This is a Really Real Widow Post.
But also a bit of Mental Health thrown in there.
We never took vacations.
It’s one of my big regrets from Parker and I, but also from Kidlet’s childhood.
There was the year we traveled from Maryland to Florida to see our families. That was our only family vacation in the 8 years we were together.
I think once we came from Florida, to Maryland, tagging along with my mom. I guess that was a vacation. During that trip we managed to go over to DC for part of a day. Parker had never been to D.C. and she absolutely loved it.
A few years later when we were living in the homeless shelter up here, we met her family in D.C. for the day while they were on their vacation.
But vacations weren’t really on our radar.
Keeping the lights on, paying off the rent before the eviction notice expired, stretching the food stamps by making it to the food pantries on time. Making it to countless doctors appointments.
Those were the things we worried about.
But not vacations.
Wonder Woman and I leave for vacation tonight. I can’t count the number of overnight trips and vacations we’ve had in the 2 years we’ve been together. This is a belated anniversary trip, something we wanted to do, but couldn’t quite afford to do in September, so we were able to put aside some money and make it happen a bit late.
We’re going to a cabin in the mountains. The mountains are Wonder Woman’s place, she loves the cold. Mine is the beach and the warmth.
We’ve done lots of beach trips, it’s time to hit the mountains. I guess I can bundle up for a few days.
We have a fireplace in our cabin, and there are fire pits in the resort.
I guess I can handle that.
I still have great memories of going to the beach over Christmas on our first vacation. Hanging out in front of the fire together.
I look forward to repeating that.
I still feel weird taking vacations. I still have to remind myself that I deserve nice things. That I deserve happiness. That I deserve to travel and have these experiences.
That I deserve stability.
I’m so used to struggle that it’s hard to settle into stability.
It’s hard to feel comfortable with packing for a trip. It’s hard to avoid overthinking it.
It’s hard to find the balance between “bring absolutely everything you might need” and “if you forget something you can just buy it.”
It’s hard to find the balance between over planning/letting anxiety win and waiting for the last minute/letting anxiety win.
It’s hard to find the balance between being thankful for what I have now, and grieving what I didn’t have then.
We never took vacations.
I deserve this life.