Vacations are supposed to be relaxing!
What the hell!
Last December, we packed up the family (all six of us) to visit the island of Kauai in the beautiful state of Hawaii. It was truly a beautiful place and full of wonderful sights I never expected to see.
Load up the dysfunction
Though I do appreciate the opportunity to go to Hawaii with my family, I can't help but get my panties in a bunch before getting there. There is always so much anxiety, stress build-up that leads up to the actual departure, and things get pretty intense. All the preparations (mostly by my wife), the travel time, accommodations, parking, flying, waiting, boarding, etc. A lot goes through the mind and it can be extremely exhausting (for everyone). Nevermind the holidays either! I also tend to have a strong fear of something bad happening like getting injured, robbed, etc. I push through those fears knowing that they are unlikely to occur, but still, I have those types of fears in general.
The real fear
I don't have a fear of flying, no fear of crashing. Nothing like that at all. My biggest and most realistic fear? Fucking it up. I have ruined so many trips (Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, you name it!), getaways, outings, and the occasional trip to the movies with my mouth and/or bad attitude. Sometimes my anxiety and immaturity can collide and present me with few foreseeable alternatives where the end result is nothing less than... well... asshole!
In response to most frustrations, I lean towards sarcasm (I am afflicted), argumentative, anger, and various verbal frustrations. I am quick to express my distaste and even quicker to assert my opinion about how something should or should not be done. Boy! Rereading this, I have to admit that I am not liking where this post is going! LOL!
Often, I don't see it. I don't always see the moment that I can stop and not start the argument, not start the ranting, or start the tears. But this time I saw it coming. The day before this trip, I spent the evening talking to someone about how I felt about going on this vacation with my family. Explaining that I was anxious/fearful about packing up our dysfunction and flying it to Hawaii. With this conversation in the forefront of my mind I felt better about traveling and about going on vacation. Was it a perfect trip? Nope! Was I okay? Not the whole time! Was it easy? Not at all! But, when the moments came to reset and accept the moments for what they were, I was surprised at how frequently I was able to do just that.
Relax. You're on vacation... that's the lesson
Most people go on vacation and are consumed with getting to the destination. They see the sights, take the pictures, and get lost in the surroundings. Me? Well, I found myself lost in the lesson I was learning with my family. Watching them interact with one another. Being able to appreciate each other’s company. I was appreciating (truly loving) being a part of my family too and not the cause of this vacation's upheaval. Watching each one of our fully-functioning personalities rise and fall within our own rich tropical-island-of-dysfunction was worth more than the airfare and preparation it took to get us there.