Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vacation Manifesto

I'm going on vacation. 

Let me say that one more time, in case you didn't catch what I said. 

I'm going on vacation. VAC-YAYYYYY-TION, if you will. (I'm sorry. I had to. I couldn't not.)

I'm not telling you this to make you jealous. That's just a benefit. I'm telling you this because this is a big deal for me. I haven't left the Midwest and taken a legitimate vacation in almost four years.  

So, in two days, I embark on a trip to a sandy island in North Carolina.

I will be on vacation for eight days.

For these eight days, I've made myself a few rules. These are rules that will hopefully untangle me from a bit of the ever-twisted Stockholm Syndrome I've developed over the past few years of constantly being plugged into everything, all the time, everywhere.

1. I can't check my phone. The world will be fine without me for a week and a half. In fact, it's probably ready for a break. 

2. I don't even have to glance in the general direction of a computer screen, unless I want to.

3. Wearing heels is not an option. Flip flops or gym shoes. That is all. 

4. I'm not allowed to twirl my hair. Hair twirling indicates anxiety which indicates that I'm worrying about things that are out of my control, and I'm taking a vacation from that particular brand of crazy for the next EIGHT DAYS.

5. I'm not allowed to talk about, think about, or even mention the word work. 

Instead, I'm going to lay on a beach and read this: 

I'm going to eat fruits and vegetables.

 I'm going to not set my alarm clock. 

And I'm going to re-learn how to interact with other humans--specifically my best friend, Steph, my sister, her husband, their friends, and their friends' five-month-old baby.

I'm going to drink tea.

And coffee.

And wine. 

I'm going to do yoga. I might even go running. (no. that last part is a lie.)

I'm going to get a real tan. (also probably a lie.)

I'm going to read entire books.

I'm going to eat ice cream.

I'm going to discover new BBQ dives.

I'm going to take walks.

And I'm not going to look at my phone. Ever.

I had a good summer--good, but rougher in some ways than I expected it to be. And sometimes, even though you've healed and moved on as much as you can, it takes going away for a little bit to find the space to fully recover.

What I'm saying is, this vacation could not have come at a better time.

Over the next eight days, I want to reconnect with God.

I want to read about Jesus again, get to know him again, study his face again. I want to spend a good amount of time reading the Gospels, not so I can come back with some sort of Holy Glow and tell everyone about how I spent a week reading the Bible while they slaved away at their desks.'s just that I desperately need to re-read the life-giving words of Jesus.

I need to remember what it's s all about. I need to read about dying to myself...I need to read about the kind of love that Jesus has for me. And I want to pour my heart out to God. I want to ask him questions, confess my most recent bouts with stupidity, give him my worries, and plead, face to the ground, for direction.


I also want to write.

I will write creatively.

I will write without an audience.

I will write because I have to write. Because writing is my own personal catnip. It's the thing that makes everything else quiet's where I can actually use that daydreaming dipstick inside me that I fight on a daily basis, and instead, put her to good use.


And lastly, I will spend the next eight days filling my words and my actions with gratitude. I have a good incredible life. I am more than blessed. But sometimes it's hard to see that, and instead of giving thanks, I complain and I criticize. It's exhausting.

What's especially stupid about it is that most of the time, I'm criticizing myself.

You see, when you're me (or maybe when you're you), you're never good enough.

Every misstep seems like a downfall. Every pound seems like a ton. Every new day becomes a new chance to self-deprecate.

And what I forget, over and over and over again, is that God didn't make a mistake when he made me. He chose to make me a neurotic dreamer. He looked and me and said that it was good. Not perfect, mind you, but good. Good for his purposes.

So for the next eight days, I'm going to unabashedly embrace who God made me to be: spacey, creative, sarcastic, direction-ally-challenged, zero sense of time...a little offbeat....I'm going to thank God for all of it. Even the stuff that annoys the crap out of my family and friends.


I'm going to thank him for my life, and for the people in it.


I'm going to thank him for the salt in the water, the wind on the waves, and the sun on my face.


Oh, and for the wine in my glass, too. I will thank him for all of it.

And I won't look at my phone.


  1. Yes, to the Jesus. No, to the running. No.

  2. I'm blog-stalking you! And yes, I realize this particular entry is old and it's creepy that I'm reading it. But, I wanted to ask - how was that book? I'm thinking of reading it.