I’m still savoring the memories from my trip to Jamaica for my 25th high school reunion last weekend. Being the introspective social worker that I am, I want to memorialize my fabulous experience with a blog post and I suspect that I will have more. It was great seeing familiar (and not so familiar) faces from high school in the same place after all these years. I’ve lived in Texas for the past 19 years, I don’t visit Chicago often, and there are only a couple of close friends that I keep in contact with, so I’ve been somewhat removed to say that least. Thank goodness for facebook, otherwise, I really would be in the dark.
What I enjoyed most was being with my close friends, which I expected, but what I didn’t expect was bonding with a couple of people that I only “knew of” in high school. That doesn’t mean that I acquired some new best friends, but for that period of time, we were in the moment together and we clicked. Now that was special. I could focus on problems with the hotel, our reservations, the rain the last couple of days, and other snafus, but I don’t want to. The point is that although the whole experience was not perfection, I choose to focus on the positives and set aside the rest for now.
My blog is primarily about self-care and that is what I accomplished by going on this trip. Being with friends, sans my husband and children (although I love them dearly) re-energized my spirit. I think it’s important to stay connected to things, people, activities that remind you of your younger days before marriage, responsibility, careers and children. My family is benefiting from my re-energizing because that time away made me miss them even more which means they’re getting more attention from me right now.
A huge takeaway from this trip is that I need to slow down. Laying on the beach, peering into the crisp, blue sky, feeling the warm sand and water swoosh back and forth on my bottom, made me appreciate being alive. Also, I watched how the Jamaicans moved at slower pace and didn’t appear as uptight as Americans. This definitely made an an impression on me, but don’t get me wrong, it did get frustrating, especially when our flight (a friend and I) to Houston got canceled. The attendants didn’t seem to have the same sense if urgency that we did when it came down to providing basic information and issuing the hotel vouchers. At one point, I wanted to offer my services to work behind the counter to help them expedite things.
My intention is not to stereotype a group of people. There is definitely a different way of living when you live on an island as opposed to living in a big city. I could say that when I get to a certain point or age in my life, like retirement, that I will slow down to appreciate things, but tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Do what you need to do now to live the life you want. If you don’t know what that is, then slow down and listen to God. If you do know, slow down anyway and appreciate the journey.