Recharged

Sometimes we all just need to take a little break, and I have to admit that I was more than ready for mine.  My husband and I had planned a trip to Florida for early May before we knew that he would be having major surgery this past Spring.  For a little while we both believed that the trip would have to be cancelled, so you can imagine our relief when the surgeon gave his permission to go, pointing out that my husband could recover at a beachfront condo just as well as he could at home.

But when my husband’s hospital stay extended a week longer than it should have, we still thought that our much-anticipated vacation wasn’t going to happen.  I told myself that it didn’t matter, and that as soon as my husband was better we’d go on a trip somewhere fun, but deep down I was very disappointed.  It’s been a very tough year for my family, and I really wanted to spend a week relaxing at on my beloved Sanibel Island.  I actually felt foolish for looking forward to this trip so much, because the past few months had me almost conditioned to be afraid to look forward to much of anything at all.

I know adversity can make us stronger and more focused on what’s important in our lives, and that’s a very good thing. But sometimes, it can also train us to believe that not only is “the glass half empty,” but that it’s bone dry and will remain that way forever.  When disappointments and bad news come at us too quickly, or when difficult circumstances last for too long, it can become very hard to hang on to our optimistic attitudes and to allow ourselves to really believe that things will ever improve.  Or at least that’s been my experience.

But you know what?  Despite the need for a major surgery we thought he had avoided, and despite the complications that kept my husband in the hospital much longer than we had anticipated, we were able to go on our trip.  My daughter and her family joined us, and we had a wonderful family time just hanging out together, walking the beach, swimming, and (in my husband’s case) taking LOTS of much-needed naps.

I can honestly say that my husband made great strides in his recovery during our trip, which was a real blessing.  But he wasn’t the only one who benefited from our week away from it all.  With each passing day, I felt my spirits lifting just a little bit more.  My heart began to feel lighter, and I felt calmer and more at peace than I had in a long, long time.  The experience was healing for both of us, just in different ways.

ZWZqbuKtTFOCLFbCPIs2oAI know that I was very lucky to be able to go on vacation recently, and that many people are still living under restrictions that don’t allow any travel at all.  But my point is that all of us, no matter what our circumstances, would benefit from finding a way to take a break from our problems and spending even a little time doing whatever we can to recharge our bodies and refresh our souls.  Keeping hope alive and finding those moments of happiness isn’t always easy, but it is always worth the effort.

93 thoughts on “Recharged

  1. Hi Ann, I’m so glad to hear that you were able to get away on your vacation. And I’m especially happy to hear that your hubby is now faring much better. Being near the beach is so healing and peaceful. I hope he continues to improve and that you’ve both returned feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It sounds like you have. Sending big hugs and love your way. xx

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  2. Glad you got away for a break Ann. I find it funny, now that I am retired that I need a break from being retired at home to be reitired on vacation. A change of pace and scenery can be so therapeutic. Stay well. Allan

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    • We really do, Donna! Sometimes it’s a trip, and other times it’s as simple as reading a good book for a couple of hours, or going for a walk in a park. Whatever keeps our spirits up and reminds us that life really is good is what counts!

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  3. Welcome back! So glad you got recharged. (I know this doesn’t totally apply here, but we do hold others up: If Mama ain’t happy/peppy, ain’t nobody happy/peppy!) So glad it benefitted hubby and your beloved others, too!

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  4. I’m thrilled for you, Ann! I’m pretty happy for your husband, too, and for all the family members who were able to join you. There’s nothing like a week at the beach, and it’s especially nice when it’s a place like Sanibel Island. Have you ever read Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book Gift From the Sea? It’s a slim volume that I re-read every year, and have for decades. I suspect it might help you to hang on to that beach contentment in the coming weeks. There are some excerpts from it here.

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  5. Ann, I am SO pleased to see you back again and to hear that you and your husband were not only able to go on you vacation, but also thrived while you were there! I thought that his health might be the reason behind your taking a break. Now to hear that he has been through the surgery and come out well AND hung around the beach is grand news indeed! And that you, as his caregiver and beloved, have been renewed as well is joy! Prayers and warm wishes go with you now through the recovery phase. Moving forward feels good, even though it may be slow (at least mine has been). Every little thing becomes a victory! So glad you’re back!!

