Follow your bliss!
Pursue that which gives you joy!
I struggled with the bliss thing for years after I heard Oprah’s advice. “Look back at your childhood–what did you most enjoy?” I liked reading a book up in a tree, alone. I can’t climb a tree anymore, but I still love to read and be alone. I think I’m supposed to give more to the world than that.
I found a new joy several years ago at my first writing workshop. (Thank you Resource Center for Women in Ministry in the South–rcwms.com.) I started this blog after a couple of workshops and I journal whenever the urge hits. Maybe one day all the bits and pieces will evolve into a memoir. I just know it’s fun.
A few weeks go my older daughter found a Groupon Getaway deal for 3 nights in a 2-bedroom condo at Atlantic Beach, NC. I suggested that she, her sister, their 3 kids and I go for a couple of days in March for my birthday. Both girls loved the idea and soon we had a reservation.
We had a plan. My younger daughter, her daughter Adaline (who is 3 now) and her son Atticus (who is almost 1), and I would drive in one car. Maggie (14 months) and her mom would take their car and we would caravan.
The closer the time came for the trip, the more ways I imagined that it could go bad. I started with the 4.5 hour drive (at best!) from Greensboro. What if one of the babies wouldn’t stop crying? And the bed situation in the condo would require cooperation and compromise from two moms who often debate who gets less sleep. I wondered if either of them would back out. I wondered if I’d be sane afterward. Would we still like each other?
We were not able to caravan. Work demands and leaving from two different cities, one closer to the beach than the other, killed that plan. Each car could stop as needed. “Never wake a sleeping baby.” Even if you really, really need to go to the bathroom.
Adaline and Atticus both slept the first 2 hours of our drive! I thanked God and our travel angels and just kept driving. We stopped at a Hardees, used the facilities, sat inside and ate and pacified the kids with french fries. We did what we had to do. Forgive me, nutrtion-conscious friends.
On we drove. We figured out we could put a pillowcase in the window to block the sun so Adaline rode content in her car seat, playing with an electronic kid-size computer-like thing and listening to our music. Atticus sucked on french fries (forgive me, again) and played with toys and his electronic baby-size computer-like thing. Thank you whoever bought them these electronic toys! We made it in 5 hours with some fussing from Atticus for the last 30 minutes or so.
Maggie and her mom had a 3-hour drive. Maggie fussed and cried for the first half of the trip and then fell asleep. Her mom did not have fun. Maybe Maggie needed french fries and a baby-size computer-like thing.
The moms worked out the bed situation, we got everyone fed as needed, including lunch in a restaurant where they took our order at our table and brought us our food–no counters or paper wrapped sandwiches!.
After we played on the beach Saturday afternoon, all 3 kids (naked) and both daughters (in swimming suits) go into the big jacuzzi bathtub. I sat on the toilet lid and took pictures. We laughed and laughed and soaked up the joy amid the bubbles.
The trip home was easier for Maggie and her mom and the group in my car rode well, too. The kids were all exhausted so, once again, “Never wake a sleeping baby” was our motto.
Now I know what “bliss’ means. And where I can find joy.
I am so grateful.