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Best. Vacation. Ever.

15and40cove_beach_atlantis_bahamascasadangelo_atlantisaquaventure_atlantis_bahamas

Counterintuitive though it may seem, it’s easier to sit down and write about recovery than it is to extol the virtues of a vacation.  I’ve been home for several days, yet every time I thought to sit down and write, anything and everything seemed more interesting to me than resuming my blog.

Plus there are several of us recently returned from vacation, but there’s nothing like a little oversaturation, right?

So I’ll try to keep this short and sweet, though I really could have stopped with the title.

I have had the good fortune to take many vacations in my life:  annual trips to the Jersey shore, trips with big groups of friends to exotic locales, Disney with the kids, cross-country road trips.  And each of these genres have had their pros and cons.  But this last trip, which was a joint milestone birthday/anniversary celebration (husband’s milestone birthday/our milestone wedding anniversary), was the absolute best vacation I’ve ever taken, and here’s why:

1.  Sobriety… first, last, and always, I will credit sobriety for all of the blessings in my life.  Because I have been given the gift of a sober perspective on life, I am able to view everything through its lens, and I am grateful for each and every blessing that comes my way.  Whereas in the past so many details in my life have been taken for granted. I now appreciate all the bits and pieces that make up the overall picture of a great holiday.

2.  Self-Confidence… maybe self-clarity would be a more apt description?  This was the first vacation that I planned, start to finish, based on what we wanted to do, what we liked and disliked, and what we value recreationally.  So many past trips have started with the notion, “Well, we really SHOULD do…” and fill in the blank, never minding that both my husband and I hated that particular activity.  Or, while at the vacation, thinking, “I need to go back and have a story to tell,” and planning an activity based solely on the idea of being able to report it back (of course, in active addiction, those stories would be built into any vacation, but that’s a different kind of story, and not necessarily one I would be racing home to tell!).  This time around, we planned the location based on where we wanted to be (Bahamas, because of the horrific winter), we planned the resort based on our personal preferences (quality and variety of dining being top of the list), and we planned our daily activities based on our goals of the vacation (prime poolside real estate, anyone?).  So, the re-telling of the story of our vacation may not be packed with dramatic action, but by God did we have a good time!

3.  Spoils of Victory… this one may be unique to me (or not), and I need to put this in the proper perspective for you before I state it.  I have been dieting, off and on, since I was 12 years old.  I am 44, so that’s several decades worth of failed attempts.  Countless times I have set myself up in a position where I gave myself a deadline, and pushed myself to lose weight in time for:  entering high school, proms, entering college, graduations, weddings (10 times I have been in a wedding party), vacations, pre-child-birth, post-child-birth, I could probably list dozens more.  Never, and I mean never, has this type of motivation worked for me.

With one exception… this vacation.  When we officially decided to take the vacation, I wrote about my personal 6-week challenge.  I stuck to it, exceeded my own goals, and, I have to say, getting up at 4:15 am that morning and getting on the scale… that sense of victory was incredible. And getting dressed up for dinner each night for my husband felt incredible.  Very good stuff.

Alright, that was entirely too much bragging.  I will be back to regular writing tomorrow… no more, as Paul says, #humblebragging (although in this case I pretty much have to lose the humble part, this was flat-out #bragging!)

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