Yes…winter holiday time is just around the corner and once again, we are fortunately blessed with the opportunity to leave the cold hell we call Toronto for the sunny and hopefully much warmer climate of the south.
We have been going to the same winter destination for several years and each and every year it feels like we are coming home. The familiar and peaceful setting, its beauty and the spectacular beach front is what we love so much about this little piece of heaven and hopefully will continue to love for years to come.
I am not saying exactly when we are going or when we are coming home because I really don’t want some whacked-out freak to read this blog…look up my address and track down my house and rape and pillage it while we are gone…not that there is anything worthy of stealing!!
Since having children who are now at an age when they too, appreciate the beauty of our winter destination, our trips have even more meaning. Their excitement for our winter getaway began back in December. Even though our trip was still several months away, they were already planning. My daughters have even begun to choose and fold their clothes for the trip (although my wife and I need to edit what they have packed….not enough underwear, too many shorts…what about something warm for the nights?).
We are starting to count down the number of sleeps until we get underway. BTW…did I mention that we are driving to our winter destination this year? I guess that rules out the places like the Caribbean, Bahamas..etc. Yes, this is the first time we are all going to pile into the car and tolerate each other’s whining, burps, farts, tirades and of course, each other’s good company for 21/2 days of uber-closeness.
I think back to another blog when I wrote about how much I still feel like a little kid sometimes and I have to admit that I am as excited about taking the trip as my two daughters. While I know that there is still much that needs to be accomplished between now and when we actually leave, I know what awaits. I know how good vacations make me feel. I know how much better I sleep, how much better I eat…how I am able to get meaningful one-on-one time with each of my ladies….how we are able to share thoughts, feelings and stories without interruptions like “clear the table” or “make your bed” or “take a shower and get ready for bed”. I know how great the sand will feel between my toes…how wonderful the sun will feel on my body…and how the sound of the gentle surf will soothe my mind. I look forward to taking yoga classes with my wife, going on morning walks with her…meditating…and even maybe being able to read a book or two while sipping a nice glass of wine on the balcony of our condo!
The sad part is, these trips don’t last very long…and the state of being that they leave you with is usually only savored for a relatively short period of time. I remember watching “City Slickers” with Billy Crystal. There was a great scene between him and the rough-tough cowboy played by Jack Palance. Jack’s character remarked how all the “city slickers” think that they can get away for two weeks every year and untie all those knots that are created during the other 50 weeks of the year. He is right. We unfortunately live in a society where working people never fully utilize their vacation time because they are too busy with the pressures of their jobs and the pressures of holding onto their jobs.
We are wound up tighter than a drum and are stressed to the max. Downtime/vacation time is an essential to successful living. It all comes back to searching for balance in your life. I agree that there is an imbalance between 45-50 weeks of work and a little bit of vacation time…but we need to continue to work for harmony so that we can attack the parts of our lives that fill us the greatest amounts of stress, with the calm and peaceful energy we obtain when we are in “vacation mode”.
My intention for my vacation is to return home with calm and peace in my heart that will linger until my next vacation. Whenever I lose focus or begin to feel that bubbling sensation of stress rising in my stomach, I will breathe in and breathe out, close my eyes and think back to how I felt when I was on my winter vacation. This will bring me back to the calm that I know already exists inside and is available to me whenever I need it.
To those of you who are also getting ready to embark on your winter vacation…enjoy!
A few tips: leave the blackberry off…do not call into the office for messages!! Surprise surprise…life will go on without you!