I’m on vacation in Los Angeles for spring break this week…just me and my 7-year-old son, Asher. I used to live in LA, so I love coming back to see old friends, visit my favorite spots, and get some serious sunshine.
But as much as I love trips like these, I also find going away for anything more than a few days brings up all kinds of stressful thoughts for me. Thoughts like:
Can I really afford to take time off right now?
Can I get everything done before I leave?
What if some of my plans fall through?
Will I have wifi? How will I stay connected?
What if Asher decides to be cranky and inflexible the whole time and since I’m traveling sans spouse I have no relief?
How will I squeeze my exercise in?
But perhaps the biggest question I grapple with before every trip is this:
Why did I schedule this vacation in the first place? It would be so much easier to just stay put, stick my kid in camp for the week, and go about my life as usual.
This question is a biggie. This is the one that messes with my excitement by filling me with anxiety and regret.
And this is the question that had me scrambling as late as last week to see how much it would cost me to change flights and shorten my trip or bail altogether.
Turns out it was going to cost a lot. And I’m glad, because instead of ditching the vacation, I decided instead to try approaching the trip from a fresh perspective.
I worked hard last week to replace the questions above with thoughts like these:
I wonder what special adventure I can plan for Asher and me while we’re in southern California? (Answer: gray whale watching)
It will be so nice to reconnect with people I love!
How lucky am I that I get to go on a mom/son trip with the most fascinating human I know?
How cool is it that I’m my own boss and I can go on vacation anytime I like?
Four words: Sun. Beach. Hiking. Friends.
Ahh…yes. Well, those thoughts sure felt a lot better. And I’m glad I broke my work routine for a week full of adventures and time with my son. Because now we can enjoy the sun, and my friends, and the whales together. And right about now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.