I slowly sank down to a sitting position on the bathroom floor. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I had been feeling overwhelmed for quite some time, and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.
There were numerous reasons for me to be under a higher level of stress. To start I had three kids in sports which kept me chauferring someone every day of the week. My husband started a new job, which should be a good thing, but he took a 25% pay cut and had been working 10 hour days, 6 days a week for 2 months straight. In those 2 months we had only had 3 days off together. I only work part-time as a nurse, but between that and freelance work that I do online I was working 30 hours one week, then 70 hours the next.
The world was flying at me in speeds that I couldn’t keep up with. My house was a disaster, which only increased my anxiety. My extended friends and family were no where in sight. You see, it seems as if I was the rescuer for everyone else, and when I was at my breaking point no one was around.
I leaned my head back against the wall and wiped away my tears with my forearm.
I’d been crying out to my husband for several months and actually telling him that I wasn’t managing stress well and didn’t know what to do. I knew my moods had become more elevated and my emotions seemed uncontrollable at times. But it seemed like anytime I spoke to someone no actual help or advise was offered to me, only “I don’t know how you do it all.”
Well, apparently not very well.
And here I was.
I came to the conclusion that I needed a break – now.
We had baseball games and other various commitments over the next couple of days, and then more work and practices etc. every day after that for the next couple of weeks.
I made a decision to attend the baseball game, then run away to the beach for two nights.
My husband would only have one day off, so I gave him the option of following us down for half of the stay, which he did.
We checked into our hotel that evening then immediately headed towards the ocean. I needed to see the sand, search for shells, and experience some negative ions.
The sunset that evening was beautiful.
We then headed out for a late dinner at a pizza shop before returning back to the hotel. The kids soaked in the hot tub a bit, then we all headed to bed.
I had only one goal for the next day: to go on a hike. I wanted to experience as much outdoors as I could – knowing that in doing so it would help free my mind.
We got up and ready, packing a couple of backpacks with snacks and drinks before heading out. On our way we passed by a farmer’s market. It occurred to me that I HAD NO SCHEDULE and that I could stop, just because I wanted too. We wandered through the market sampling fresh foods, looking through handmade goods, etc. The girls each purchased a purse from a sweet elderly lady who made a large array of handmade bags and rugs for a very reasonable price. She was the kids of woman you wished was your grandmother.
I bought a couple of cheeses, a loaf of homemade bread, and 3 pints of jams before we set off on our hike.
I decided on Drift Creek Falls, having hiked it once many years ago I knew that the kids would enjoy it and that it wouldn’t be too strenuous for us. It’s a fairly each 1.5 mile hike in where you cross over a large foot bridge and end up at the Drift Creek Falls.
The length of the hike turned out just perfect for the kids, and of course once we got down to the fall they wanted to get as close as possible, which meant climbing over some rocks to do so. My husband happily took them to do so while I opted to stay back. I told myself that my balance wasn’t that great and it wasn’t that big of a deal to do anyways. However, after a little bit, my eldest climbed back over and asked me to please go join them. I thought about it and I didn’t really have a good excuse why I wasn’t. So I did it.
Later that afternoon on our way back to the hotel room I stopped by the grocery store to get some things for dinner. We saw a yard sale on our way back and stopped – just because we could. We ate in the hotel room and watched a little television before heading back towards the beach for a couple of hours before my husband had to head back home.
The kids and I snacked and watched some television before going to bed.
The next morning we got ups, ate breakfast, then packed our things. We spent a few hours shopping at the nearby outlet mall. Then we drove around and decided to have lunch at a local dive bar/diner that smelled like old beer and cigarettes, but the food wasn’t too bad. We brought in one of our current favorite games, mancala, and all played while we waited for our meals. We made a final visit to the beach and an antique store before we had to head back home.
Sports schedules awaited us again as Noah had practice and Anika had a game that very night. We made it back just in time – a little tired, but a good kind of tired.
Two nights is never enough time to really have a break. It just gives you a little tease of what could be. I guess I’m lucky that a trip to the beach is just over an hour’s drive away.
It’s been a week since we returned home. I’ve had my ups and downs, but haven’t found myself crying on the bathroom floor again – so maybe I just need to make sure to schedule little breaks more frequently.
I’m SO glad you were able to get away for a little bit. Your story saddens me because I haven’t been there for you. It must have been wonderful though feeling refreshed on your little trip. I hope you can get away more often. It is a blessing that you live so close to the beach. I can’t imagine people living in the middle of America who have never seen the ocean! …and, once again, you took amazing photos! One of your many creative talents!