Our guest writer this week is Danielle, an amazing woman whose Goodness is seen in her work with MusiCares in Nashville, Tennessee and in her college classroom. Dani has a great story to tell about the goodness of a last minute vacation. Here is her story…
My husband and I were both feeling worn out. We were working long hours, traveling for work, trying to complete a do-it-yourself renovation on our bathroom, and somehow in the midst of all of that we were supposed to have time for each other. I am a diligent planner and budget-er, but my stress level was so high, I threw out the planner and the budget and gave in to a last minute vacation. We were up for anything and if cell phone reception and the internet were inaccessible wherever we went, that was a plus! Within a matter of days, we scheduled and purchased cruise tickets for a vacation only 10 days away. We were geared up and ready to take a vacation just the two of us. We had been apart for the majority of the previous month, so we seriously needed some time to focus on our relationship and just be together. We also had not been on a nice vacation like this with just the two of us for the past 5 years. Romance and rejuvenation were at the forefront of this expedition.
We packed up the car and started on our 15-hour journey to Miami. We were enjoying being in the same vicinity for the first time in a long time. A few hours into the trip we made a typical gas station stop to fuel up. When we tried to head out, the car would not start. That was odd. We couldn’t think of any reason why it would do that and figured it may have been a fluke. We found someone to help jump start us and we were off on the open road again. Another stop later that day for lunch resulted in the same issue. The car would not start. So, again, we found someone to help jump start us and we were on our way. We decided at that point that it would be a good idea to go somewhere to get the battery checked out. Although these issues were unplanned, they were minor bumps in the road and we had given ourselves plenty of time to reach our destination. We easily found a small mechanic shop off of the interstate in Valdosta, Georgia and they confirmed that we needed a new battery. Luckily, they were able to put one in fairly quickly and we were off again – or so we thought. While my husband was inside paying, I backed the car out of the garage and right into a pole causing quite a bit of damage to the car. To make matters worse, I had an audience of about 8 onlookers watching me do it. That was it for me. The flood gates opened and I couldn’t get the tears to stop. Even with my husband comforting me on the outside, I was beating myself up on the inside. How were we going to afford repairs after we just paid for an unexpected vacation? How could we even go on vacation now? I wanted to turn the car around and go home where I could hide in the comfort of my own bed. This was gearing up to be a real disaster of a vacation.
Luckily, the car was still drivable, so we ventured on in silence toward our destination while tears continued to roll down my cheeks. As I was sitting there wallowing in my own self pity, I remembered something that I teach my psychology students all the time. It is not the situation that matters, but the emotional reaction that causes it to be stressful. The whole vacation could not be ruined because I put a dent in the car. No matter how many things came up that tried to stop us from this positive time together, I couldn’t let it get me down. So, when we arrived at the port the next morning ready to get on our cruise ship and the woman behind the counter said, “The last name on your passport doesn’t match the last name on your driver’s license,” we just laughed. Even with that mishap, we did eventually get on the ship and we had the best vacation ever!
We focused on exactly what we were there for – each other – and I remembered why I fell in love with my husband. He may not get his dirty socks into the hamper and he may not always remember that trash day is Friday, but those bumps in the road (that can look like huge hurdles) can be overlooked. Looking back on our vacation, I can honestly say that I had not laughed that hard in a long time. I’m talking full belly guffaws, nose snorting chuckles, and insane never-ending giggles (the kind where you can’t catch your breath).
A “Good” Idea:
What can you do to rest yourself and invest in an important relationship? Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous! It might really pay off.