We all have those little things we do and/or buy to make life more pleasant, reduce the drudgery. For me it’s my reef tank, and now my terrace container garden. I’m enjoying watching the flowers and veggies grow, figure out what I’ve done wrong and what I’ll change next time. Do these things work? It’s the small moments that add up to life.
I always say my tank is my beach house in a glass box. And it is, sort of. I can accept it as a replacement for my dream, but those LEDs don’t take the place of feeling the sun on my skin, doing water changes and suctioning cyanobacteria off the sandbed doesn’t replace feeling waves roll over my head.
Husband and I have been discussing the possibility of taking a vacation this summer. We shouldn’t. Financially, it isn’t a smart choice. But from a psychological standpoint, oh, we all need it. It’s been seven years since we last took a vacation. Seven years.
Putting to the side the people and years when there is 0 money, 0 choice; everyone has their threshold. Some people need to go away twice a year, others every year, every other year, every few years, or never. When Husband and I got married, we didn’t expect there to ever be such long stretches with no vacation. I didn’t expect us to go away every year, but maybe every 2 or 3. Fatigue and I have been friends for 13 years, and I’ve never seen him take a vacation, he’s never talked about feeling a need to get away. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t taken a vacation in his adult life. I’d like to be him, but I’m not. By the fourth year of no real break/change in scenery, I’m feeling it. Did I mention it’s been seven years?
I feel guilty because we never got the kids back to Disney World in that window of time where Man Child was still young and available enough to come with us, Nerd Child would relax and enjoy it, and Art Child was old enough to remember it. We thought we’d be able to, but we couldn’t. Disney is expensive. Luckily, Husband and I both enjoy beach vacations best of all. Lucky because we enjoy the same relax and do nothing, and if you discount camping (no, just no), it’s the most budget-friendly way to go.
Husband is ready to say yes, let’s go, figure out the dates. I’m angsting about the money. Thinking about the small day trips and overnights that must happen this year for Nerd Child to visit colleges. Time and money. Thinking about the fact that Nerd Child does not enjoy the beach at all. It isn’t a fun and relaxing vacation if one of us is miserable.
So I keep going onto the terrace, to find solace in the flowers and tomatoes. I planted the seeds and bulbs, and they’re growing.
The summer daffodils I planted are even blooming. We won’t talk about what happened to the zucchini.
I grew peas, successfully.
I can go on the terrace and smell lilies, come back into the apartment (an apartment we waited a long time for, that’s finally enough space, and cost a small fortune to make livable) and watch the jawfish as he makes funny faces at me from underneath the zoa covered rock.
It should be enough, shouldn’t it? No medical crisis this year for anyone. Art Child had pneumonia, but no hospital stay necessary. I broke my everything, a painful, protracted nuisance but not a crisis. A garden on the terrace, an underwater garden in the tank, the absolute luxuries of a dishwasher and an extra half bathroom. The oldest successfully graduated from college, the next one looking at colleges, and the youngest about to start high school. I’m not torturing myself trying to find meaning that isn’t there in rejection letters.
I even canceled plans to attend a large, local reefing convention, because I knew if I went I’d be unable to resist temptation, and buy new frags. But it isn’t just Husband eyeing the suitcase.