Liz Marsh

I lost 3 pounds last week without trying. In fact, I was specifically not trying. I was on vacation. I spent every single day not paying any attention to what I was eating or drinking or how much exercise I was getting, and it worked like a charm.

My parents recently rented a condo in Mexico, where they intend to escape the Colorado winter. They have been there only five months, but they have already settled into a brand new lifestyle — one which has made me rethink my own.

Each morning of my vacation started with a hike to the top of the pedregal behind my parents’ complex. It was not a gentle way to start the morning, but the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez was worth it. This trek would be followed by a dip in the pool, the first of several in any given day. We spent time at the beach, walking around town and exploring Baja Sur at our leisure.

Every day, we ate our fill of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and tequila.

I felt restored and healthy and whole.

It wasn’t until it was time to leave that I realized how much I lack that feeling in my day-to-day life.

On way to the airport, we stopped for one last drink on the beach. I watched the surfers on the cobalt blue waves and sipped my drink, savoring the last few minutes of vacation, when suddenly I was overcome with anxiety. The feeling of obligation settled in the pit of my stomach.

I knew that as soon as the plane touched down, I would have a hundred emails and voicemails waiting for me at work. I would have to do homework, walk the dog, get the laundry going, prepare my house for winter, remember to call my insurance company about that weird bill I got in the mail, make a dentist appointment, get the oil changed in my car, decline yet another invitation to buy LuLaRoe leggings, pick up a gift for the baby shower and also for that other baby shower, and definitely remember to get a card for the engagement party/bachelorette party/bridal shower/wedding that’s coming up.

None of the tasks of my daily life are necessarily unpleasant. I am extremely lucky and happy in my life. And yet, these days I often feel overwhelmed. It made me wonder if those 3 pounds I lost were simply stress leaving my body.

I wonder sometimes if I’m the only one who feels like they have to put on armor every day in order to look at my phone or watch the news. Is it normal in the mid-30s to feel like the slog of adulthood might be too much to bear?

More importantly, would it be cool if I just quit my job, sell my house and move to the beach? Quick, someone talk me out of it. I’m looking at flights now.

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