And...inhale...
And…inhale…

I’m on vacation, but it’s Monday, and holy mother of pearl, I am keeping my 41-week streak (?!) of writing The Juggle Struggle going. Because that’s how I roll.

Yes…I am blessed to be on vacation. And that got me thinking about the value of being able to escape for a bit.

Much of the country has been dealing with heat waves this summer, and that means cities open cooling centers. These cooling centers are more than just a chance to give a brief respite from the heat—they can actually help a person without other decent ways to cool off lower their core temp and be better able to sustain heat later. Cooling your core can be the difference between life and death.

This vacation is my chance to “cool my core,” as well. Not because we escaped Chicago’s heat wave (though there was a 40-degree temperature swing from the day we left to our first evening away), but another “core”—my life core.

This year has been one crazy curve ball after another. Serious, life-changing curve balls. In February, I wrote about already wanting a 2013 do-over, but it only got harder from there. Without singing the story of my woes, let’s just say that 2013 can go suck it and suck it hard. The overall stress level has risen immensely when it wasn’t exactly low to begin with.

Let me take a moment to say that I know so many people who are also struggling with major life challenges. This is not a story unique to me, by no means, and I am well aware of that. My prayer list for those I love and care for is ridiculously long. So please know that this is not a whine fest (though if it was a wine fest, I would totally be participating.)

Okay, so back to my point before you were sighing and thinking I was simply going to moan and wail. Really. Don’t you know me at all?

Here I am on vacation. A vacation that is allowing me to take a break from life’s daily challenges and issues and recharge my batteries. And thinking about the whole “core cooling” idea, I realize that this time away not only serves me right here and now, but will also let me “sustain heat later.”

This chance to step out of my reality and do crazy things like just be instead of doing/solving/serving/going all the time will equip me to step back into reality and sustain life’s “heat” for a good while longer.

It is truly a blessing, for I know many people are unable to take a vacation for one reason or another, and it is often the very people who need it the most. I am indeed incredibly fortunate to be able to hang my gone fishin’ sign.

And so I will take the job of cooling my core here very seriously. A key element is to remind myself in the moment how awesome it is that I can take some time to hang with my family, read, relax, and just absorb the surrounding beauty. My biggest challenge of the day will be figuring out if I want to play tennis, go for a bike ride, or try to retain my crown of catching the most fish each year. Tough choices, no?

And when I get back home, I will strive to take some time each day to do some mini “core cooling,” and not let the day swarm over me like angry bees. (This, of course, just made me think about the movie Killer Bees from my childhood that totally creeped me out and fueled my bee phobia. Sorry about that. I should have used another simile. My bad.)

But hopefully my point is made decently enough to make sense: Taking a time-out—whether it is a huge one like a vacation or a tiny one like a cat nap—can serve us well beyond the moment. And now I intend to do some serious core cooling and curl up with a good book. Lucky me.

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