Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pass the Deodorant Please

You can put another summer vacation in the books. We're back from our wonderful destination and everyone survived, although the heat almost did me in. We went to a remote beach location in Texas called Surfside. It's south of Galveston about 40 minutes. Let me tell you, there is nothing there but beach and of course, the National Petroleum Reserve. That's right, we were down and to the left of huge refineries, chemical and processing plants, and other rather hazardous looking facilities.

When we first arrived, I was a little concerned that we had taken a wrong turn past Houston. But our Google Maps' directions proved to be accurate. I swear, I have never seen so much piping in my life. Acres upon acres of the stuff, just going on for...well, acres. Mixed in with this black gold, Texas Tea (to quote the Beverly Hill Billies) was a prison, which as it turns out, was just a stone's throw away from the refineries.

I've got to say, I was a little nervous that one of us might start glowing in the dark or get kidnapped by an escaped convict. But everyone should be proud of me, as I was able to put those fears aside and focus purely on the task at hand, which was to make sure my kids had a good time, even in the oppressing arm-pit that surrounded our little beachhouse.

As parents, we tend to see all the dangerous stuff, we see what might happen. Kids, well they just see adventure. To them, it's an opportunity to play and use their imagination. They have an uncanny ability to see beyond the metal pipes and oil drums to find the beach with shells being washed ashore. I believe that was the lesson I learned this trip. I shouldn't let my worries get in the way of a good time. I think I'm supposed to enjoy the moment more and worry less about the "uh-ohs" or the "watch-outs". Now obviously, I do have parental responsibilities to keep my kids safe and all that, but I shouldn't obssess over it like I do. Not every shell on the beach is hiding a tar-ball and not every tide is going to bring in a man-eating shark which would quite naturally threaten the life or limbs of my children.

Strangely, I guess that's part of something else that I miss about my old work; all the worry that came with it. "Will I get the project done in time? Can I prove to everyone that I have control over the situation?". These were actual thoughts that ran through my mind. I thought of them on a daily basis back when I worked at my job in the hospital. So many times, I've tried to find an outlet for what I miss about work or I look for a substitute, but as I think about it though, perhaps, I don't need a substitute for this at home. Or perhaps, I should just let this one go. But worrying is like a comfortable pair of slippers. It just feels right to some people, people like me.

But now that I'm back and I'm recognizing this for the first time, I think I'll try to retire some of my worrying. You know, be a little more child-like and see the world through their lenses every so often; just to help me keep a little perspective.

Come to think of it, the beaches were a lot of fun and the seaweed wasn't that bad. And the oil, well none of it washed ashore and we didn't see the refineries unless we drove by them, which we only did when we arrived and left. So I guess we did have a good time, despite my adult attempts at making the vacation out to be some hot, humid and smelly body part.

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