Vacation is two weeks away. (I know … we take a late one.)
The hype started a few weeks ago. Well, to be honest, some of us started fixating on it in January. (I love my people! Vacation is serious stuff.) When we get six weeks to a month out, Katy bar the door, we smell the salt air and our brains wander to the ocean, no matter what we do! It’s innate.
The countdown starts. Everyone asks for the link to the rental house. (It’s self-torture.) We check this detail and that, study pictures and amenities like an exam will be given. We talk about bedrooms, bathrooms, kid accommodations. How far to the beach? Whose bringing this, whose bringing that? What’s provided? This is the glorious pre-vacation ritual. If you talk about it enough, you get a little taste of being there; a mini-blip-vacay. You better believe, we squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of it!
“Go time” is near when the menu planning begins! This is serious “Stone” stuff right here.
God sits at the center and Jesus on His right hand,
but “Stone-food” sits on the left;
it is close-to-God important.
A little history will help you appreciate this. Our patriarch, my husband, comes from a long line of meat and potato eaters. His Mom, Lucy Mae, southern-comfort-food roots, spent many years as a meat cutter at Safeway. So, they got fresh off the cow meat most nights for dinner. And, they were a family of 8 (with frequent other people living with them), so some carb (potatoes or rice) was a constant money stretcher on the table. Somewhere along the line, my small framed-lean husband, fell in love with food. He doesn’t just want to eat. He wants to know what he will eat, days ahead. He’s already asking me what we are eating on vacation, no kidding. No, he wants me to recite every meal and side dish planned… and… he will ask me to say it all again, in the car traveling to said vacation. It’s every. time. Way over the top.
I grew up with a Pennsylvania Dutch lineage; nickname, “Food Central”. They love with food. Amazing, shut your eyes and melt, food! I remember aunts and grandmothers by the foods they cooked. We have a healthy family recipe file. By “healthy”, I mean large-sized. Both extended families, doomed my children to deem food a “love language”.
Add to the mix two daughter-in-loves who like to cook, organically. (Yum) A daughter who does “delicious improvised cooking”, almost every day. Two sons who can feed themselves and follow recipes. And a son-in-love whose passionate hobby is cooking. (He reads cookbooks. Think gourmet.) Food is central to us… it’s a “Stone” trait. If nothing else, we will eat well!
I kick-back the hardest, against this “food idolatry”, cause I don’t like to focus on food; then I want to eat. You can read my thoughts here, in a prior post. But, I admit it’s in our DNA.
Back to the menu planning…. in full “ON” mode, right now. People have picked days, selected food choices and posted them on our family FB Page. People, we get excited about this. The emoticons fly. Happy dances performed. Cheers shouted! We all appreciate cooking once the whole week, except my son-in-love, we’ll find him in the kitchen several other meals fixing a breakfast, or treat… because he “read something”! Did I mention, we gift him cookbooks every holiday? We reap the benefits of his chosen hobby! Think hands raised and “thankful prayers” uttered.
The Tribal Call
We even have a “Stone Beach” Motto: “Catch a Wave”, screamed in full voice, while leaving for the beach, arriving at the beach or running into waves. Like a primal chant; appearing in texts, calls, and social media. Response: shout it back. Sounds of vacation… Gotta love it! (Right now, while typing this, said motto, just came through on a group text, no kidding!)
I suppose, like us, each of you have looked forward to a vacation or event with great enthusiasm: spending weeks or months planning or anticipating.
Here’s a warning I have learned to heed:
Don’t build up something or someone so embellished, in your mind, the expectations cannot, in reality, be met. You will set yourself up for disappointment. What was anticipated/expected, will collapse into a failed thing. Stop yourself! (First-hand experience speaking.)
No-One/No-thing is perfect. They can’t be.
Don’t ask them to be.
We may have rain. Something about the house may be less than optimal. Someone could get sick. The bed may not be “just right”. An unwelcomed phone call might ruin the vacay vibe. The baby may be teething. And so on and so on …
We do not expect a perfect week. We want a week together away from life’s normal hustle. Whatever plays out in the middle, we are good. We’re together.
Unrealistic expectations can wipe us out, topple us like waves in the ocean. If we live expecting perfection, we will live disappointed and disillusioned. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. I only need a glance in the mirror for proof!
Don’t squeeze yourself in the vice of unrealistic expectations. Life’s too short.
Anticipate with human expectations!
Enjoy your unique journey!
Catch A Wave,
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