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    • Thank you so much, Martha! I know you understand exactly what we’ve been going through, and I want to tell you that your journey (thank you so very much for sharing it) has been a comfort and an inspiration to us both. I LOVED your last post….felt as if I was in the sanctuary with you, singing. Your blog is a blessing to so many of us!!!

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  6. Excellent news all way round!
    We are one of those places still under restrictions, but with the late spring weather, and the realization that the government is not going to give us back our lives – we each have to take it back as safely as we can, optimism is in the air!

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  7. That is a beautiful photograph, framed perfectly, and it conveys the happiness and tranquility experienced by all of you there. Your post is a reminder to me too, to hit the pause button on the hurly burly of life and take a break. Now if only the curse let lose by the Chinese virus could relent.

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    • Thank you! And I hate what that horrible virus has done to the world, especially how very hard your area is getting hit. That makes it harder, but even more necessary, to take any breaks you can, however you can. This has lasted far too long and keeping our spirits up is a real challenge, unfortunately. Sending good wishes to you and yours!

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  8. Ah, that was the break from blogging. A trip to your favourite location in Florida. I am glad to hear that you had a fun family time, Ann. The main thing however is your husband’s and your health. I hope that you are both doing well. Best wishes! Peter

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  9. Isn’t it amazing at how we now appreciate so many things we used to take for granted? We just went to our first, unmasked, social event: an outdoor birthday party at a winery. yes! It was that good! I hugged my girlfriend for the fist time in 1.5 years. I wouldn’t let go! I know exactly how you feel and I am so happy for you. We love Florida also and can’t wait to get back there sometime this winter. Kudos!!!

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  10. “Keeping hope alive and finding those moments of happiness isn’t always easy, but it is always worth the effort.” I totally agree. Feeling recharged myself just by reading your experience and the still lovely thoughts that went with it. 🙂❤️

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  11. I’m going away next week. I know there will be a barrage of people calling me names. But you’re right…we need to find our normal. Bad things happen every day, and while we can empathize, we need to just do what makes us better. I know I veered off topic, but I’m so tired of being told what I should and shouldn’t do, and not just by the government. But I did miss you!!

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    • Me too! It’s amazing how many people have unleashed their inner dictator…..and not just those in the government either! Enjoy your time away and if anyone tries to give you a hard time about it, IGNORE THEM. (Which is more than they deserve, but the safest way to cope with rude people.) I’m sure some thought we were nuts to take a trip too, but I figured if my husband’s doctor was good with it, then that’s good enough for me!

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  12. It made me so happy to read about what the break did for you (and for your husband). Everything becomes extra special when it is a Sanibel Island vacation, right? You’ve written about it before and I know how much the place means to you. Truly, truly wonderful how everything worked out. A good time spent doing the things we love or just resting heals much of what is cracked and broken within us. If we can’t go on a vacation, there will be other little ways to create restful hours for ourselves and we must make the effort.

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    • Exactly! I was so lucky to go to my favorite vacation place, but even if that wasn’t possible, it would have been important to figure out a way to take a refreshing break anyway. We all need those now and then in order to restore ourselves, especially when we’re coping with difficult situations. I hope you and your family are doing well and finding those moments of happiness too!

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  13. So glad you got away, got to see your daughter, and your husband is recovering well. Very very nice. The last year hasn’t been terribly oppressive to us just before we’re retired, and love where we live. My one daughter lives in a “large” apartment in Brooklyn and she and her husband have discovered how small it really is! They smartly bought a car last year and are able to drive to various destinations doing the Air B&B thing and at least have space and scenery. Unfortunately both of our big trips were canceled, so we are sad about that.

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    • You know, a couple of years ago we were toying with the idea of selling our house and buying a condo, and when the pandemic hit, we were SO glad we hadn’t made that choice. Never have we enjoyed our yard more than we did in the past year! I’m glad your daughter bought that car, as it gave her a way to get out and about! I’m so sorry your trips were cancelled, and hope they can be rescheduled soon. We were actually supposed to go to Sanibel last May, but of course that was cancelled. We had to wait a year, but it was worth it when we finally got there!

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  14. GOOD for you, Ann … GOOD for your family as well! I’m glad you managed to get away (to such a beautiful spot!), that your hubby is healing (nothing like the beach for that!), and that you were able to have quality time with family. We’ve all suffered this past year, but there’s hope on the horizon. ‘Tis much wiser to step back and recharge than try to slog ahead to the detriment of mind and body. Way to go!!

