My feet hurt. My joints ache. My eyes droop.
And I feel great.
This past week, I went to New York. It had been quite nerve-wracking to contemplate – the 8 hour drive, the unfamiliar environment, the challenges in food and sleep.
I knew that I could get through the week, but given all of the potential disasters looming, I wasn’t so sure that I would enjoy it.
As the trip began, it seemed like my nightmares were being realized. On the drive down we struggled to find food that I could eat, and my difficulty ended up delaying everyone else’s dinner by over an hour.
It was bad enough that I had to suffer, but it felt monumentally worse to know that I was negatively effecting the vacation of others.
I hoped desperately that it wasn’t a sign of things to come.
The next day, after a few more bumps on the road, we arrived at out hotel. And I was exhausted. But I couldn’t bear the thought of being in NYC, and waiting 15 hours to see it. I decided to go for a walk around Times Square with my family.
And by the time we returned to the hotel, I was finished. I could barely convince my brain to put one foot in front of the other. I collapsed in a chair, unable to speak above a murmur, and waited as the waves of exhaustion crashed over me, causing irregularities in my heart rate and nervous system.
And I was so angry. If I had had any energy, I would have most likely thrown a tantrum.
I knew that I couldn’t go through that every day. My body wouldn’t be able to handle it. I would have to take it easy for the rest of the vacation. To be smart. To be be careful.
And I didn’t want to. I wanted to go out with my family that night. I wanted to go out early the next morning. I wanted to take advantage of every minute in that fantastic city. It just wasn’t fair.
But I had no choice. The next morning, I slept in. I spent all morning slowly waking up, hanging out in my hotel room, close to tears.
Then, I went for a walk through Central Park. And after, I got to see a cousin that I haven’t seen in years.
Later, I went back to my hotel room and had a nap.
But that evening, I went to a show. A show so achingly beautiful it shattered my heart. A show featuring one of my most loved performers, childhood idols, and musical inspiration.
And slowly, things began to make sense.
Over the mere 4 days I spent in the city, I had the chance to visit with friends that feel like family, and family that feel like friends.
I saw 4 Broadways shows that intrigued my mind, warmed my heart and touched my soul.
I walked around the city, and had the chance to see some of the beautiful pockets of nature nestled within.
And I looked after myself. I did no harm. I took breaks between activities and slept in.
And sometimes my family went and did things without me.
But that was okay. Because I was having a great time. I was able to actually enjoy everything that I did. I wasn’t in pain during the shows, or shying away from the sound of laughter.
I was glad and so relieved that my family was also enjoying their vacation.
Now I’m home, and feeling the repercussions of the trip. I am exhausted, truly exhausted, to my very core.
But I have already unpacked my suitcase. I have already gotten a haircut and gone for a walk through the forrest. I have already cooked my meals for the week.
I had several wonderful experiences, new experiences, exciting experiences, and what I didn’t do is completely irrelevant because I was able to fully experience everything that I did.
I had a great vacation.
I had the perfect vacation for me.