"Let's go away for your birthday for a few days," said Josh on Sunday.
"I'd love to BUT......"
And this is pretty much how all of our conversations that involve spontaneity and out-of-the-ordinary plans start. I have a built in "No" radar to just about everything. I had a million reasons to offer up about why we shouldn't go away. It was too complicated to plan all of the kids' arrangements, it would cost too much money to go away, it would require taking time off of work, it would mean paying a babysitter and on and on and on.
But I'm trying - I'm really trying - to ignore the "NO!" voice inside my head and to go with the flow and enjoy the unexpected a bit more. After watching what Stella went through, and after watching a number of other friends who are sick or have had life take drastically unexpected turns, I really do see and understand just how fragile life is. And I'm trying to go against my nature to seize the day and to enjoy the little and big things in life.
I took a deep breath, figured out the arrangements for the kids and the many other logistics and was ready to go. We picked up on Wednesday afternoon and went off to the Dead Sea. While I've been in the area a number of times, I haven't actually been in the water since I was 22. Hard to believe. We had a fantastic time. And I have to say, as we were driving down there, I remarked to Josh how incredibly awesome it was that we were taking a little two day jaunt for relaxation - to one of the Natural Wonders of the World. Israel is such a special place that even going on vacation means going to somewhere holy, amazing and sacred.
We took two hikes, one to Nachal Og and one to Ein Bokek. We discovered waterfalls along these completely deserted hikes; we climbed up the sides of cliffs using rungs in the mountain (although I almost made us turn back when we got to the first set) and we relaxed.
We floated in the Dead Sea, swam at the pool and went into a Turkish Bath. I even got a Hot Stone Massage. Of course I debated for 24 hours about getting the massage since it was costly. I went back and forth in my head - was it really worthwhile? was it necessary? should I spend the money? I even calculated how much I would be spending on it for each minute of the massage. Yes, I'm crazy.
Man, if only those tapes would stop. But I finally got the massage and I enjoyed every single second of the luxury. It was amazing.
The trip was great. The kids were fine without us. We relaxed and enjoyed, and it's so important to enjoy the times when we are able to get away (and to cherish those at home as well). Of course, the relaxation was gone about a half second after we entered the house...but that's to be expected.
I am trying to make sure that I don't live my life saying, "If only I had," or "I wish I had." And this week, we certainly succeeded on that front.