Noticing the Difference

Life and Happiness

My hubby and I took a long, four day, vacation this past weekend. It’s something that’s been planned for months – a trip to see his cousin in Delaware and hit up the Dover Nascar race to boot. We’d looked forward to it forever, but with the recent change I made in my career, I went into the time off with a little trepidation.

The first day, I fretted constantly about money and didn’t enjoy myself very much. How could we be taking a vacation now when I had no finances coming in? It was insanity. Every dime we spent, my husband could see the financial wheels in my head turning.

“We’re FINE,” he kept insisting, but I was not convinced. I purchased an inexpensive lunch and declined shopping in some of my favorite stores because I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to resist. It was a bit tedious for him and stressful for me.

As day two rolled around, I was determined to relax. Cousin planned a trip to a local brewery where you could get free samples and a free tour (I love her). As we waited for our tour time to roll around, we enjoyed four samples of some pretty awesome beer. It was free, so my anxiety was able to lessen a bit. The tastings helped to alleviate the anxiety all together…

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This is the list. Pretty extensive – they have something for everyone. I even had (and bought) a beer that included wine in it. Now I call that catering to everyone’s needs.

Then, after we were all a bit looser, and we still had time to kill, we decided to splurge on a beer each and sit and relax in their bar like waiting room.

I’m not a big fan of bars. I’m forty now and it just doesn’t appeal to me – the nearness of people, the spilled beer, and the noise usually turn me off immediately. But I found myself enjoying it immensely. I relaxed (might have been the beer I was drinking, but… let’s say it wasn’t) and I enjoyed myself. We watched others come and go, talked about our lives, and laughed. Our party was actually called early for the tour, but we declined to sit and sip our beers instead. (We do go on the tour – and it was awesome. Check our Dogfish Head if you’re ever in DE.)

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This is their cool metal tree house. This photo (and the others I have) don’t do it justice. It’s one of those things that you see something new every time you look at it. I have no idea what this has to do with their beer, but I loved it and it made me feel like I was in good company as soon as we approached – it’s obvious this people are artists too and I felt a kinship right away.

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I mean, not to brag, but I look pretty damn happy, content, healthy, and RELAXED in this photo. And that’s what I needed to be – that’s why I quit my job.

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He looks pretty damn happy too. But free beer often gets this smile to appear.

In the past, I would have been overwhelmed by the people and concerned with the time we were spending in one place (after all vacation is the time to see as much as you can in one day right??!) But I wasn’t. I truly enjoyed myself.

Afterwards, we went for lunch and then hit the beach. I would have liked more time on the beach, but I did my best not to think about that and just BE in the moment. We got there just in time for the sun to start setting and the families to start thinning out for dinner. In hindsight – it was a perfect end to our day. (We also had Coldstone Creamery ice cream before heading home…)

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Looking back on this day – it was perfect. The people I was with were low stress and I felt comfortable at all times in their presence. We enjoyed each other’s company as well as each and every moment of the day. We had to drive a bit all day, but it didn’t matter – I relished the sea air, the beer tasting and the everyday moments happening around me.

Perhaps I was finally learning to enjoy life after all.

 

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