My Fred Meyer Vacation


I was so excited. I had just completed several large projects for my business, and I was thrilled to spend Christmas vacation with my husband and our toddler at the Oregon coast.

In order to be ready for this trip, I had pushed myself to the limit October through December. I worked long days and long hours and counted down the days when we could walk the beach looking for shells and chasing waves.

Relax, breathe deeply and appreciate

​We arrived at our hotel, and there was an absolutely stunning pink sunset that took up the entire sky and secretly whispered to me that it was time to relax, breathe deeply and appreciate the simple moments with my family.

(Insert record screeching here.)

We heard a storm would be hitting the coast, but we were Oregonians. Rain didn’t intimidate us much.

And then we started getting notices that it wasn’t safe to go out on the beach.

The waves were violent and unpredictable. Sneaker waves were common. Within hours we got notice that it wasn’t safe to walk outside.

The wind speed was increasing to a higher and higher velocity, and the news warned that if you went outside, you should expect to be confronted with a stray tree limb.

We figured this storm would last 24 hours. It didn’t. It lasted six days alternating between a drizzle and a dramatic, chair-flipping soaker. We suddenly found ourselves stuck in 700 square feet with an incredibly energetic toddler and nowhere to go except – Fred Meyer.

I could feel my anxiety growing as the days wore on. I had counted on this vacation to reset me so that I could enter into a new year at work inspired and ready to dig in. The more time I spent at Fred Meyer, the less rejuvenated I felt.

My anxiety was growing

In the quiet moments when my daughter was napping, I read the book “Burnout” by Emily and Amelia Nagoski.

They explained that stress needs an outlet. They call it “completing the stress cycle”, and I realized as I read that I shouldn’t expect a vacation to heal my stress – I needed to consciously break during my work day and build relaxation into every hour.

We were on day three of our “Fred Meyer Vacation” when there was a break in the weather for two hours. The Nagoski sisters inspired me, and I got myself out for a run. I found this absolutely stunning path.

TOTAL. GAME. CHANGER. I came back from that run a new woman.

Moving is always the right answer

I knew we would most likely spend the rest of our vacation at Fred Meyer, but that little window of exertion gave me the respite I needed to get perspective on my life. I was reminded of the true reality of my life.

I was at the Oregon coast with my beautiful family. We had enough money to spend every day at Fred Meyer and come home with a new toy each time. I was reminded of how truly fortunate I am to take time away from work in the first place, and to spend it with the two people who are the most precious to me in this world.

We ended up coming home early, but I kept up my running routine, and it gave me the resilience to dive into the projects awaiting me at home with gusto, gratitude and humor.

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About Ishbel

For the last twenty years, I have helped people take charge of their health and feel better. I have been in your shoes - sick, tired, and overwhelmed by how to actionably care for myself. If you want to feel better, but don't know where to start, you've come to the right place. Learn More >


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