I watched myself twist and turn, in the floor-to-ceiling mirror. My hair was a mess. Orange swim shorts were the only thing I had on and I was preparing myself to go down to the beach. I was choosing to expose a lot of skin to the Mexican sun, which I’d heard too many times, would kill me. In an effort to not burn the daylights out of myself, I was slathering SPF 50 sunblock on my arms, legs, face, ears, chest and now, my back.

I watched myself in the mirror because I was trying to make sure I got my whole back. I imagined burning a little triangle in the middle of my back, just below my shoulder blades because that was the place I was struggling to reach. I said I was going on vacation with Jesus, but He wasn’t necessarily making Himself available to put sunblock on this hard-to-reach spot.

I started imagining creative things I could do to get sunscreen on my back. In my mind, I tipped the bottle, squeezed and let a small puddle land on the tiled floor. I then laid down, positioned myself perfectly so that I could press myself against the floor and rub it all over the one place I still needed it. I laughed at the thought and looked at the floor. It looked clean, but I decided that I wasn’t about to take my chances. Besides, I’d probably slip on that spot later and come to an untimely demise. Not the greatest of vacation plans.

Other, equally neurotic ideas flashed through my mind, including finding one of the maids that always seemed to be circling the resort and asking her to do it. Again, I decided I’d rather not. If I had to, I’d deal with a burned, itchy spot on my back. One that I wouldn’t be able to reach to scratch, or to put aloe on later. I came down here with Jesus, not anyone else for a reason and if I had to live with it being like this, I would most happily suffer.

The last year had been good. I’ve seen a lot of changes in my life. I’ve also been busy. Ridiculously so, with little time to myself. Slowly, I’d been taking the free moments I had and hoarding them, hoping to write, read or nap. The last year had been good, but relationally, I’d had some challenges, too. New schedules have impacted relationships and commitments. Some of this turned out to be difficult. I came down here alone because I wanted time to myself, but discovered in putting sunblock on that I needed other people. Really, at least one at that point, but I knew that I needed more, I wanted more. Vacation was showing me so much already.