The After

There is something about vacations that no one ever really talks about. It’s a difficult subject, but, because I care about you, the reader, I’m going to talk about it. And, honestly, someone needs to.


AFTER the vacation is over, AFTER you get home with mounds of laundry, AFTER every minute is no longer consumed with fun, AFTER you have to tackle, or at least put on a list, all of the things you put off BEFORE the vacation, because you were busy getting ready for said vacation.

It’s the AFTER.

Now, this can be a very trying time, complete with exhaustion, disorientation, disillusionment. CRYING, even crying. It’s also a time when you feel that you need to make certain statements, to the NO ONE at your house who is listening, like,

“Why on earth were we gone so long? It’s not normal to be gone that long. We must be crazy…”


“Was that vacation worth all this work? Ha! I think not…”

and, finally…

“I’m NEVER taking another vacation as long as I live!”

And as the words are leaving your lips, you know in your heart, “Yes! I really will take another vacation, I want to take another vacation, I could be ready in 30 minutes…” It’s a real low.

Yep. AFTER a vacation can be a grueling time, and my AFTER has been just that. My AFTER has looked something like this:

  1. sick for a week
  2. contractors at my house daily working on our bathrooms
  3. unpacking all of said bathroom things and finding a new home for them
  4. deciding on/purchasing new items for said new bathrooms
  5. July 4th
  6. doctors appointments
  7. NORMAL LIFE, (which can be difficult enough)

Now, I don’t know about you, but I suffer from this condition called PERFECTIONISM, maybe you’ve heard of it? Perfectionism in my life strikes when I pound myself mentally because I only got 22 of the 23 things done on my “To Do” list. It pushes me to do more than I know I can do. It haunts my sleep, it causes me to go all day without resting or eating when I need to. It’s exhausting.

So, here I am, tired, stressed, irritated, which all lead to me being DISTRACTED. Distracted to the point to where I’m in the shower, thinking about the KA-ZILLION things on my “To Do” list, and I have this conversation with myself,

“Did I shave under my arms? I don’t know. I thought I did, but maybe I didn’t. Oh well, who cares? But, what if I wear a sleeveless shirt later? AM I wearing a sleeveless shirt later? If I am, I really need to shave under my arms. What’s happening later? What day is it? Oh, I’ve got so much to do, I need to shave under my arms and get going.”

So, I shave under my arms, only to realize about 30 seconds later, yes, I DID already shave under my arms. So, basically, I start my day with razor-burned under arms, and a razor that’s getting dull quicker, all because I’m so distracted.

Ever been there? Maybe so.

I finally get to the place where I have to ask, “Why am I pushing myself so hard? Is there a cash award waiting for me if I complete my “To Do” list? What’s going to happen if I DON’T complete my “To Do” list? Will my husband pin a badge on me that says, ‘World’s Worst Wife?’ Will the world come to an end, for crying out loud?”

No. None of these things will happen. Then why is it that I, and I suspect some of you, strive for perfection? The answers are hard to find sometimes. What I do know is that it’s not good for us and God never intended for us to strive at all. Look at His words in Psalm 46:10a,

“Cease striving and know that I am God” NASB

The truth is, trying to do anything in our own strength doesn’t go well. God is the one that accomplishes things through us and His word says that when we are WEAK, He is STRONG! And, us making ourselves crazy by trying to be perfect, doesn’t get us “brownie points” with Him. Why not? Because we don’t need them! He loves us just as much when we lay on the couch in our PJs all day, watching Hallmark Movie Channel, as He does when we complete our entire “To Do” list. Mind. Blown.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty sweet gig. And, my arm pits are so relieved…




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