Tomorrow afternoon, I embark on a 14 hour trek with my sister and brother in law to Ft Walton Beach, FL. We'll arrive on Saturday. My brother and sister in law will meet us there. My incredible cousin Patrick and his son Joey will come a few days later.
And it's going to be incredible. I know this. It can't not be incredible.
First of all, I need a break from work like you wouldn't believe. Like I've never needed a vacation more in my life. I work 10-12 hours a day, as almost everyone in our company is doing lately. It's pretty sad when your volunteers call you and say "you really need this vacation, don't think about us". And I don't just need a week off. I need a week of AWAY from here. With my tablet shut down in my drawer, my work cell phone turned off and hiding. No computer, minimal contact with the real world. And that's exactly what I'll get in Florida. People keep asking me what I'm going to do there. Um. Sleep. On the beach, by the pool, on our balcony, under a palm tree. Wherever I can. I need it. Soak in the sunshine. Write. Read. Pray. Think about my future. Laugh. Bond with my siblings. Think about Laurence. Take pictures.
Secondly, Fort Walton holds such a very special place in my heart. It is my family's vacation spot. My parents met there. As kids we went there every single year for Easter. My brother in law proposed to my sister there. My brother went on his honeymoon there. I have not been there since I was 16, and I can hardly wait to feel my toes in the white sand and take a swim in the ocean. My last really clear memories of that place involve Laurence and I cannot wait to feel even more connected with him.
So, tomorrow I'm off. I'm not bringing my laptop, tablet, or work cell. I'm not going to think about work. I'm going to have an amazing time with the people I love the most- my family (with the exception of my parents, who are planning their own trip to Ireland in the fall).
PS....a lot happened during Lent. Most of it I'm not sharing. But I will say this:
I am meeting with the Sisters of Mercy every two weeks to become an associate and get spiritual direction.
One of my best friends at work is leaving and I am really, really going to miss her. I love you Tierra!
Lent Letters have been going swimmingly. The best is when I can hand it to people right in front of them.
I got to see my Cristo Rey kids!