Relax, Dammit

Me and Hubs at Lambert Bridge Winery. Not pictured: Chaos.
Me and Hubs at Lambert Bridge Winery. Not pictured: Chaos.

Last week Hubs and I went out to California for a six-day vacation with some friends. It was the longest we’d been away from Fozzie and Skywalker, with both of us gone, and I am SO grateful for my mother-in-law and our amazing babysitter for making it possible. It was totally an “Eye of the Storm” vacation, which featured the two of us scrambling to recover from the High Holidays, get loose ends tied up and everything ready for someone else to be in charge of the chaos that is our household before we got on the plane; only to hit the ground running again as soon as we got back to Atlanta. In the meantime, we were supposed to drink wine, relax and enjoy this desperately needed (and, for us, pricey) vacation.

I don’t always do well with this kind of thing. Sort of like I don’t do well with meditation. I’m not always an “in the moment” kind of girl. Even on vacation, there’s a voice in my head, which I am totally going to pretend is NOT my father’s, saying “Do you have any idea how hard I worked to give you this time? Are you enjoying it to the fullest? What could you do to be enjoying it more? RELAX, DAMMIT!”

I don’t know if it was the beautiful setting, the scrumptious wine, or the splendid company of Hubs and our friends, but I’m happy to report that I TOTALLY pulled it off. Maybe all that nervous energy dissipated when we went for a zipline canopy tour — nothing like swaying on a platform 200 feet up a redwood tree to put things in perspective — or maybe I just needed it so badly that I got out of my own way and really did relax. Which isn’t to say that my life is any less chaotic upon return or that I’m a working-mom zen master now, but I think there’s one spot behind my right shoulder blade that is SLIGHTLY less balled into a tiny little fist than it was two weeks ago. I’ll take it!

More on the trip later. In the meantime, I invite you to use “Relax, Dammit” as your personal mantra, too.

PS – I am officially the LAST person to join Instagram, but come find me there: mjpullenauthor


I’m M.J. (Manda) Pullen, an author and mom in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I blog about writing, publishing, motherhood, health, psychology and whatever else strikes me in the moment.

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My books include The Marriage Pact series, a trilogy of funny, semi-realistic Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction novels forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press. Thanks for reading!


MJ Pullen

M.J. Pullen is a Distracted Writer and the mom of two boys in Roswell, Georgia, where she is absolutely late for something important right now. Her books include quirky romantic comedies and playful women's fiction -- her latest, SUGAR STREET released on 8/7/18. Join her Distracted Readers newsletter list for updates, free content, giveaways and more.

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