Hello from Paradise

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.

And well.

(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.


2 thoughts on “Hello from Paradise

  1. I understand what you mean Veena. I live in paradise in beautiful house we’re renting with a view of a beautiful lake. I enjoy it. It makes life pleasant. But it does not give that inner joy that comes from peace and love. Lots of people are cranky in paradise.

    1. Glad to know I’m not alone, Alex. Right? Especially on vacation in paradise people can just burn that experience to the ground with expectations. I guess because we’re raised believing that it WILL give that inner joy that comes from peace and love.

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