Wow! 2014 was an amazing year, about as joyous as a toddler on Christmas morning, and about as choked full of stomach turning ups and downs as a that granted by a ginormous roller coaster at Six Flags. Through all that happened to those I know and me, and all I heard of happening around the world, if you’re reading this post that means We Made It!
Forced career transitions (known as loss of jobs), emotional, mental, spiritual and health challenges (known as real-live miracles in the making), fiscal development mechanisms (known as money woes), and strengthening of social strategies (known as human being issues) may have accompanied 2014, and some may have snuck into 2015, but we still made it and that, my loves, is worth celebrating all year.
December 31, 2014, on the last day of the year I took my first vacation of the year with friends to New Orleans, Louisiana. Day one was fabulous! Day two did not disappoint (except for my team losing). I am SO grateful for God honoring my heart’s desire to simply refresh and have a bit (actually more than a bit) of joy and laughter more than 200 miles from home. I’d lamented all year about wanting, no, needing a vacation. And I got one. Not only did I get one but it was on a budget, part of a gift, with amazing friends, full of good food, with a refund from the hotel and to celebrate my team (Roll Tide Roll!!!! We’re still THAT team!) While my humble vacation may not seem much to many, to me it’s a sign that the Lord is right on time. I’d petitioned God so many times in 2014 for a vacation because I knew I needed it for the road ahead and to be rested for the rewards on the way. He heard and answered.
As we start 2015 with a bang let us all always know that God’s love, joy, peace and promises never, ever fail….even if they come at what seems to be the last minute (the last day of the year) then simultaneously starts the year off right spilling over into a new era (the first day of the year).
See a sneak peek of pictures from my promise fulfilled😄 And the best for me…and for you is yet to come!!! Happy New Year to each of you.
The wonderfully talented and sassy Nell Carter belted out the following lyrics on her hit television show in the 80s: Gimme a Break Theme Song
Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it shall be received”. James 4:2 says “You have not because you ask not”. So taking a cue from God and Ms. Carter (RIP) I’m asking for this simple request….”Gimme a Break”.
You know it’s time for a vacation, a respite or reprieve when your two-year-old niece interrupts her own car seat serenade with Justin Timberlake to yell out emphatically and with authority, “Sweet Tee (that’s what she calls me), WE need a vacation!” I humbly agreed as if she were the adult and I were the toddler. Not that anything has to go on or wrong in life to need a break or a breather, but simply by default of living we all need a healthy escape. Being human requires rest, fun, adventure, and new memories. I’m talking about the kind of break that doesn’t have to cost a lot (unless you can afford it) but that’s so good, and so relaxing, and so invigorating, and so exciting and fantastically whatever you need it to be that you talk about it and thrive from it for years after it’s over. People often comment on how “nice” I am. And for the most part I am (or try my best to be), but that’s due in LARGE part to me being able to get myself in check and keep myself in check through regularly scheduled rest and relaxation, otherwise I’d be…well, I won’t even give my doubters or the devil any room there. So, I’m waiting on, praying for, looking forward to, and receiving any ways God desires for me to catch a break (meaning I’m very selective about who I share my spare time with, what I do and where:). But if the Lord prefers I enjoy a gift of a Groupon vacation. I’ll take it! A free trip from some contest I’ve entered? I’ll be present and accounted for! A trip to the spa or several spas? I’ll go! Some serious outlet shopping? Yes, ma’am or sir, I’m available! A girlfriend getaway? Pass my new luggage please! A four or five-day escape with money to spare? Count me in! A rainy Saturday with all day Food Network “Chopped”, “Restaurant Impossible”, ” The Pioneer Woman” and “Barefoot Contessa”? Remote, pizza and popcorn please! A daycation or quick retreat? Yep, I’m down. I’ve learned that knowing what it takes to keep you going is just as important as the act of keeping going. For me, that’s a break (or two or three or more) each year. I need breaks. I depend on breaks. I like breaks. I expect breaks and I don’t feel bad at all by admitting any of the above. So for now, I’ll enjoy some photos of breaks-of-old, hum along to Nell’s sweet song and make myself ready for the adventures ahead. And when it happens new posts and pics will follow!!!!
I typed this blog post on the heels of a much-needed, weekend getaway in March of 2013. In the throes of some personal and professional life changes, I found myself nestled in the middle of the celebration of my 41st birthday, while also being surrounded by a bit of “March madness” from many different sides. Having not had a great escape since October of 2012 I was blessed to be able to cruise down I-20 for a brief reprieve.
While the trip wasn’t to a far away destination and while it was definitely the definition of frugal it was FUN and that’s what I needed. Posing for pictures in the ATL sun, soaking up the rays and the scenery, sipping delicious Coca-Colas (which I’m sure taste better in Atlanta than anywhere else I’ve been) being thankful for an opportunity to simply see a sea of different license plates, experiencing new cuisine and doing a little shopping on a budget made me think about the plight of the person that doesn’t take time to breathe. “Waiting to Exhale” was only a movie!
So I offer this humble recommendation, “You better catch your breath before you lose it”. People often say, “life is short.” I’d like to suggest that life is as long as you live it. Please know, that by nature of being life, life is going to bring some things that will try to take you out or keep you under. It’s up to no one but you to do what you have to do to carry on, especially in the midst of chaos. The days of the woman or man not taking time to focus on personal help and personal rest/relaxation are over.
- I’d rather spend $60 to relax with a hotel Groupon than $300 to recuperate with a hospital co-pay.
- I’d rather save to go to a spa than pay to see a doctor for stress.
- I’d rather share a fancy or frugal meal with a friend than sit in silence dining alone.
- I’d rather sacrifice to have a hair or nail appointment from time-to-time than splurge for prescription drugs to help them grow through whatever I’m going through.
- I’d simply rather live life than merely exist.
The bottom line is, the life you have is yours to live. Live it! Do whatever you have to do (in a healthy, productive, refreshing, and relaxing way) to live. Plan if you have to. Save if you have to. Prepare if you have to. Share if you have to. Be creative. Be crafty and be sure you catch your breath before you lose it. Now breathe:)