This year I learned vacation-Lucy is someone I can always be. 

In the past, when I went on vacation, I was a completely different person. 

I was more joyful because in that moment I didn’t have the mental endless to-do list running through my head. 

I felt grateful for mother nature. I spent more time admiring my surroundings because I was usually in a touristy place like a national park or tropical destination 

I had enough energy to abundantly give others my time and undivided attention, making me a better lover and friend. 

What happened to me on vacations was healing. 

I think we all experience this. 

We fill up our cups, we do all the things we’re supposed to do, and we become a better version of our selves. 

Until we go back to our non-vacation lives. 

Where we go days without feeling deep gratitude, we never slow down enough to listen to our surroundings, our mental to-do list never stops repeating itself, and we have limited energy for the ones we love. 

We immediately start pouring out our cups waiting for the next break to fill them back up.  

What happened to me during the pandemic showed me all the feelings I wait months to feel, were at my reach at any time.

It showed me that vacation-mode Lucy could be the only mode I have. 

All I had to do is truly pay attention. 

When I say this, I don’t want it to be confused with Toxic positivity. 

“Just look on the bright side”

“Be grateful for what you have!”

“Just pay attention and be happy!” 

When I say all I had to do was truly pay attention, I mean all I had to do was A WHOLE LOT OF WORK to be able to pay attention. 

All I had to do was consistently practice, every single day.

All I had to do was practice rewiring my thoughts and challenging my beliefs. 

There is a lot to it when it comes to being able to truly pay attention. 

It’s something I’ve been practicing for multiple years through a meditative practice. 

I’ve felt the benefits for years but it wasn’t until lockdown that it started making a drastic difference. 

When we went into shelter in place, I double down on my meditation and started walking every day. 

The meditation app I was using one day said that the same methods I was using to be present during a sitting meditation could be applied during a walk. 

After the first few walks, I realized Lexington was a BEAUTIFUL place. Something I had never thought before. 

Every time I traveled, I found myself feeling jealous of the places I’d explore. I wanted to live in beautiful cities like Portland or Seattle.

What I didn’t realize was, Lexington was just as beautiful. I guess I had never paid enough attention to it. 

That level of attention lead to feeling things like gratitude and appreciation. It reminded me of how I feel when walking through national parks with jaw dropping scenery.

That attention lead to me hearing things like birds chirping, water dripping, and air flowing through the trees. Sounds that reminded me of tropical places like Costa Rica and Guatemala. 

Paying attention taught me that moments of gratitude, stillness, and connection don’t have to wait for work-mode to be off. 

I don’t have to wait and hike places like Zion and Yosemite national park to feel a deep appreciation to mother nature. I can have those feeling walking down my street, hiking around my town, or simply looking out my window. 

I don’t have to wait and travel somewhere tropical like Guatemala or Costa Rica to slow down enough to hear the birds and the wind flowing through all the leaves. 

I don’t have to wait for a concert to feel the music deep down in my soul and dance as if I was a few feet away from a live performance. 

Paying attention made me realize I have all the things I need to fill up my cup. It made me realize I don’t have to wait to be on vacation to feel like a better version of myself. 

I have a vacation coming up in a month but there’s no cup that needs to be refilled 

Maybe this is how I make my cup bigger since I’m not starting from empty. 

Here’s to being 30 🙂

– Lucy

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