Take Some Time Off

Julie - Ashtabula, Ohio
Entered on October 26, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family, pleasure

In the mid 1980’s I was in the midst of raising my family of two daughters on my own. The feeling of being on a treadmill from the moment I woke up until the moment my head hit the pillow at night was a daily one. I do not make this statement as a complaint but to show the reality of going it alone.

I remember being so exhausted from the daily grind that sometimes I would just drop on the bed at night and cry, knowing that I had to get up the next day and do the same thing all over again. I was the only one who made the money; bought the groceries; cooked the meals; and did the dishes after the meal was eaten. I was the only one who took care of a sick child; watched the softball games; attended the PTO meetings; and helped with the homework. I needed some time off.

One July I packed the three of us up and took a vacation for my daughter’s birthday. We planned to stay two nights at the Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point. This was one of those grand old hotels built in the early 1900’s with turn-of-the-century charm. Pictures were displayed throughout the halls of women wearing long, sweeping skirts and men in top hats and tails; the bathing suits were full body suits in black and white stripes. The rooms were antiquated and had a musty smell.

Gradually, something began to change in me, an overall feeling of calm and well being took over my emotions. We played in the sand at the beach, swam in the pool, and enjoyed the amusement park. By the end of our stay as I was taking in the grounds of this old resort, a feeling of nostalgia washed over me so intensely that I couldn’t face leaving. I wanted to keep this peaceful, happy feeling for just one more day. I made the decision to stay longer it became on overwhelming urgent need to see if we could keep our room another night. I checked my bank account balance to see if I had enough money at this point I didn’t even care if I had to use the last dime in that account it became the most important thing–to be able to stay here, in this peaceful, relaxed environment– for the benefit of all our souls. I ran to the front desk to pay for another night.

As the counter person checked to see if our room was available for the next night, I felt anxious, I was on the verge of tears not knowing if we were going to be able to stay, she said it was available! I was never happier to write a check in my entire life.

I believe the decision to stay one more day was the best one I ever made; it was a nourishment of my soul and the souls of my two daughters. We deserved to feel that way, to enjoy each others company, and to just have fun. The world could wait.