The “give peas a chance” t-shirt my granddaughter wore a few years back got me laughing hysterically. And, it has stuck in my mind.
Bill and I have never spent a vacation with other people — we have done lots of weekends and overnights with family and friends — but have never done a “group” vacation. We just thought we might get sick of people, or feel constrained to spend a night alone or go on some side trip by ourselves. The culture is SO saturated by warnings “not to lose your boundaries” and “take care of yourself” that it is hard just to assume that sharing with others you don’t know could be the best of experiences. And hard as well to realize that giving and compromising isn’t really a sacrifice — it’s just good living. Family and extended family trips are in vogue — but not this.
When we got to the villa on the Amalfi Coast (put it on your bucket list if you haven’t been) we saw we’d have privacy with our own room and bath but were still worried — who ARE these friends of Betty and Jeff’s? We love Betty and Jeff but maybe their friends will be painfully boring, or dumb, or just “not our thing”. We did know they were democrats so that helped make it more appealing. At the least we’d have this one thing in common if all else failed!
Was reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin at the time. Have to write about that in another blog post — my thinking is we need a happiness project for fabulous over 60 women. LOVED her book and recommend it highly — but there are some things about creating happiness in our 60s that have to be explored.
The point of mentioning it here is that this well-researched and terrifically written book got me thinking about recommitting to those excellent habits — habits like being open minded and meeting new people for the sake of growth and new perspectives. I decided to let this new type of vacation just unfold as it was meant to. Believe me this was not easy for me — controlling, perfectionist, highly anxious and sometimes resistant to “different” like most people. I needed a firm new emphasis on “giving peas a chance”.
Mark and Sherry and Matthew and Ellen were awesome — nothing we could have anticipated other than doing what we should have done at the start – trust Betty and Jeff that their friends had to be good people. People who don’t focus or haggle about money, are self-assured, modest, smart and savvy and hysterically funny at times. Yeah, give peas a chance.
I might never do it again — but it was awesome. Yeah, I need to think more about giving peas a chance again.