It took me a while to relax during our vacation - away from home, our kids, our responsibilities, our crazy-busy lives. One friend told me that it always takes her at least a day to relax. Another friend told me it takes her at least two days. I thought, and told someone after I had returned home, that I was relaxed as soon as we backed out of our driveway. But, now I realize that I didn't fully relax until the last day - the fourth day of the vacation.
"So, have you had any epiphanies during our vacation?" I suddenly asked my husband.
"No, I don't think so."
"You mean you haven't learned anything new, about yourself or about life, during the last three days?" I encouraged.
"Well, what are we going to talk about then?" I continued.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I need to be intellectually stimulated. Don't you have anything interesting to tell me?" (Because, as you know, I always have lots to talk about, but he seemed so quiet so I thought I should encourage him to... share.)
"Look, I'm on vacation. I don't have to think. And, I am not going to think."
Oh, I was so put out. Our relationship is built largely on our ability to have interesting conversation. That is one huge reason I fell in love with my husband. He is fascinating to me. I love talking with him, especially reasoning through problems and solutions. I love how his mind works. But, as I often do, I decided to file this conversation away and analyze it later.
After that I stopped trying to initiate conversation unnecessarily. Instead I decided just to be there and enjoy it. The fourth day, we read for hours. On the beach in chairs. On a bench on the boardwalk. On a grassy hill overlooking the bay. At the airport while waiting for our plane. We hardly talked at all. We just smiled at each other. Held hands. Ate random meals. And soaked it all in. It was amazing for me. I don't know that I have ever felt so relaxed in my entire life.
So, would I shorten our vacation if I planned it again (as I had been silently thinking)? No way. Apparently I needed the entire four days - away.