Monday, May 28, 2012

I hope you all have had a lovely Memorial day weekend (and as always, many thanks and grateful thoughts to those who have fought bravely for this country).  I have been on vacation, and obviously have been on vacation from blogging too much as well.  I'm not going to promise that I'm back or anything like that, but I will simply say that I'm trying to navigate the challenging task of figuring out how much to disclose about my personal life and my personal opinions, on a space which is very public.  My new job also takes up a lot of my time, and I want to spend my life living it, rather than reflecting an and documenting it, so I'm trying to find a balance.

This weekend, we trekked down to the New River Gorge in West Virginia and rented a cabin in Fayetteville with the husband's cousins and aunt.  This was the first true vacation I had taken with his family - we have visited his family, but that's different.  To go on vacation is a totally different thing to than to visit somebody, so it was really nice.  It's also great to get to go hiking and white-water rafting and hang out in a hot tub and talk about life stuff with such a varied group of people, none of whom I knew very well, if at all.
The funny thing about being married is that I think sometimes we are so busy nurturing and cherishing and protecting our baby families that we forget how much value there is to be had in spending time with our families of origin.  We were the only married couple on the trip, since none of the other spouses could make it, and it's always challenging to draw the line between being icky-mushy and "ew, no, he has cooties, don't make me sit near him."  We went on a trip with a few other couples back in January, and it was really interesting how some people spent the whole time cuddling and some people spent time doing their own thing. 
Generally speaking, we try to adopt the same buddy-system that we use while diving - just occasionally make sure that your buddy is still alive, is not in distress, and not running low on oxygen.  If you are in distress or low on oxygen, it is your obligation to make sure your buddy knows that.  Make sure that you check in with them on a regular basis, but make sure that you enjoy yourself and give them space to do the same.  If you spend a lot of time together otherwise, maybe use a big group trip as a way to get some space.    Group trips are also a great way to make sure that you get what you need from vacation - some people use it as a way to relax and recharge, and some people use it as an opportunity to go out and do stuff - and if you are with a number of people, some of whom want to do what you do, and your partner wants to do something else, take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with other people.  I'm always baffled when we're on vacation and one person won't do something they really want to do, because their partner just wants to chill out at the lodge and relax.

How do you work the big group vacations?


  1. We're still working on the whole how to be a couple on a group vacation/outing because 99% of the time, we're adventuring just us two (and Sprocket). Forrest's response is to act like we're totally platonic. I'm not sure if I'm normal or overly's difficult to tell because we don't have too many couple friends.

    We did adventure this weekend with a couple who reminds me a lot of us. It was really refreshing to see how their relationship dynamic played out...and it turned out to be amazingly similar to ours. And it made me think we need more friends like us aka sarcastic, sorta outdoorsy, smart, and probably childless (which isn't an absolute, but it helps), etc.

  2. I love family of origin! I'm often the one in a relationship, and that's interesting to balance. It can be hard for C to not feel neglected, since I'm not giving him my full attention. I think it gets much, much easier as your partner starts to know your family too and isn't just floating around on a cloud of discomfort.

    Agreed at utilizing other people so you can do what you want and your partner can too!