Sunday evening I am writing by the fire while Stephen is cooking a dinner of steaks from local grass-fed beef, tempeh for me, sauteed mushrooms and onions and steamed cauliflower, carrots and squash while drinking an organic beer. 

We are recovering from our two week vacation with grandson Felix on the Mexican Riviera while Felix is reuniting with his Mom in Ottawa.

The vacation was one for learning and growing: how to stay positive when expectations are not met.  I failed miserably.

I was decompressing from a year that was more stressful than I cared to admit and found that my tolerance for anyone else was nil.  All I wanted was some time to myself.  Grumpy was an understatement, which triggered or aggravated a difficult process with Felix and nearly blew up my relationship.

Felix hated the daycare at our resort, became ill and chose this time to assert his three year old powers.  We found ourselves stuck inside our hotel room on perfect sunny days with a child who was coughing, cranky and not open to any suggestions that weren’t his.  Standing firm resulted in constant battles with him screaming, crying and throwing things.  Our poor neighbours.

None of my remedies helped and I wasn’t in a good mindset to deal creatively and calmly, desperately needing some downtime myself.  He finally had a fever and after one more day of nursing inside, allowed us to take him out.

In the second week, we moved to a resort with a kitchen in our room so I could shop and cook simple, healthy meals instead of eating resort food.  There was no daycare, contrary to what we were told, and Felix required constant attention.  I gave up trying to have a vacation and figured I’d get some rest when back home!

Stephen got sunburnt and we discovered that Glonoine, the homeopathic remedy for sunstroke, was able to cool his burning skin to normal in 20 minutes flat — it was absolutely remarkable!  Then he developed a cough which escalated into a miserable flu requiring bed rest.

I gave him the homeopathic remedy Gelsemium and went out to dinner with Felix at a Mexican fiesta where he got to hit a pinata and sit on a burro.  When we got back, Stephen was up and cheerful and after another dose, completely better.  He couldn’t believe the transformation, thinking he would be recovering for a week.

Through all of this, we had constant positive encounters with the Mexican staff, lovely hard-working people who had a steady supply of patience and goodwill for their sometimes cranky guests against a backdrop of their own poverty and personal tragedies.

I left Mexico realizing how spoiled I am and profoundly aware of my privilege and the need to manage my thoughts, time and energy better so that I can give back without burning out.  I’ll let you know how that goes. . .