I recently returned from my annual two-week retreat to Lake Okoboji, a favorite (and sometimes decadent) hideaway since childhood. This journey included a high-school reunion, a family reunion, and a dreamy wedding on a farm: People, hugs, fresh air!
I return to reality with minor depression and stacks of chores, as is typical after even a modest BreakAway, so must remind myself (and you) that it’s so worthwhile.
People hardly vacation any more, as we’ve ranted about herein 555 times. Folks blame work, commitments, kids’ events, and money. My take? Lame excuses. I wonder if they punt R&R time out of fear, inertia, and screen-life addiction. But who wants to play shrink about all that? Rather, let’s focus on why we “get away” in the first place: Vacation FUNdamentals.
Today’s parents are way (too?) into their kids—at least those fortunate offspring whose parents got the memo and have the jingle to enroll them year-round…in everything. But my gut says about 99% of these kids know they ain’t gonna go pro, get sick of lessons and practice, and would love some time with loving rellies who take them to the lake, the farm, and the drive-in.
Yet let’s be real: Time with kinfolk can be tricky. Family gatherings can serve up strong emotions alongside gooey cole slaw. But isn’t that a reason to gather anyway? Would you rather leave ill winds to blow or clear the air? And who knows? Auntie’s cookies and Grandmas’ hugs may become treasured memories when grizzled coaches can no longer criticize your defensive stance.
For many, friends are the new family. That’s great; you can’t have too many friends or enough support. Yet moving and mobility often means that BFFs now live all over, from San Diego to Buffalo. So reconnecting may mean more logistics, but also more adventure.
Why not fly to that that faraway “family” now in Boston? Who says the kids wouldn’t love a road trip to someone’s cabin Up North? As time goes by, we all realize that the most important things are not things: They’re friends you can count on, extraordinary experiences you create, and memories you make. That’s what friends are for. Take time and take pics.
FUN! Maybe it’s become a trite word. Well, so what. It still means something. To this sometimes coach (and too-often sport critic), FUN is #1 for most any team in any sport—if you want to build loyalty and longevity (and wins!). FUN is #1 motivator to get us off our device and into a movie, festival, or boat. FUN is the #1 incentive to leave town.
Oh sure, the packing, schlepping, work- and house- and dog- arranging can be a buzzkill. But once you’re on the road or in the air? Nice! Once you’re landing in Cali or landing a walleye? Sweet. Once you’re on the hiking trail or on a high that does not include your high-rise office or getting rebounds in 99-degree gyms? Bliss.
It’s not that difficult. It’s pretty simple, really, and essential to well-being; that’s why employers give vacation time away. Please don’t deny yourself (or your family and friends!) some free time for some fun.
You love family, friends, and fun more than work, right? RIGHT!?!
You’ll thank yourself later. So will your loved ones. And know what? You’ll probably be a more productive worker, too.