All Inclusive

We left for home on a bright morning that bathed the sea and sky in complementary colors. It was a sad kind of sun. It was the brightest of blues.

IMG_4450 (3)Four days on a tiny Belizean island nine miles off the coast is not enough.

It was a gift to ourselves for our fortieth birthdays: My husband hit the wall in January and I will catch up in July. We chose a trip instead of a party. We chose each other.

Wind and waves blowing in from the mainland lasted almost our whole trip. The first and the last days were sunny. In between we lazed on the hammock in front of our bungalow, watched frigatebirds hover with menacing calm over the shallows and rode bikes one mile from end to end.

We ate eggs and hot sauce for breakfast, fried chicken and hot sauce for lunch, and fish and hot sauce for dinner.

It took me 40 years to realize how much I like hot sauce.

The drinks were made with Belizean rum or vodka. My husband drank every fruity option on the menu in contravention of the Man Code. He figured word was unlikely to get out since we were on an island with strangers and, anyway, it’s not like anyone reads this blog.

I asked our bartender for muddled jalapeno in my rum-based margaritas.

The sea air and the capsaicin was a balm for my tired skin, which has erupted in patches on my hands, legs and neck over the past few months. What I thought was an allergy I now know, through the miracle of a Belizean vacation,  is stress induced.

We left for home on a bright morning that bathed the sea and sky in complementary colors. It was a sad kind of sun. It was the brightest of blues.

I don’t know what to do with this newfound realization: I am so stressed out my skin is sloughing off in angry welts as part of the real-life zombification process that is 40. I don’t know how to take the lessons from a short and blustery vacation and apply them to the day-to-day in New England, where everything constantly changes.

I don’t know how to work less hard, to be less angry at everyone who gets in the way of my unrealized dreams, to look up from my smart phone to see my children.

But I know a great hot sauce.

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