Learning to Be

IMG_1434Normally when you go on vacation you stay for a week or two, at the most.  Rarely do you get three whole weeks to sink into island mode.  It’s amazing what can happen when you strip away all the distractions of normal life- no internet, no cell service, no meetings, errands, or appointments, minimal belongings to attend to (we packed so light and have been staying in a one room cottage).  Just  days spent at the beach, being active and exploring.  Before we left home I turned in a few big projects, which freed me up to not have to work while we traveled.  I knew I would have no time- I’m with the kids from the moment they wake up to the moment I put them to bed- and since we’re all sharing a room, I go to bed when they do.  That’s the funny thing about tropical island time with kids- it is far from relaxing.  But it is amazingly invigorating.

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IMG_1472Our daily routine is simple, but very active, and the boys are sun-drenched and exhausted at the end of each day- to see them so healthy and active is amazing.  In the midst of our time on Tortola, we also had the chance to visit Virgin Gorda with my mom, who came to see us for a week.  That was beyond fabulous.  Beyond.  And the size of the hermit crabs there….well it pretty much blew our minds!

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_MG_1147But here’s what I’ve realized after two weeks on the island- down time makes me a bit squirmy.  I’m wired to be “productive.”  Always working on some project, always juggling things at home and work, always multitasking.   All in all our time here has opened my eyes to what life might look like when the busyness is striped away.  I’m not sure I could stay at this pace forever (I mean, one can only ‘hang out’ for so long before losing one’s mind!) but it has been a wonderful and welcomed change.  I’m hoping to bring back a bit of the island attitude when we return home in a week or so.  I’m hoping I can remember to put down my making/ doing and simply be with my family, without allowing my mind to wander to my to-do list or the unfolded laundry.  I have never wanted a busy life, or a life that the outside world might define as high-powered or important.  I want to live a life of beauty, purpose, faith and love.  It’s nice to step away and be reminded of what’s really important, even if you knew it all along.

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5 thoughts on “Learning to Be

  1. Maureen

    Savor every moment – we’re getting 2-3′ of snow in Providence! We would all love to be on a beautiful island at the moment!

    Reply
  2. Cynthia

    After our youngest son spent some time in Fiji post-college, he introduced a phrase into our family lexicon…”relax, Mama, it’s Fiji-time”. Funny at first and soon annoying as hell. But over the years I’ve come to realize all my stressing over things like my linen napkins needing pre-wash spraying IS indeed silly. Just enjoy the dinner and deal with the napkins in the morning, woman! As for you, dear Christine, may you return home with an invincible summer inside you and the resolve to relax into Fiji-time on the daily.

    Reply
  3. Erin Spencer

    So beautiful to read this! It’s a constant learning process for so many of us who are trying to live a full life that includes our children. I want them to feel my love for them and I also want to show them all the possibilities life has to offer! It’s a matter of knowing in each moment how to live and how to love. Thanks for sharing your experiences! It’s inspiring, especially in all this snow covered tundra in Rhode Island! Please bring some of that island sun and warmth back home!

    Reply

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