Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Making plans

Two years ago we ran away for Thanksgiving. Just the two of us. Monkey went to visit my parents, and we hopped a plane to Aruba. There were many great things about that vacation, not the least of which was watching crazy Thanksgiving weekend traffic in the States on TV, while sipping blue cocktails or getting ready to go for the morning dive. The vacation was so great, in fact, that we bought another one (a resort preview) right in the airport before we flew out. We then talked my parents and my sister into coming with us on that one. And we took Monkey, too.

This past spring we took a cruise, our first ever, to the Caribbean. This picture is from a snorkeling excursion we took to Stingray City at Grand Cayman.

I took the picture with our water- and shock-resistant digital camera, bought specifically for this trip. Yes, put it right under water and took the picture. Freaky, I know.

I love that picture. I love just about everything about it. I love the grace and the fluidity of movement, I like that it suggests how close I had to be to the stingray to get that shot, I even like that the creature's body carries reminders of scuffles, the sign of authenticity. This here is no pet stingray. This stingray has seen the rough side of the ocean. And of course, I like the shadow on the sand, the subtle hint of how clear the water is.

But today that picture is making me anxious. Not the picture, of course, the memories. JD wants to go away for Thanksgiving, to warmer climes, but more importantly away. And I am suddenly filled with dread. I didn't want to go on that cruise. It was too soon, not even seven weeks, after A died. JD had a good argument-- let's make new memories he said, everything here is all the same, as if nothing happened, I need something new and different. I heard him, and I knew he needed it. I knew Monkey would love it, and the friends we would go with were real friends, although long-distance now. So I agreed to go. As the time for the trip approached, however, I grew ever more anxious. I didn't want to go. The chores of getting ready for a beach vacation-- waxing, shaving, pulling out summer clothing while it was still certifiably winter outside, things that I would normally enjoy, or that would at least amuse me, it all felt wrong, it all felt like too much.

The cruise itself was up and down, with some great highs and some spectacular lows. When I think of it now, I mostly think of the good memories. Unbelievable dives, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, talking with friends, happy kid faces. But today I am transported right back to that time when I was getting ready to leave, that heavy, anxious place I hoped never to revisit. Experience tells me that if we go, the vacation will be good for me. The place JD found even has resort-wide free Wi-Fi. I could keep up with blogging from the beach, which is good, since I am not a big beach person otherwise. So why am I so mortified at the thought of going? Why do I feel right back there all these many months ago? Is it just that I was all set for a quiet long weekend at home? Is it the stress of the infertility stuff? The stress of the new unknown? I thought I was better now.


Mommy Someday said...

Love the picture you posted! And I can definitely understand your reluctance at going away again. Good luck!

meg said...

That photo is incredible. I cannot believe you were so close--what a cool camera!

Julia, I am where you were in the Spring. Feeling anxious about going away, but knowing that my husband NEEDS to get away. I know it will be good for us, but I am worried about how I will handle all of it.

Lori said...

It took me several years before I got back to a place where the thought of traveling didn't either stress me out, or exhaust me completely. I think it was just knowing how tiring traveling really is, even when you go somewhere relaxing. There is still the getting there, and the getting home. And in between you just know you are going to be hit with more than one moment of, "this should all be so different..."

At least, that's what it was for me (sometimes, still is).

niobe said...

A few months ago, I dreaded going on vacation to France. But that worked out better than I could have possibly imagined. Maybe yours will too.

Aurelia said...

If you tackle the packing, etc. bit by bit, it won't seem so insurmountable I think. It does seem like a big task, but try and focus on the fun parts that you will enjoy! And you will enjoy them, trust me!

charmedgirl said...

ooooh julia....please force yourself to go!! like aurelia said, prepare little by little.

your post reminds me of the old days when i would be all blah from working/school and i would NOT want to go out with my friends. eventually i came to realize that the more i didn't want to and forced myself to go anyway, the better time i had...and always made it easier to face another week.

i agree; i think with all the stress you are feeling right now it just feels like another stressor. but PLEASE GO!

especially with the TTC. don't you know that all we (infertiles) need is a vacation? to relax?

Beruriah said...

Our trip to Florida a month after Natan died was like your cruise - some incredibly bad times mixed with good. Now I often wish we could escape there again.

I'm sure it's the planning. You have so many other things to be planning for right now - new job, infertility treatments - I can see how adding another set of unknowns would feel overwhelming. We haven't driven further than 40 miles from our home in 7 months, and even that we did only once. It's been so much easier to have the sameness of days surrounding the internal chaos. Like everyone else though, I'm sure the trip will be worth the effort.

Amelie said...

The picture is beautiful. I hope you can overcome the dread of vacation, or preparation, and enjoy some good and relaxed days.

slouching mom said...

fabulous photo.

go. you'll be glad you did.

Anonymous said...

Having just returned from a vacation that I wasn't sure about going on, I say go. Enjoy it and take some time out for yourself.