We did something different for Thanksgiving this year. As in I-don’t-have-to-cook-let’s-get-the-heck-out-of-Dodge different.
I loved it…really loved it.
There’s something about hiding away in a small space out in the elements with all of the daily distractions left at home. In this case the Navy base at Cliffside on Whidbey Island was the haven, and The Twinkie was our dwelling space.
Two growing kids, a very tall spouse, an itchy Beagle and a cranky Chihuahua fit amazingly well as we climbed over each other for four days. It also helped that my in-laws were parked in Twinkie #2 next door and the kids retreated over there on several occasions…mainly when there was promise of sweet edible treats and board game fun.
PH and I have been talking about how much this Black Friday mess has stolen from the Thanksgiving holiday. The day should be sacred time to decompress and relish connecting with family and friends. The thought of someone unpacking cheap TV’s at the local Kmart instead of enjoying family time makes me feel sad…albeit, he or she is making time and a half, but the whole skewed consumerist concept of the holidays has gotten so out of hand.
We just wanted to escape.
The beach at Cliffside was the perfect place to walk and play…just being with my kids away from the mayhem that is connected to teenage life was enough to sustain me for a little while. There were card game tournaments, movies to watch and beach combing sessions each day and the meal itself was on the Navy base in the dining hall with the soldiers. Just. Really. Fantastic.
I love Airstream living. I like having everything I could possibly need within reach of the kitchen sink. Airstreams are really high on cubby storage space and we jammed them full this time round. I realize this kind of living is a different can of worms when you know you’ve got a bigger space waiting for you at home. I would like to believe that if our lifestyle permitted, we could survive a cross-country family adventure (even for several months). I’m sure my girls would be in danger of maiming each other (as well as their mother), but I can’t help but think it would be such a wonderful experience for our family. We do not have a life that permits this during the school year, but perhaps somewhere down the road we can hit the road in the summer months.
Something is happening to me lately.
I am riding a huge wave of desire for less. Less crammed into the schedule….less chaos during the holidays…fewer wardrobe choices when I’m getting ready in the morning…fewer pieces of furniture and décor in Chez MPG-ville….a simpler meal repertoire that I can keep up with on a weekly basis….less digital connection via devices that lurk about our house. I can feel this pull in every part of me towards a simpler existence, yet I know that the years ahead are going to be full. Full with activities and events and to-do lists (many of which will be exciting and good)…but I also wish for a fullness when it comes to downtime with my family and solitude between the craziness. I do believe this can be achieved, but it requires a consciousness to be present in every moment…it requires a decision that must be protected without worry about what the outside world thinks. To me, that’s the hardest part—a fear of disappointment from others. Gathering family time and solitude can sometimes be construed as holing up or hiding out…but I don’t think the opinions of others are enough to stop a process that could be very, very good for us as a family.
I’m also feeling a shift here on the blog. Stay tuned for some changes. I figured it would happen as my life has really done a 180 in this job change (for the better, I believe). I went on a long run on our Whidbey trip and I came up with a plan. Clarity always comes on long runs (and in the shower!) Go figure.
Are any of you feeling this pull to release the expectations the world (or your community) have on you? Like me, are you trying to find a slower pace and simpler existence? I’d love to hear your thoughts…especially as I make changes to the blog. What kinds of things do you want to read about?