“Refreshed and renewed” are the first words I wrote in my journal on January 3rd, 2020, as I sat looking out at a perfect view of the ocean.
Earlier this month, my husband and I went for a long weekend away to Anna Maria Island. All I wanted was for the two of us to step away from our busy lives and the demands society puts on us. To relax and be carefree for just a few days. I knew we needed this as a couple, but was unaware of how badly my heart and soul needed it too.
Upon arrival, my sweet guy surprised me with a convertible. He wanted us to feel the sun and warmth on our skin. My first response was from No Fun Janna, “Oh I don’t want my hair to get messy.” But then I pulled out the fun and carefree version of myself and said, “Take it down, who cares!” And the top was down pretty much the whole rest of the trip.
With air streaming through my hair as we drove down the road, we hit up a couple of shops for snacks and beverages before making our way to the condo. As we pulled up, I was expecting a simple bed and a view of the ocean. But when we opened the door, it was this beautiful space just for us. A full kitchen, nice bathroom and living space. I walked to the curtains and opened them, and was blown away by the view. Mere footsteps from a breathtaking beach. My heart was singing.
When researching our trip, we were told that Bean Point was a great spot to check out the sunset and to have an adult beverage. (Because… we had no kids with us!) We enjoyed drinks overlooking the point before we walked in the water and talked. I searched for shells along the beach while people surfed in front of us. The sun was setting and it was a moment that touched me so deeply. There was beauty surrounding us.
And it hit me. Why do I wait to experience a sunset or a sunrise only in a place like this? Why don’t I carve out time to do this at home with my family? In that moment, we stood still and simply hugged each other. Holding on for a little while. Before we set off to explore the nightlife of the island.
The next day, my hubby got up super early to fish with a long time friend who lives near our vacation spot. My plans? Nothing. I got to sleep in. And yes, sleeping until 9:30 felt like a dream. I opened the curtains and door to the beach. The waves were crashing as I made coffee and had a little breakfast all by myself. I grabbed that coffee, my books and journal, and I was out the door. I sat down at peace and ready to just fill up my emotional bucket. I closed my eyes and listened to what the earth was telling me.
And that’s when I heard it telling me, “Look what I have provided for you take in. Don’t forget me.” Tears rolled down my cheeks and I opened my eyes. I took my journal out and started to write. Refreshed and renewed is how I felt. I love to write and sometimes the words come out easily, while other times I jut sit with my pencil and nothing happens. But not today, I couldn’t stop as it just flowed from me.
This moment may seem like nothing to some, but to me it was everything. Because it was exactly the refreshment I needed. As a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a person…
The rest of the day was spent walking, sleeping and reading. A dreamy day for a stay at home mom with 3 kiddos. When my husband returned, I was thrilled to hear about his day, and excited to share with him that I did nothing and yet everything.
Ultimately, our trip was filled with uninterrupted time together. Watching the sunsets, listening to the waves and allowing ourselves to just be. We smiled at each other, we held hands, we snuggled and it was perfect. Refreshing and renewing.
Now, I know getting away is hard for all of us. Some of us have the means to take a vacation and others don’t. But truly, a vacation doesn’t have to be a trip to the beach to renew yourself. It could be just carving out that time alone with yourself or the one you love.
One of my long time friends and her husband used talk about the importance of this. They would work hard to find deals on hotel stays or a Groupon for a local restaurant. And as they had no family close to help with childcare, they would get help from friends and neighbors to get some time away. At that point in my life, I didn’t understand the sheer effort they would put in, because I had no children.
But now? I understand needing that time. The time for you or for the two of you. So my encouragement today is to take that time. Whatever it may be. After all, it’s food for your soul.
Lots of Love,
P.S. While I highly recommend Anna Maria Island for a getaway with your partner or your entire family, tell me… Where do you love to escape to get refreshed and renewed?