Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Relaxing Christmas

I don't relax easily. It's always a challenge for me to let go. After two of the busiest weeks in recent memory I was looking forward to getting out of town and leaving the busy behind. That meant one final day of driving to Ann Arbor for my work Christmas lunch, my son's daycare party in the late afternoon and then finally hitting the road around my son's bedtime.

After weeks of unseasonably warm temperatures on the day we were to leave we had the first bout of winter weather in a while. A weird lake effect system made roads icy and nearly impassable. We left around 8 pm and still had slick roads through most of Michigan. Thankfully weather in Ohio and Pennsylvania were better. As we got into West Virginia near my mom's the weather was a little dicey, but we were almost there and not really worried. My mom's neighborhood requires driving up a steep hill to get into it, and we discovered quickly that said hill was covered in ice. We discovered this as our car was sliding backward into a ditch, and there was panic at 3 am. We ended up having to get out of the car and walk (with a baby in a car seat) to my mom's, up that hill and about a half mile. So much for relaxing.

The next morning the weather delayed our departure until midday. We arrived in the Outer Banks around 9 pm. I was not relaxed. At all. We started the next day slowly, lounging in our pajamas later than normal, drinking too much coffee, and just hanging out. I could feel the stress of life melting away as I hung out with my family. 

Hanging out in Duck

In the last few days I've walked on the beach we've essentially had to ourselves, the crash of the waves lulling my son to sleep in his carrier. I've gone for a few solid runs: one with my brother and one cloaked in a blanket of humidity. After not running for several weeks my body immediately adapted to the familiar rhythm. It was like hanging out with an old friend.

It's unseasonably warm everywhere it seems, and it feels more like late spring than Christmas. While I can tolerate the white Christmas, I generally don't enjoy cold weather. I love a warm Christmas. This weather is flawless. 

Enjoying the beach

It doesn't entirely feel like Christmas, and that's actually okay in this first holiday without my dad. We're all together, I'm relaxed, and my heart is both happy and sad. I've been eating too much (oysters = amazing), drinking too much (both alcohol and caffeine), and I feel disconnected from real life. I can say that for the first time in a long time I'm entirely relaxed. It's an unfamiliar and yet pleasant sensation. Wishing you a relaxing holiday! 

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