Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tropical Fantasies....

I have this strong urge to run away to a tropical island where the waves crash gently upon the sand at my toes and where the biggest decision I have to make is would I like a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio or would I rather have a fancy cocktail.

I think my urge comes from the fact that I'd really quite like a little vacation. I'm not talking about a long weekend, extended by an extra day. I'm not even talking about a weekend that's already three days, such as Memorial Day and I tack an extra day on...I'm talking about a 100% bonafide holiday.

I think it's because summer seems to be passing rapidly by and a lot of people I know both from work and from my personal life have already been somewhere this summer. Two of my friends, who also happen to be sisters, are leaving for Alaska on Friday for a week. A couple of coworkers recently came back from Florida, on separate trips. My sister is headed to Disney World on Sunday with her husband and my niece. My parent's are off to England in two weeks.

And...I'm here in the swampy humidity of Ohio, dreaming of a tropical beach and wishing it would become a reality.

Alas, for now, the only thing I can do is take a mental break and pretend I'm on the beach. Last night, at home, I kicked off my flip flops, sat back with a cool glass of water and a good book and pretended I was at the beach.

It worked for a minute until I felt a licking at my toes and realized two twin dachshunds were staring up at me, confused. Then they tried to run away with my flip-flop. I had to chase them. By the time I had reclaimed my shoe, they'd scampered outside. I tried again. Then I felt a burning sensation on my foot. Then another. A bloody mosquito was using me as a buffet. By the time I'd tracked it down and squished it, I had no less than four bites on my feet.
In the end, I realized that no matter how good my imagination, I wasn't at the beach. I was in my house and, unfortunately, it needed to be tidied up a little. So I did that instead.

The reality of me going to a tropical beach at this juncture in my life is pretty unlikely. For one thing, our infamous PTO policy means that thanks to my air-conditioning woes, doctor's appointments and car brake problems, my time off work is pretty scarce. At most, I could manage...a long weekend and then I'd have no time just in case I had another problem and had to take a day off.

Secondly, I have these two adorable puppies. While the idea of a tropical beach is rather delightful in my imagination, I don't quite know what I'd do with the puppies. I could board them. I could leave them with my parents but, truth be told, I think I'd have a horrible separation anxiety and would end up worrying about the silly creatures.

Thirdly, and the most obvious is that...tropical holidays cost a bit of money and I just don't have it to spend at the moment. Short of winning the lottery, signing a big publishing deal or finding a suitcase with my name on it that contained a million dollars, I think that I'll have to save my pennies before I run away.

So, for now, I will sit at my desk and work. I haven't resorted to putting sand in a drawer so I can stick my feet in it like on that TV commercial a couple of years ago. I do occasionally kick off my shoes but my toes get cold since our air conditioning is quite chilly.

I'll also look for ways to capture minutes, even seconds, that make me feel for just a short time like I'm actually on holiday, tropical beach or not. Take today, for example. We had another big storm and, just like last week, we lost power in the office. We all got to leave early. For me, it was only 30 minutes earlier than usual but 30 minutes is nothing to sneeze at. I'll take what I can get.

I think it's all about the little things in life. I forget that sometimes. It's sometimes just a lick on the nose from a puppy when you're feeling blue or it's a friend who says just the right thing when you need to hear it. It's realizing that though work is stressful, no one is likely to physically suffer if I don't get my job done.
It's being able to kick my flip-flops off and be able to scoop up the culprit and know that something on this planet loves me unconditionally, preferably if I have treats.

And sometimes, that's enough.

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