What do you think of when you think of the ideal vacation? I personally think of sitting in a comfortable chair, with a terrific view, reading a great book. This one is possible for me. The second thought I have is hiking through a beautiful forest or meadow to emerge at some fabulous vista, where I can relax or contemplate the meaning of life. This one is more difficult, due to my fibromyalgia.
Actual vacation tends to take on a different image. My weight and fibromyalgia combine to give me a vacation in the car – at least for the most part. And before you begin to chastise me for not trying to do things in spite of the fibromyalgia – and before you lecture me on how the activity could help me lose some of the weight – please stop and hold your tongue. Literally, if you have to; if it will keep you from judging my efforts. I have had fibromyalgia for over 40 years and have learned what I can and cannot push myself to do in spite of it. I do push myself at times, usually knowing full well the price I’ll have to pay. But if I want the vacation as a whole to be pleasant and memorable, I also must discipline myself not to do the things that will cause me to have a flare-up.
In the end, vacation is about refreshing one’s mind and spirit as well as one’s body. The vacation we just returned from did just that. Maybe it did it too well. I’d have been happy to stay in Colorado. I love the mountains, the wildlife and the friendly people. My body had finally started adjusting to the altitude. Given another few weeks, I’m sure I’d have felt wonderful. But the real world intrudes in and here we are, home again.
Instead of standing at the top of Pike’s Peak (over 2 miles high), I sitting at my desk very close to sea level. Instead of looking out over what feels like the rest of the world, I’m looking at the spot where my son’s car should be parked when he got home from work at 2 AM. There’s a car there, but it isn’t my son’s white Hyundai sedan. Instead it’s a dark gray SUV that I don’t recognize with a different plate on it. My son is still asleep. I’m just puzzled – and worried, of course – because my son has Asperger’s Syndrome and I never know what he’s going to do next.
I left my son just a few things to accomplish while we were away. He has Asperger’s, but he is “high functioning.” He works full time (2nd shift), drives to work on his own, can cook if he wants to and manage for a week or so. But he still has Asperger’s – so he needs structure, specifics and order. I dread what I will learn when he wakes up.
And so the rat race – that heap of responsibilities that you try to forget about on vacation – comes speeding back. In addition to the questions for my son, I have to speak with our pastor later. I already got a “Welcome home – I have some things to discuss with you” e-mail this morning.
I had to make myself a list of things that need to be done, there are so many. Some are immediate – laundry, grocery shopping, watering the plants. Others are long term – packing items for my friends in Pine Ridge, downloading vacation photos, working more on family history.
So get out the WD-40 and oil up my wheel – it’s time for me to jump onto that wheel and run like my life depended on it.