I have found over the years that I have to find the pockets of pleasure for myself within the family vacation.
Sometimes I leave the kids with DH and a mother’s helper (and/or my parents) and I steal off for an hour. It can be window shopping, getting a pedicure or sitting with a friend, but I have to leave the family for a while and go indulge. I confess that while on this particular annual vacation the indulgence is often Ben & Jerry’s or ‘bake yourself’ frozen chocolate chip cookies; this doesn’t help my figure much.
Sometimes I have to make the family agenda what will make me happy… and of course since my mood sets the tone for better or worse, this usually does work. This can mean we go to the park instead of the ocean, or play the board game together as a family that I want to play.
Sometimes making it feel like fun for me means plunging in and deciding to have a great time doing what we are doing anyway whether it is what I would normally enjoy or not.
Mostly this means enjoying little – sometimes tiny – pockets of serenity that pop up in the midst of lots of effort. For July Fourth I sat on the neighbors’ lawn with a neon multicolored sunset over the water off in the distance, twenty different fireworks displays visible in towns miles away on the shore line, and our own private display by the family one lawn over down the beach. A wine cooler, pleasant company and the perfect summer beach night weather (the bugs weren’t so perfect.) While enjoying it I let it infuse me; making it a memory while happening.
It isn’t three days of solitude in Bermuda, but in those few minutes I was alone, in peace and serenity… and bliss.