Well, here we are. The vacation I always wanted. I wanted a pool in front of a beach in front of the ocean and dang it, I’ve got it.
Zoe and I are in a four bedroom villa in Anguilla and the sky is blue, the water is blue and Zoe’s cheeks are a bright cherry red even after all that sunscreen. It’s exactly the break I’ve been insisting I needed; the kind where I keep up my feet, eat good food, and alternate between the pool, the beach and the hot tub while my brain melts like the filling of a jelly donut.
(It’s by no means anything we could afford– only here because it was a gift).
But here we are.
Perfect time to write, I think to myself. The cogs in my head come to a rough, tortured start before immediately choking and sputtering to a halt. Nope. Not a single productive thought. I nearly break into a sweat in the perfectly air-conditioned palace simply trying to put together a single sentence.
Whew, that was rough. Back to the pool, eh?
The villa we’re in is miles bigger than any Manhattan apartment we could afford in our lifetime. There’s a full kitchen, an outdoor shower in addition to three indoor ones, a room equipped with a crib and playpen for Zoe, and a golf cart for driving around the grounds. And after all of this, what do I have to say?
Um. Well. It’s nice.
Really, I’m grateful for the break. I’m grateful for the gift. I’m grateful for the sun and the island breeze. But am I jumping out of my skin with enthusiasm? Not exactly. Is this the happiest I’ve ever been? Not quite. Did I NEED this vacation? Well, I thought I did.
My husband isn’t here with us, which really does make a difference to my enjoyment of the trip, but it’s more than that. There have been so many times where I’ve thought, if we just have enough room for a kid, if we just have a slightly bigger apartment…
The end of that sentence is THEN I could be happy.
Yeah, I know about all the studies they’ve done that show the level of happiness for lottery winners and paraplegics are the same after about two months. Yes, I even quote those studies to other people. Yes, I saw my mother covet a dream house for years while my brother and I tried to explain patiently to her that you can’t buy happiness.
But every now and again I think to myself, Yeah, but does that really apply to me?
And in response to my question, I look up to take in the beautiful ocean view.
I really am enjoying myself, but this comes with a deeper appreciation for my day-to-day life. All of the life lessons that I wish would stop hurling themselves at me without cessation? Well, kinda like those. Turns out I enjoy learning and growing. Our tiny apartment? Imperfect and so very real.
So I can’t bring the beach back with me when I return home next week, but hopefully I can bring this one lesson I’ve learned. Don’t need much for a happy home.