I’m writing this from a palm tree-lined pool in Palm Springs, during the first week-long vacation I’ve taken in two years. And I don’t think my last vacation (the one two years ago) really counts since that was a week of camping in Yosemite Valley with my parents and my in-laws. That week was perfectly fine (I am fortunate in that I love both my parents and my in-laws), but it’s not the same thing as a week of doing nothing. I never thought I would even WANT to have this kind of vacation – the kind where we wake up whenever we happen to wake up (noon or later so far this week), lay by the pool in the afternoon reading and occasionally jumping in the water to cool off, then venturing out once the sun goes down for drinks and dinner. Then do it all again the next day. That has never been my kind of vacation. I had big plans to check out the architecture and the design shops, get my nails done, write this blog (that’s the only thing I’ve actually done). But instead, I am 2/3 of the way through the Goldfinch (a book I’ve been dying to read since it came out last year) and have not done much more than that.
It is clear that I am really and truly wiped out from the last few years: spending more than a year looking for the property that would become Reverie, driving up to the foothills on the weekends and cramming in as many properties as we could see in two days. After our first offer fell through (on a property in Calaveras County), we found Reverie and our offer was accepted, but then we spent the next five months trying to find a bank that would give us a loan on such an unconventional property with a gold mine and household water that comes from a spring. (During that time was when we went on vacation to Yosemite with our parents.) It’s now been nearly two years since we closed on the Reverie property and moved up to the foothills full time. Then we had to focus on setting all of the business side of Reverie in motion such as the legal paperwork, bank accounts, dealing with the county permitting (that is still very much in process), building gardens and outdoor showers and fire pits and gathering spaces and tent sites and too much more to count, learning how to market the business (and still learning…probably forever learning that one!), figuring out how to cook for 30 people for a retreat weekend from produce growing in our gardens and orchards, taking classes along the way (a culinary purchasing class, the master gardener program), volunteering for a local charity so I could get to know more people in the community that turned out to be way more of a time commitment than I bargained for, and through all of that, working full time and commuting to Oakland a few times a month. And then, as if the regular starting-a-business-while-working-full-time stuff wasn’t enough, came the uncertainty and stress of the fire practically on our doorstep when we woke up to a house full of smoke every morning for two weeks but we couldn’t leave because we might have to evacuate at any moment and we thought everything might just go up in flames.
Tired yet? I am. Although I’m actually not any more because I’ve been sleeping 12 hours a night since Saturday.
So here I find myself on a type of vacation I never thought I would want to take, and feeling the stress and the anxiety melt away, at least for a few days. I now understand why people take these kinds of vacations. It will all be there when I get home on Sunday, but now I will have a little more room inside to deal with things as they come. And I’m not going to wait another two years to take a vacation. Maybe we will come back to Palm Springs and I might actually check out some architecture the next time. Or not.