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    • Thanks for your encouragement, Debbie! And I agree: whenever I make the choice to “slog ahead” I always end up regretting it. When I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, I don’t think clearly, make good choices, and in general am just unpleasant and unproductive. Those breaks, whether big or small, restore us to our better selves!

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    • Thank you so much, Meg! And now I am very envious of your uncle….I would love to be able to live on Sanibel even for a month a year, much less half a year. It’s becoming more crowded as it gets more popular, but it’s still one of the loveliest places I know!

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    • I’m so glad you got the chance to take that trip! I’m sort of like you, too…as soon as I get back from a trip I start thinking about the next one. There’s something about travel that just makes us year for it even more, which is probably a good thing. Thanks for your comment!

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  15. So amazing how taking a break, can keep us from breaking! I’m so glad you carved out space for yourself, not only with the trip, but also by stepped back from blogging for a little while. Glad you’re back and refreshed, Ann!

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    • I like how you put that, Judy, and it’s so true. Those breaks absolutely keep us from “breaking” ourselves. And I toyed with the idea of continuing to blog while we were gone (I had an I-pad with me), but I knew that I really needed a break from all my normal obligations, and that included blogging. Still, it’s good to be back!

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    • I think I remember you saying you live down in that area, don’t you? We stayed on Middle Gulf drive, right on the ocean, and it was SO nice. Not our normal Sanibel vacation, as we had my three-year old grandson with us and my husband spent a lot of time sleeping, but it was still very nice. Maybe next time I’m down there we can meet for lunch or a drink!

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    • That is so true, Linda! Stepping back, even just a little bit, helps so much in how we see things and how we cope. I am so very grateful for our getaway…..and it’s made a huge difference for my husband and me!

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      • I think sometimes even little mini-getaways count. It is always good to see things from a new perspective. Back in the day, 🙂 people used to go on Sunday afternoon drives. My parents did that with us when we were little kids. After church, (and lunch), we would go for a ride…maybe to the beach, maybe to a garden, maybe to a place we had never been. Even as a very small child, I can remember how different the world seemed…bigger, and then I would think that I was getting bigger too. I was learning something new, starting over. There is something to be said for changing things up…:) It is good to try something new…even if it is a little bit scary! 🙂 🙂 🙂 And taking a break is always good…

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  16. Yes, a little break is a good ideaand I am glad you had good time. At times it is hard to be positive. I donot force myself to be positive or 100% optimistic all the time. I prefer to be realistic and try to find a way to cheer myself 😊

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    • I agree, no one can be positive all the time, and we shouldn’t try to be. But I also believe that we shouldn’t let ourselves stay “down in the dumps” for too long either. Any little break that lets us feel happy and hopeful again is a good thing. I’m glad that you find ways to cheer yourself when you need it! I believe that’s the key!

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    • It truly was, Lorie! The highs were the mid to high eighties, and there was always enough of a breeze at the beach to keep things comfortable. No red tide or algea, no “no-seeums” or anything. We had a wonderful time, enjoying the best that Florida has to offer! (And now I can’t wait to do it again…..)

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  17. That’s wonderful, Ann. A change in setting can really boost your spirits. I totally understand what you’re going through. I’m so glad you and your family had a fun trip to Sanibel – that’s a beautiful place!

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    • Thank you so much! We do love Sanibel, and so just being there is refreshing for us. We were also blessed with good weather, a lovely condo, and a magnificent beach-front view. I am so glad….and we both came back much stronger than we went!

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  18. Good to hear you had an opportunity to recharge. It’s amazing to me how sometimes we just need a little change of scenery, a little downtime and connection with those we love to readjust our thoughts in moving forward. 💕

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  19. I’m so glad and relieved to hear that you were able to go and that your husband is recovering. We’ve gone through something similar with my husband and his appendix attack and resulting infection. It has been months and months and we are still waiting and looking forward to that break soon! 💖

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  20. Nothing like warm air and palm trees to recharge the mind and body, Ann! So happy you were able to make the trip and that your husband is doing better every day! It is hard to go through times like this but I am so happy that your doctor realized he could recuperate just as easily in sunny Florida!
    Hope each day is better than the one before…<3

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  21. You’re absolutely right, of course, Ann.
    We were able to spend a few days recently with our daughter and grandchildren who live 100 miles away and it was a very refreshing and uplifting time.
    Much as a a break by the sea is long overdue it was lovely to be able to forget work for a bit and recharge our batteries, so to speak.

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