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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Back in February, we took the kids out to California for school vacation with another family, We rented a house about 45 minutes north of San Diego and flew out there with little planned, only to get to the San Diego Zoo and Legoland. We would plan our days when we got there based on the weather, mood, and level of exhaustion each morning.

For many, many reasons, it was a great trip. We had great travel partners, no expectations to be anywhere or do anything, kids that enjoyed being with each other, lots of laughs, good food, tasty margaritas, plentiful sunshine, and an escape from the New England winter, among other things. It was exactly what we needed.

And why I am thinking about that today, four months later. Actually, I think about the trip a lot, and one particular exchange between the moms the day before we were leaving. We went down the Scripps Aquarium at UCSD in La Jolla, and the two of us found ourselves transfixed by the tank with hundreds of tiny moon jellies. The jellyfish were fluid, tranquil, effortless in that tank. It was almost hypnotic to watch them floating weightlessly around the tank. She looked at me and said that she was going to remind herself of the peacefulness and ease at which the jellyfish were moving through the water the next day when we had to get up at 3:30 a.m. and drive to LA to catch our flight home (where it was snowing). And we did as as we waited line to get through security with six kids, six backpacks, two suitcases, a stroller, accidentally hidden bottles of contraband water, shoes that needed to be taken off and retied, and complaints of thirst and hunger, Remember the jelly fish. And I have many days since then. Like when I heard the new treatment plan for my sister. More simply, when in the checkout line at Market Basket or sitting in traffic with someone behind you that won't stop honking his horn. When trying to deal rationally with irrational people, or to make sense of difficult situations. Become one with the jellies and float!

Warning: I've found in the past couple of weeks that too much "jelly fish living" makes for piles of papers and junk all over the kitchen counters and a list of things to do that is never ending, and "floating through the days without purpose" mentality should be somewhat limited to times of stress and not all day long. It's a relaxation strategy that works best during the times when patience and tolerance seems to be slipping away! Make like a jellyfish and float. Relax. Just let it go.

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