LEARNING – to relax

My name is Rene, and I am relaxing.

I don’t know about you, but this is sometimes difficult for me to do. So… I am learning. It’s not so much learning how to relax (I’m actually pretty good at that), it’s learning how to not feel guilty about relaxing (that’s the tough one).

I’ve joined my mom and stepfather at their timeshare in Mazatlan, Mexico for a couple of weeks. It is absolutely gorgeous here. The weather is perfect. The water is warm. The drinks are plentiful. And it is pretty much free (for me, minus the airfare). So what’s the problem you ask? The problem is me.

I am in a struggle of inner turmoil. It is a battle between the self that wants to help everyone and give everything and the self that kind of just wants to do nothing for a while and take advantage of this vacation. I look around and I find myself in the midst of such wealth and luxury here. It is such a stark contrast to the poverty and injustice that I have often witnessed in my travels and surely will again. It is difficult to look around and not think about how all of this money might be better used; about how many people could benefit from the money I am spending on a single self indulgent vacation.

I’ve struggled with this before; the guilt that arises from simply being born into a culture of wealth and opportunity. The freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want. What did I do to deserve this? What must I do to deserve this? I know these questions are futile and yet I still ask them. But, there is no answer. It is what it is and I must make my own peace with it.

So… I am doing just that. I am finding the balance. It is different for all of us.

I ordinarily live a very simple lifestyle. I have minimal belongings, I don’t spend much money on non-necessities, I stay in hostels and travel by bus, and I volunteer and try to help people as much as I can.

But, every now then, a bit of luxury can be very nice. Like the occasional pedicure I get when I visit my aunt in Portland. Or a delicious meal out with friends at a fancy restaurant. Or this vacation with my generous and hard working parents at this beautiful resort.

And so I am letting the luxury seduce me.  I am putting my feet up and reading some good books. I am being lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves crashing to shore. I am sipping on a nice cold drink while the warm breeze wafts over me.

I am taking some time to ‘just be’. To watch the sun fall off the edge of the earth every evening and to gently be awakened by it in the morning. I am enjoying the time spent with those I love, relishing it now for I know I will soon be gone again. I am reflecting on my journey thus far and planning where the journey may take me next.

I am swimming in the pools and soaking in the hot tub. I am napping to the sounds of the waterfall cascading into the pool. I am gaining freckles and trying to avoid sunburns. I am feasting on local delicacies and munching on chips and salsa.

I am relaxing, and I am enjoying it immensely.


Thanks for reading!


19 responses to “LEARNING – to relax

  1. Happy Vacation Rene, you deserve it whether you believe that or not. You would not be there if you were just some selfish bratty American girl…..okay maybe! But the truth is we know you work very hard, and you have chosen your path, it’s very cool that your path includes time for R & R in the sun.

  2. Enjoy yourself Rene. Learning to relax is also helpful to those around you, who doesn’t love to spend time with a relaxed soul, its a gift.

    • I am enjoying myself Karen, thanks. I feel so very fortunate to have such wonderful and giving parents. They work so hard the rest of the year, they really deserve this break from everything too. -Rene

  3. Rene: I know exactly how you feel. One of our Canadian pundits once said “we won the lottery the day we were born” And I tell myself this every day. Coming back into our self-indulgent and over-fed life after spending time with those so less fortunate is the hardest part of volunteering with your grandmother and going to India. Enjoy your rest, the nice showers, the food and the occasional cold one! November is not far away.

    • You are exactly right Maureen, we did win the lottery. I’m enjoying being a bit indulgent right now, cold showers and giants bugs are in my near future – but so are all of those lovely smiling faces. -Rene

  4. Pingback: EXPLORING – airy adventures | Repurposed Redhead·

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