothing terrible happened. I was hugged by a sweet 5 year old girl at a store. She walked up to me and smiled, didn't stay a word, gave me a huge hug and walked away. This is not an uncommon occurrence for strangers to hug me in stores but instead of wondering what just happened, I hugged her back, smiled and we parted ways. It topped off another beautiful day with only doing things that brought joy to my life.

This blog is my public oath to take more time for self and experiences because that is what matters. Don't feel guilty for self care like I have or put off things that you enjoy. Time away by ourselves is needed to recharge and time away with loved ones is what we will remember and cherish. I challenge you to go on a vacation, rest, find your JOY and own it.