We have just returned from our weekend trip to the beach, which is about an hour south of where we live. It was just a random trip planned to get away from the every day stressors of life and to enjoy some quality time as a family without the distraction of technology and bills! As I wrote in my last post, the beach is where I find my peace. In a way the ocean is my church if that makes any sense at all. My husband was most excited for the indoor pool and was quite disappointed that the water was freezing!
I have always been very nervous about going on any trips as they tend to disrupt how I manage my chronic pain. I used to just not go away at all so that I did not have to leave my comfort zone. However, times have changed and I have a family now and I have to leave my comfort zone at times. Luckily, I am able to pack my “chronic pain combat tools” with me when I leave for a vacation. I used to worry about packing the cutest bikinis and prettiest nail polish now my concerns are dramatically different. The things I must pack are: yoga dvds, running shoes, work out clothes, my juicer, and a cooler packed with fruits and veggies instead of beer and wine. People who do not have chronic pain do not really have to think about these things. Some may call me high maintenance in how I travel but I need to keep to my chronic pain management routine as well as I can. There are some places I truly cannot travel to because there is absolutely no way I could manage my pain in a healthy manner if I did so.
That being said, our trip was pretty awesome. Most people probably would not have had the great time I had but my life is a lot different than those around me and since I have gained control of my chronic pain the littlest things make me happy. Not to mention, seeing life through my daughter’s eyes makes everything brighter. I never thought I would be so happy to be standing on the beach in the middle of winter chasing seagulls. My daughter loves seagulls. She reminded me of Will Farrell in the movie: “Elf.” She kept running up to each seagull saying: “hug me seagull, hug me please.” I had the best two runs I have had in years with my two year old. Hearing her excited voice as we ran along and ocean and through the island was enough to almost bring tears of happiness to my eyes. I honestly did not even realize we had ran three miles until we reached the end of the island and I thought: “Oh crap, I still have to run back!”
Did everything run smoothly during our trip: no. The second night we slept there the people above us were having a night I may have been having years ago and partying their asses off. The music was loud from about one am until three am and we lost a lot of sleep each night due to various noises. Usually that would have enraged me but I actually ended up laughing about the following morning just grateful that I was not the ones with the hangovers I am sure our upstairs neighbors were suffering as I was tying my running shoes. As my husband will probably tell the world by the time I am finished writing this post, the water in the pool was freezing. I seriously think I need an award for spending over an hour yesterday in that cold pool with Kayci. She used to love swimming as a baby but is now petrified of the water. I refused to leave until she was in that pool having a great time as she always has. It took much patience and many goose bumps but she finally was so excited to be swimming with me she cried her eyes out when we left the pool. We awoke this morning to a snow storm so large that we were stuck inside and unable to leave the hotel. It was not an ideal situation and by one pm I am more than ready to drive home.
I am not going to remember all the minor things that did not go as we all would have wanted them to go. “We don’t remember days, we remember moments.” I will remember running on the beach with my daughter and laughing until I almost peed my pants as she tried quite hard to hug the seagulls. I will remember exploring the island with my family and I will remember wrestling in bed and just enjoying the time I had with my husband and daughter. People always ask me how I am able to juggle being a mother and managing chronic pain naturally. Being a mother is what makes managing chronic pain naturally that much easier. She is (ninety five percent of the time) the greatest distraction from chronic pain. Is it easy? Hell no. Is it worth every second and every little thing I do to manage my pain well: ABSOLUTELY. I am happy to be home too, home is a good thing.