Imagine a beach. Warm white sand, water lit the color of sea glass, clear and lapping over your toes. And a cocktail in your hand. Or maybe a rustic cabin between two valleys gently resting in tall grass. Depending on your mood, throw in a blazing fire or Fabio; your choice.
Like me, you probably think getting away to that perfect place and leaving the frantic pace of life behind, clears cobwebs. As if shedding yesterday’s agendas and tomorrow’s struggles will somehow make you swear less, pay attention to your spouse more, or rid a nagging pain in your lower back.
Well, I hate to admit it, but it’s true.
For ten glorious days I vacationed in the Hawaiian Island. After a day of reminders flashing behind my eyes like a ticker tape, my shoulders began to relax, and I started to see the world around me in a new light. I’m sure I might have seen the same things even under duress, but now I had time to savor the simplest of anomalies, linger on beauty unfettered, and contemplate nature’s blessings. Vivid pictures that are creased in my memory are:
The strength of a palm tree against a hearty wind.
An unopened oyster mottled in sand; nature’s secret ingredient that knits together a pearl.
Imperfections in craggy lava, hardened and rough against my feet as I climbed to witness a blowhole display its power.
How sea salt fills your nose and you miss it when you awake to closed windows.
Not everyone can can get away. I get that. Life has a way of chaining us to timelines, cashflow, and other people. If a vacation isn’t in your near future, my suggestion for you is to fake it. At Weight Watchers, they covet the term. Basically it means to pretend like you ARE following the plan even when you stray. This way, they say, it’s easier to jump back on the plan.
How to fake it, you ask?
The obvious: step away from the electronics. Then, jump into a car, or on a bike and find a sliver of paradise. If you require a bit more imagination, add a mantra and start chanting away days before. Dress the part; if you want to lounge on a tropical island, don’t wear jeans. Take visual aids. The more you play the part, the more fulfilling the time away will become . Fellow writer, Joan Dempsey, recommends Headspace.com, a daily meditation app to jump-start your day; a perfect start to your playdate in paradise.
If you’re saying to yourself, YES, I desperately need this, commit to the time away. Calendar it, and then the day of toss your calendar in a drawer along with your phone and fake away.