August 3, 2016
It was beautiful.
If you've seen the ads for these places, you might get the impression that everyone there looks like a model. In reality, the people at the resort look just like the people at home. We saw one couple that looked like models. Everyone else was mostly average -- fat, thin, tall, short, all ages, all types.
Everybody happily put on a bathing suit and went to the pool or the beach.
One afternoon, as I glanced around the pool, I realized that everyone looked happy. It's not always that way. Often people go on vacation, only to find themselves discontented in some way, disagreeing about something, frazzled from trying to do too much, pouting over unmet expectations.
But here, we saw no signs of trouble.
Everyone was there with the one they loved. Many were on their honeymoon, or, like us, celebrating an anniversary. Because this was a couples-only resort, there were no kids or extended families to complicate things. It was peaceful.
People weren't concerned about how they looked. They all had the look of love.
This was not a place where there was any pressure to do things. Sure, you could play golf, take a tour of the island, or book a snorkeling trip. We didn't bother.
Our main activities were relaxing by the pool, letting people bring us drinks and snacks, walking on the beach, and going to meals. If we didn't feel like going to a meal, we ordered room service. One morning I got a pedicure, and on another afternoon we attended a champagne picnic.
No phone calls, no appointments, no work, no distractions.
We could focus on each other and relax side by side in a beautiful fantasy world.
Eventually, fantasies come to an end. We had to return to the world of schedules, email, laundry, phones, work, errands, bills -- ack!
The routines of daily life and all the distractions created by the outside world can make it hard to relax. There are so many things that demand our attention and take our time, things that must be done even though they aren't really the things that matter most in life, things that make us tired and tense, things that interfere with our ability to really be with each other.
We can't go back to the Bahamas every time we want to feel connected.
But we can make a conscious choice to let that other stuff go for a while, even if it's only for a day, or a few hours, or even a few minutes.
We do it in little ways. During the week, we take a walk before breakfast. On the weekends, we sometimes go to another city, or another part of this huge city, and stroll through a park or a museum. We visit the Chinese garden. We drive up the coast and have lunch near the beach. We share our thoughts. We talk about our plans for the future.
All of these things get us in synch with each other and bring us closer together.
And sometimes all it takes is a mini-fantasy. Before we go to sleep, we might remember to close our eyes and imagine that we're on a boat slowly sailing down the Danube, or in a hot air balloon peacefully floating over the Loire Valley. We might picture ourselves at the foot of a tropical waterfall, or gazing across lush fields of lavender.
We relax, side by side in a world of our own.