So I took a week-long vacation last week, a vacation my husband and I have been planning for about 8 months. This vacation has been my light at the end of the tunnel and of course, I am suffering the grief and loss that I usually encounter when vacations are over. I hadn’t realized just how much I really needed this one. A week at the beach was so necessary that I wonder if I hadn’t gone, how crazy would I be right now? I took time for myself and time for my husband and I to be a couple as well as friends instead of the strange, robotic routine animatrons we tend to become at home over time. I also learned something – when left to our devices, without the stress of expectations, we can all get a really good look at who we really are. I realized something, I realized I am very little like that person I “become” in the daily work week. I am much more fun, happy, kind, and active. I like “vacation me” better. I’m also pretty sure other people like “vacation me” better too. I somehow have to try to let “vacation me” become “daily me” and I think I would be happier and healthier. I say it after every vacation though but this one is different (do I say that after every vacation too?) Regardless, vacations happen for a reason and instead of banking vacation time for the money or impression it might make on our superiors, take it. Take vacation, learn who you are, grieve when it’s over, and come home to the routine with a new set of eyes.
Slow Down and Unplug June 25, 2012
I woke up this morning and immediately grabbed my phone and checked the weather. I came downstairs and turned on the laptop. I checked my phone for messages while I made my coffee. I got my coffee and sat down at the computer and checked my email. Now I sit here typing this. Do you even remember what we did before all this technology became requirements for us to function normally in our daily lives? Sometimes I strain to remember. I think I got my coffee and talked to somebody, maybe after that I walked my dog. One thing I do remember is being able to separate work, school, and my personal life. I think we all have become too aware of ourselves and what needs to be done that we forget to just live. Everyone needs time to unplug. We are so busy “checking in” we forget to look around and see what the world is trying to show us. Beautiful paths carved into the woods, natural phenomenon like the boulder field created from an ancient glacier, and finally realizing humans are just as much a part of nature as any other creature – we just need to do it right.
Simplicity June 11, 2012
In many of my recipe posts I mention the farmers market. (I say many, and I’ve only been posting for a few weeks, but just let it go.) This “farmers market” is so unique here as it is an Amish market. Sure, I’m in Pennsylvania, but Amish country is about an hour and half west and although I love making that trip now and then, I am glad the Amish sellers make it here every week. The Bristol Amish Market is why I love farmers markets and anything like a farmers market. I go at least once a month and they have the most fresh vegetables, meats, fish, bakery items, cheeses, and more. What’s even better is the fact the Amish do not use hormones, pesticides, and other crazy things to mess up perfectly wonderful food. I feel confident in what I buy. I like that I have to rinse the vegetables because there is dirt on them – they should have dirt on them because they grow in the ground! Take the time to check out the markets in your area, it’s worth it. Once you grow or buy a vegetable from a non-commercial source, you will realize strange things: celery actually has flavor, a head of garlic isn’t that big, and carrots actually come in different colors! Even more, visit a pick your own orchard or farm for a really different, satisfying, and fun afternoon. Kids who grow or pick their own vegetables tend to eat more fresh foods – same with adults. Find pick your owns and farmers markets in your area.