Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Stress Of A Vacation

Earlier this week I needed to prepare a devotion for a meeting. Being that most kids are in their last week of school, I searched devotions on 'summer vacations', 'getting out of school', 'heading to the cottage', and 'summer'. I found quite a bit of inspiring stuff, but nothing that reached out and grabbed my attention. Maybe because my youngest child is now a college grad and has a full time job, I just wasn't relating to anything. Then I found one. It talked about the trouble with stopping what you are used to doing.

I certainly don't want to quote another author word for word, but there was some really relate-able stuff in the devotion that I could connect to. I felt parts were well worth sharing, even if in my own words.

It's the time of year when many people start to plan summer vacations. Most of us will admit that even if we don't often travel we still like to fantasize about it to some extent; whether you're a beach going, mountain climbing, or road trip kind of person just the thought of 'getting away and doing something different than the norm' can be recharging.

But how many of you have a difficult time once you get to your destination - sometimes it takes a day or two to just unwind and start to think about what is in front of you more than what you left behind (a job, family, responsibilities, To Do lists, etc.). Turning our brains off and allowing our bodies and minds to enjoy the moment we are in can be hard. We are more used to being on auto-pilot. When you're at the beach you may listen to the sound of the water and the crashing waves and the seagulls. How often do you pay attention and actually smell the smells and hear the sounds that are at home? We rarely give them a passing thought, other than the sounds of the neighbor's dog barking or someone cutting their lawn. Occasionally we might take a deep breath and realize that someone not too far away is barbecuing something tasty.

Sometimes we take the time away to recharge and try to temporarily turn our brains off. Sometimes we find ourselves orchestrating what we will need to do once we get back; that's not necessarily a bad thing if you're contemplating a big life change. Often we need to go some place different and quiet just so we can actually hear ourselves think.

If you are about to embark on a getaway, that's great. If you'll be at home, try to still take some personal time. As the original devotion author said, 'We have the ability to make a choice to enjoy life (on vacation or at our desk).' They also suggested that we need to focus on today and leave tomorrow until tomorrow comes. Planning and preparing is always a good idea, but worrying is a waste.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."   Matthew 6:34

I have a mini mother-daughter getaway coming up. I was allowing myself to become absorbed in the the pressures of today and tomorrow that for a moment I actually thought about and tried to reschedule our getaway for another time when I naively thought things would be less busy. I took it as a sign when the innkeeper had no other dates that would work. My husband said, 'Just go!' There will always be STUFF that tries to get in the way. Crossing my fingers (as is my daughter) that nothing does get in our way. Three nights on Mackinac Island ... here we come. Lots of walking, fresh air, conversation, reconnecting, sight-seeing, and a day dedicated just to food trolling (as my daughter uniquely calls it). Tasting a little from every restaurant we can.

I hope to come back without a headache, having rested, maybe with a little sun on my face and shoulders. I hope you have something (big or small) on your horizon as well.

Any plans? Or do I have you thinking and planning now?

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