By: Talyn Terzian-Gilmour
Hot sand between my toes, the sound of seagulls and waves, warm breeze through my salty rootless curls, strawberry banana cocktail in hand… “MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!”
Aaaaahhhh…yes! That’s my song! Up on stage, letting loose, I can keep up with the rest of them, forty-x my eye! Check out my moves… “MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!”
Recently I was asked how I was doing and I replied as I often do, “I’m exhausted.” The asker, a dear, sweet cousin and mother of three responded, “tell me about it. I need a vacation from life…my life.” And that got me thinking…
A vacation from my life would be grand…were it not for the fact that I’m an absolute, Type A+ control freak and would most definitely have a hard time letting go. And even if I could approve of a replacement – cleaner, cook, at-home-teacher, caregiver, driver, handywoman, landscape artist, finder-of-all-things and boo-boo fixer – they would still be asking me all sorts of questions about how, what, when, where and why and quite frankly, where’s the vacation in that?
Oftentimes I’m asked what I need and how someone can help but I find it’s harder to let go and accept help than to just figure things out for myself…perhaps that’s my obsessive compulsive tendencies but I argue, where’s the satisfaction in having someone else do your insurmountables??? And where is the martyrdom?
Wait, did I just say that? Yes, yes I did.
Quite often moms (and dads) are like martyrs: we help kids study for exams, cook dinner, have a clean house, be a dutiful son or daughter to our parents, go to work, pay the bills, contribute to society and on and on and on without ANY THANKS OR ACKNOWLEDGMENT – but still hoping for it all the same like some big award or announcement in a newspaper!
Ya…a vacation from life sounds just right about now. Or perhaps a vacation to simply live my very own life unfettered by any obligations or responsibilities.
When I was younger, my wish was not for a million dollars or to live to age 100. I wanted to marry for love (check), simply be happy without any cares and live in a cottage or beach house doing what I loved every, single day (whatever that may be)…well, that part hasn’t quite happened just yet.
I’ve always believed that if I just followed my own path – not the one that was most practical or made the most sense – everything else would fall into place. I recall saying over and over again, “do what you love and the money will follow.”
Yet, life is rarely unencumbered – unless one is a hermit living in a cottage in the Alps and even then, Heidi dropped into that hermit’s lap! (Heidi used to be my favourite story…) We gain things, lose things, inherit things, create things…and sometimes it’s hard to remember who we are because of all of our, well, things. We start doing things purely out of obligation and routine and simply because everyone else is, too.
Recently I was listening to a podcast (my new favourite thing to do) about Ettore Majorana. Majorana was a famous Italian Quantum physicist who was so genius and bright that he actually may have been the one to discover neutrons – a subatomic particle in the nucleus of an atom that doesn’t have a charge! OK, go back to elementary science – atoms are made up of electrons that fly around protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus, and they are the basic building block to everything in the universe.
HE TOOK A VACATION FROM LIFE AND NEVER RETURNED.
That’s right. Whether Majorana was totally fed up or had a nervous breakdown or quite frankly, something else ‘more dark’, he never published his work and someone beat him to the punch. Incidentally, some say he relocated to South America while others claim that he found refuge in a monastery or convent. Either way, his vacation was an extended one and his greatness vanished with him.
As we are now on the cusp of summer – and school will be out before we know it – perhaps I need to abandon the idea of taking a vacation from my life…for what if I too, never came back? What if I’m on the verge of some greatness or someone is going to drop Heidi onto my lap?
Perhaps instead of a vacation, I can simply take greater notice and pleasure in the simple things – the green grass, the warm sun, the flowers and plantings, the cold refreshing water, and those occasional summer thunderstorms, nature’s very own light show. Perhaps I will stop running around feeling like I just can’t give 100% to any one thing because there are just too many things…and just enjoy the pace because one day it will be gone. Perhaps I will stop chasing happiness and purpose, and happiness and purpose will simply find me…perhaps that’s my greatest wish.
Friends, enjoy the turning of the season – may the pace be kinder and gentler, may the warm winds give you multihugs and may you have many opportunities to let go and just be yourself.