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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Rum Punches...

Ah, family vacation. That annual tradition for many that either brings great joy, anxiety, dread, or all of the above. Some people skip the traditional family vacation and opt for a "framily" vacation. Those folks who you have chosen to be permanent fixtures in your world, circle, or these days bubble. Whatever your pleasure and no matter the level of love you have for these folks; nobody has a crystal ball. What will be the thing that causes the pot to boil over. Sometimes you can see it coming, other times....not so much. The proverbial straw.

Summer vacations include sandy beaches, water, warmth, sunshine, rum punches, matching paraphernalia, and dessert even if you don't finish your supper. Everyone vacations differently. You may prefer a tent on the mountain with not a single person in sight. You do you. Find your preferred way to vacation and go for it. Rum punch however should be included in all summer vacations.

We are in the midway point of our summer vacation. I am a water person. I like the symphony of sounds that come with being by the shore. Crashing surf, melodic insects, far off laughter, cranky sun kissed babes who fall into slumber after long carefree days. You take those moments of pureness, innocence, and want to bottle them up. Immerse yourself in those feelings. Wanting for more days like that. Where sunscreen applications are your biggest worries. Is it a 30 SPF kind of day or we going with 55? Do we need to bust out the zinc stick for freckle faced loves who need some extra coverage.

It would be nice if you could approach life the same way. Is this a SPF 30 kind of day or do we need to pull out the big guns for maximum protection? Most of us have been outside doing various activities and know the physical feeling when its time to reapply sunscreen or perhaps, damn I forgot to put on sunscreen. We rectify the situation, ask to borrow some, whatever...and move on. No questions needed. No judgement. Everyone carries sunscreen with them on the beach. My beach bag currently has four different kinds. There is no stigma associate with sunscreen. Everyone should wear it and apply often. It is physician recommended, affordable, and available readily. Too much time in the sun can lead to serious medical complications, i/e skin cancer. Or physical implications such as sun spots and poor skin quality. We all probably know someone who has been touched by too much sun. Most of us have had the terrible sunburn we still remember years later. Mine was at the 8th grade pool party, I had this amazing hot pink bathing suit, and burned the hell out of myself. My 8th grade graduation was the next day. My father had to do my hair I couldn't raise my arms above my head.....lesson learned.

If you consult our good friend #google and perform search for "sunscreen" and "mental health" you come back with some impressive results. For sunscreen, Google returns 115,000,000 results in (0.88 seconds) and for mental health, 1,070,000,000 results in (1.05 seconds). I'm no math major but mental health far exceeds sunscreen. Yet, we all support sunscreen. We all can ask for help with applying sunscreen. Raise your hand if you have ever said "hey can you get my back?", "hey do I look like I need to reapply?" Most of us do not approach mental health in the same manner. We never judge someone who frequently applies sunscreen. Yet, we judge people for prolonged depression and bouts of anxiety. Sunscreen application is a team sport yet depression and anxiety are ultimately up to the person. Sure, you surround yourself with resources and check the boxes. You eventually learn how to play the game. Not because you want to; because you start trying to outsmart your recovery. What can I say, we use our super powers for good and evil.

When I had to be admitted to the psych ward for my own safety, I quickly sized up that I could get out within less than 48 hours. I was out in 36. I assessed my surroundings realized what needed to be said and skipped on out of there with my d/c summary in hand. The category I fall in to on the psych scale is far more dangerous than frequent flyers. We are smart, we are talented, usually professionals. We know enough to be dangerous. We are the James Bond of crazy land. We are not actually crazy. We battle intrusive thoughts and are real good at hiding things. We generally know what is needed; we just aren't the best at making those decisions on our own. If we were, we wouldn't be card carrying members of camp crazy. My remarks are not meant to be flippant. If you haven't figured it out in the past 21 blog posts, I have depression, anxiety, PTSD and am recovering from suicidal ideations. Not exactly what someone usually puts on their baseball card. Those things have wreaked a lot of havoc in my life from a 70 pound weight gain to having to relearn a lot of things. Maybe I should have a baseball card, would make explaining things a lot easier. However, If this blog has proven anything, its that there aren't enough baseball cards for me to tell my story. Perhaps Lin-Manuel Miranda will write my ballad one day.

Going on vacation doesn't take any of those things away. It either heightens them or dulls them. As we are at the beach and we have small children we are more heightened than relaxed. However, it is a change of scenery and lots of special treats along the way. They are having fun and starting to miss their own beds and things and routines. We are a family that needs routine for many many reasons. 2020 has not provided any stable routines.

Next week we shake things back up again and start back to person. Perhaps I should just issue a blanket apology for the delightfully anxious person I am next week. Maybe we will just stay here and keep running our lives based on SPF. Because the punches are going to contain something much stronger.....

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1 Comment

Josephine Schmidt
Josephine Schmidt
Aug 13, 2020

Praying, praying...for a very calm, stable, minimal drama routine next week. You got this❣️l love you.🙏😘❤️

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