We are on vacation and I heartily recommend one for you! You know there are a variety of vacations — travel trips that are fun but exhausting; large family trips; educational vacations; and then there are the restful, relaxing get-a-ways that give time for pause. The relaxing type of vacation is the one I am talking about today. Our go-to place is Daytona Beach. Yours might be a lake house or a place in the mountains.
Getting away from home, work, and our normal schedule is so healthy and necessary. I sometimes hate it that I am such a task-oriented person. Every day I make a list, tackle it with a vengeance, rarely take a break, and typically rate myself at the end of the day. Sometimes I feel very productive, other days I wonder how I stayed so busy and accomplished so little. This rat race lifestyle will get to you after a while.
Thus, my recommendation for vacation. Something about getting away from home allows most of us to shift gears a little. It may take a day or two but it is wonderful when you don’t look at the clock and you begin to enjoy the little moments.
JB still reminds me of the first time we went to Daytona with my parents soon after we were married. I kept telling him “you get to do whatever you want to do at the beach!” He was pumped! I am an early riser and love to get up and watch the sun rise. JB, on the other hand, is a night owl. In other words, he loves to sleep in! First morning at the beach I went in to tell him breakfast was ready. He rolled over and told me he was sleeping in. I announced, “Mama has breakfast ready and you have to get up now!” I guess Mama brought her schedule to the beach and I was just accustomed to it. JB insisted, “You told me I could do whatever I wanted at the beach!” It took us a while to sort this out, but let me just say that he won (eventually) and nowadays I let him sleep in when we are at the beach!
Perhaps you, too, have a hard time getting off the fast moving merry-go-round. Go! Go! Go somewhere and do something different, or perhaps plan to do nothing at all. We tend to ignore or forget the value of down time – time to reflect, refresh, remember, renew, and re-charge. Lively, meaningful communication is not easy to establish and maintain – at least in our family. Something about long road trips, a change of scenery, and distance from the urgency of work and schedules at home often promote times to talk about the things that really matter. This is one of the potential hidden treasures to be found while on vacation. Right now I can re-call many instances of deep conversations on huge subjects while on long road trips with just one other member of my family. These significant marker-times in our families typically cannot be scheduled but they are blessings when we take time to pause.
Back to our time in Daytona this year. It has not been perfect! For starters, we planned this family vacation around Rob’s schedule. He is working on his masters’ in Ft. Worth and we had to consider his break times. So we chose last week and Mary Margaret and Wes scheduled vacations from their jobs to come. About a month ago Rob announced, “Oops, the info I got on summer school schedule earlier was not correct. My Hebrew class starts a week earlier.” So, for a start, we did not have all the family here. Secondly, we had a lot of rain! Now that can be a problem at the beach, but we managed to claim every bit of sunshine and we entertained ourselves and made some great rain memories. MM and Wes enjoyed a day at Disney despite getting soaked. And then there was our Noah memory made when we got caught in a flash flood in our car and I was sure we were going to float into the other cars on the road or have to bail water out of the back seat! Truth is we will be re-telling these stories and remembering sweet times together for years to come.
So, go on now. Take a vacation.
Shalom (that’s for you, Rob!),