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The Makena Monologues, Part I: The Power of Rejuvenation

*Note:  This is the first in a series of entries I wrote in my journal at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, Maui, Hawai'i.  The occasion was the week of my 50th birthday and Black Man Not Blogging's (BMNB) and my 10th wedding anniversary.

May 25, 2013

The weeks leading up to our sojourn were stressful.  I have been under the gun at work, being micromanaged and challenged, working crazy hours.  BMNB was pretty much left on his own to take care of himself and his mom.  I was doing well to shower and get to work.  We also had some major financial decisions to make in short order that were stressing us both out.

My life was waaay out of balance.  I think both our lives were.  I kept saying over and over, "I just need everything to stop."

The only reason we went on this vacation we really couldn't afford was we both decided we could not let the demands and stresses of our lives make us not take time to mark our ten years together as a married couple and my 50th birthday.  I was resolute that this would be a vacation when I was absolutely NOT going to be available to be reached by phone by my bosses as I had been the last time I went out of town for more than two days.  BMNB was so resolute that my job would not interfere with our departure that he made a threat that was so out of character for him:  "If your bosses even think about getting in the way of our vacation, I'ma come up on your job and act a fool."

Indeed.

It took a lot of late nights to clear my desk, but I did.  And then something magical happened.

We landed in Maui.

There's something about landing at the Kahului Airport that, even with its hustle and bustle, takes your blood pressure down about twenty points.  The open air design, the palm trees swaying in the breeze, the smell of the ocean and plumeria in the wind just relax you.  Everyone here is either on vacation or lives here, so either way, they're happy.

After getting our rental car and grabbing a quick bite to eat, we arrived at our hotel.  Our travel agent at Costco.com -- yes, Costco.com -- snagged us a free room upgrade on the highest floor with an ocean view.  When I stepped out on the lanai and saw the beautiful grounds and the ocean, I got my wish.

Everything stopped.  And that's exactly what I needed.

I don't know about you, but I grew up in a family that didn't take vacations.  My dad didn't believe in them and, truth be told, he probably couldn't afford to take his brood of six kids on vacation anyway.  I think my late mom, SWIE (She Who Is Exalted), longed to travel but just accepted her vacation-less fate as part and parcel of being married to my dad.

Even in the less than twenty-four hours we've been here, I can already feel the difference in my body.  I'm rested.  I'm calm.  Everything has stopped.

Like BMNB always says, we're not machines.  Vacations, and the rejuvenation they bring, aren't just for those who are unable to cope.  They are, in fact, for those wise enough to know that rejuvenation is part of being able to cope.

I think there is just something in the culture of the generation of black parents like mine that says you just need to tough out your life's circumstances and look for your reward in the afterlife.

I disagree.

I don't think God put us here to work perpetually and stressfully until we die.  I think He put each and every one of us here to accomplish a purpose, and it's up to us to manage and maintain our health and mental well-being in order to accomplish His purpose for us.  Rejuvenation is part of that management and maintenance, IMHO.  Or put another way, if God didn't want us to take vacations and rejuvenate ourselves, he wouldn't have given us Maui.

So, Gentle Readers, take your vacations. Travel.  Rest.  Rejuvenate. 

As I told BMNB, it's sad that I had to travel thousands of miles to get a long and good night's sleep, but boy, was it worth it.

Aloha.

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