It’s no understatement that Kevin has needed a break. From school, work, people, and life in general. Not to mention, he had lots of “episodes” this pass weekend that kept us up all hours of the night and that is enough to make anybody want to flee the normality of life. It’s getting exhausting and it’s taking a toll on our attitudes, motivation, and happiness.
Saturday morning, Kevin was up bright and early. I stumbled out of bed around 10 like I usually do every Saturday morning and he said, “Good morning, we’re going to the beach!” Without thinking twice about it, I made us some pancakes, we put our suites on, grabbed some towels, and we set out for an adventure.
Kevin likes to be spontaneous and it’s reason #268 as to why he’s my favorite. He has a good habit of knowing when he or myself needs to get away and experience a change of scenery. Our car ride there was filled with thoughtful conversations and I could see my husband begin to relax the further we got away from our home turf. It made me think that little “vacations” as these are just what he needs.
Since we’re trying to save money, the thought of using half a tank of gas was unsettling, nevertheless, it was worth it. Cocoa Beach was having a weekend event that we were unaware of, so you can imagine the parking situation was frustrating. Free parking was nowhere in sight so we eventually had to bite the bullet and park for $15.
It was a beautiful day! Regardless of how cold the water was Kevin dived in and I watched as he slowly became himself again. However; on the ride home I could see his irritation start to build. It was then that we agreed to take more breaks. While it’s not doable to go on an extravagant vacation right now, we are currently starting to look for more things to do to escape reality even for just a day and nature adventures seem to be what Kevin enjoys most.
Taking a break on a budget (in Florida):
- Going to the beach. If you live in Orlando, a drive to the beach is usually only about 45 minutes to an hour. Sitting on the sand listening to the waves is a great relaxation tool and you honestly feel like you’re far away from reality. Next time we’ll be sure to avoid beaches that are having events going on as it is not only crowded, but more expensive. Packing a lunch saves a lot of money as well. If you can eat a homemade lunch and find a free parking place, all you’ll be paying for is the gas. Definitely one of our favorites.
- Want a peaceful place, filled with the nature of Florida? Go to the springs! Blue Springs is our favorite but beware as they have “blackout” days due to manatees migrating in the springs for warmer waters. Wekiva Springs is another good place. Kevin loves the cool water and I quite enjoy floating down the water in a tube. (As you can tell, I’m not a fan of water unless it’s a pool. I’ve seen Jaws too many times, and I’d much prefer to not disrupt the home of snakes, fish, and crocodiles.) It’s usually under $10 to get in and you can also pack a lunch!
- On Sunday Kevin and I went on a walking adventure. We have found that walking can help to ease his “episodes.” Sometimes we go to our favorite local parks, but lately we’ve been in the mood to find new things, as new scenery is key. We discovered an abandoned golf course on Sunday and walked the entire thing. Kevin LOVED it. I on the other hand was extremely wary of stepping on a snake, so Kevin gave me a piggy back ride through the high grass. Isn’t he just the sweetest?While I’ve been lacking on my house duties, I’m learning to be okay with it for now. I’m not going to lie, I’m exhausted. Being a caretaker for somebody you love is tiring. I had a major breakdown this weekend, and Kevin saw it. Let me take a minute to brag about my husband: Regardless of his issues, regardless that he feels helpless, he has not stopped being the best husband he can be. What we’re going through is hard, but his words and hugs leave me feeling like we can get through this. A couple of times he told me, “You’re a really good wife.” “Thank you for being here with me.” “I love you so much.” Those words make me feel like maybe I am doing an okay job. While being a wife is no picnic in the park, just being with him, being a comforter, we’re making it through this. We’ve never felt closer to each other. With the help and comfort from God and each other, I’m confident that we’ll overcome this obstacle and come out stronger.
When we took this past weekend to focus on letting go of things we can’t control, when we were sitting on the beach, when we were walking through abandoned territory, we were learning to relax, to breathe. We’re learning to lean on each other, to let God take control. And more importantly, I’m learning that it’s okay to give yourself a break. It’s okay to let the house chores build a little bit, it’s okay to relax and eat cookies. It’s okay to plop on the couch and watch a movie even though there is an abundant amount of laundry to do. Sometimes all you need is a break and it’s okay.
I encourage each and every one of you to find your own adventures. Take a break, find something you and your spouse can do together that’s out of the norm. There’s nature all around and when you find it, you’ll learn to live in the moment. God created more than just Disney World, so look for the gators, find the birds, admire the creation. Relax, take a breather, give yourself a break.