Things Keeping Us Going: Hugging it Out Edition

I am not a hugger. Or I didn’t used to be one. I am now. Turns out that hugs are awesome!

It has been a bit stressful around here. We were supposed to be flying out on vacation early yesterday morning. There was some weather-related drama that canceled flights across the country. For a few hours there, it looked like the entire trip was lost. Eventually, though, we made it. My Personal Chef and I are in Denver for the week.

It is the first vacation we have had together in three years.

Until we made it from the airport we were supposed to fly out of to the airport we got rebooked to finally fly out of I had no idea how much we needed a vacation together. I didn’t realize how disconnected we have been from each other, and even from ourselves.

When we emerged at the top of the escalator at baggage claim at Denver International Airport, there was our sister-in-law, my husband’s brother’s wife, waving wildly with a huge grin. She squeezed me tight with the first of a series of hugs from people we love. To my surprise, I hugged her back. It felt good.

We were whisked from the airport to a surprise birthday dinner for my husband. Three nieces, two nephews, a baby, a couple of dogs and cats… There was a lot of joyful confusion walking through the door. And more hugs. So. Many. Hugs. It was overwhelming, but it was…nice. Really nice.

After a good night’s sleep, we went out for breakfast, toured the Air Force Academy (Go Falcons!), sauntered about and climbed some rocks at the Garden of the Gods,  and then we met up with some cousins for dinner. Why, yes, there was more hugging.

At dinner, nobody seemed surprised when a perfect stranger boldly admitted to eavesdropping on our conversation, and asked if we could recommend a church for him and his wife, who had just relocated to the area. In hindsight, it could have struck us as a rude or intrusive or offensive. Instead, we all just made room for the couple, and gave them what they were really asking for: connection.  Our cousins told the couple about the local scene, and about their small, country church. My brother- and sister-in-law talked about some of their own experiences with being recent transplants to Colorado themselves. Phone numbers were exchanged. Some tears might have fallen. There were a few more hugs passed around. It just felt right.

We all just want to be seen, known, loved. We all hunger for connection.

Sometimes, you just need to hug it out.

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