For spring break, my sons and I found ourselves on a last minute trip to Disneyland. When the logistics were finalised and we were en route to the airport, the kids were ecstatic. In the midst of their excitement, I felt numb. Zero excitement. I attributed my numbness to the last minute packing and planning and was convinced that on board, I would be giddy too. Nope. I was still numb. I shared with two dear friends and they were convinced I was bonkers. Who would not be excited by a vacation? Well, not me and I am sure I am not alone.
I spent the first night in Disney digging deep in my feelings to figure out why I was unable to connect with the excitement associated with vacations. I finally narrowed it down. I had convinced myself that vacations were rewards. Having fun was a reward. Yup. I did not feel deserving of a good time. I am constantly setting goals and targets for myself. I just didn’t feel I had aced my set goals. Being programmed to the hustle and bustle of my daily life in pursuit of so much makes it difficult for me to relax and be happy.
Thanks to great friends, because I shared my dilemma with them, they bombarded me with encouraging messages, quotes and when nothing was working-threats! LOL! I forced myself to loosen up and it got easier by the hour. I then put away my journal and shut down my email.I refused to entertain any thoughts relating to my goals and forced myself to ignore it all. It was really really really difficult especially as I woke up at 6am the next morning and had a scheduled phone meeting by 8am. Yeah, I know….
Good news is that when we got to the park, my kids forced me to go on a scary roller coaster (I am afraid of heights) but I figured something drastic may knock some sense into me and it did! I got on the rollercoaster, kept my eyes open and forced myself to face my fears. From that moment, the holiday started, the excitement kicked in and I was truly happy. My sons saw the difference and it was from one rollercoaster to another. My oldest son was actually asking the Disney staff for the scariest roller coasters. LOL!
Lesson learned: I have to learn how to relax and enjoy myself. I plan my week every Sunday. From now on, I will schedule relaxing activities, things that make me happy. Happy Hour with colleagues, Zumba class, Trips to Barnes and Noble, Hosting Game night, Catching up on my sitcoms, Dinners, Nights outs and so on. Anything and everything that has no other purpose than to have a good time. Also, the activities have to be for me and me alone. My sons will not be a beneficiary, well….I may have to order Pizza for dinner cause I don’t know when I’ll be back.
Vacations and Relaxations should not be rewards. They are actually essential for our minds, bodies and souls. It is extremely important that we know what makes us feel good and if it’s not natural for us to engage in those activities, then we schedule it. We are the best version of ourselves when we are relaxed and happy. At least, I think so.
What makes you happy? How often do you indulge yourself? Any tips for folks like me?