I’m currently on vacation for two and a half weeks. It’s crazy how different I feel compared to my vacation last year. Last year, from the moment I left, I was already anxious about it being over…and the thought of going back to work depressed me beyond solace. I also had a lot of expectations and anything that didn’t precisely match those visions, disappointed the shit out of me. Needless to say, I fought with my partner almost everyday.
I heard the other day (on a podcast, can’t remember which one) that people have expectations of how things should look…their careers, relationships, homes, vacations etc. And when these things don’t turn out exactly the way they dreamed up, it would cause all kinds of grief. 100% yes. So much of my life has been spent getting worked up over my idealistic visions not panning out. The funny part is, our expectations are almost always ridiculously idealistic…yet, we expect them to come true. In what world do people go on vacation, never fight and have the time of their lives every single minute? Traveling is tough and comes with a shit ton of inconveniences, discomforts and unpredictability. So why do we expect anything less…or more? That’s probably a question that requires its own space.
Anyways, so on that podcast, the trick was to just relax into the moment…and simply accept things as they unfold. Even just a year ago, this was not something I thought was possible. But, due to my mindfulness practice (and a plethora of other practices to become the best version of myself), this has actually been quite doable. When I discovered there was a shrieking baby two rows ahead of me on my redeye flight, I just opened my book and carried on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not all rainbows and butterflies over here. I have some pretty hardwired codependency issues so there have been serious struggles. Picking places to eat brings about an enormous (completely internal) amount of stress. Especially since I’m in a country where everyone supposedly eats dinner out so reservations are a must…and they speak a different language. Case in point: I tried making a reservation over the phone last night, and after a few exchanges the host hung up on me. But, I’m trying to take it in stride…
Whereas I’d usually be in my head thinking my partner is getting annoyed that it’s late, we’re hungry and we still haven’t found a place…this time, I was still there, but I wasn’t swimming in it. It was more like I could see the pool and I dipped my foot in. But I refused to throw myself in completely. Luckily, we walked to a restaurant and got seated right away…who knows what would’ve happened if there was a 2 hour wait. Oh, I do: panic, self imposed guilt, anger, and of course, the all time favorite: defensively attack partner and make myself the victim. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and we had a nice time.
Let’s see how today goes.