Some Thoughts on “Vacation”


Definition #1

Vacation (noun) – an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling

For me, vacation has always been just as much stressful as it has been relaxing.

How do I best fit the stuff in the car to maximize the room?
Where do I stop to get the cheapest gas?
Are we making good time?
Did I remember to pack underwear or will I have to go commando all week again?
Do we really have to stop again to go to the bathroom, we just stopped like 36 minutes ago?
Hold the cup with both hands, spilled milk stinks for years… we will probably have to sell the car if it spills.
Seriously? KidsBop? Why don’t we just all bring our own headphones and iPods?
I know the iPhone Maps app is taking me that way, but I know this other way has to be shorter.
Can I just have one empty cup holder to put my drink in… there are 8 cup holders in this car and only 4 people!
What are we going to do about our ferns… How are our ferns ever going to be a big as the Forinash Ferns if we aren’t there to water them?

And this is just SOME of what happens from the driveway to the destination…

For years, I have been going about vacation all wrong.
For years, I have been taking the normal little stresses of life all wrong, too.

I let the little, seemingly frustrating things affect my overall attitude.

While on vacation, it was things like loading and unloading the car that made me grumpy.
in life, it has been those same sorts of things that just didn’t go how I wanted them to go.

I think maybe I’m not alone…. Maybe we give too much attention to those things.

We give too much power to little bumps in the road.

In fact we don’t even recognize them as little bumps, because to us they seem like devastating downward digressions into some endless abyss of pain and suffering and our lives will never be the same as a result… when really we just made a wrong turn or they forgot to put the straw in my bag at McDonalds.

But to us, they are a much, much bigger deal.

It comes down to what our mindset is.

I may not have been able to perfectly Tetris all the bags in the car, but they fit…
I may pay 10 cents more per gallon in Tennessee, but Tennessee sure has some pretty hills to look at—
We may get there 1 hour and 12 minutes later than we thought we would, but we made it…
I might have forgotten my underwear, but Target carries some and I probably needed new ones anyway…
We may have stopped 36 minutes ago to go to the bathroom but the advantage is I can get another beef stick…

I’m finding that vacation is much more relaxing when I don’t let those little things… those unplanned things, those hiccups in the schedule…. determine what my attitude will be like.

I’m finding the same thing is true in life.

I’m a details person.
Details ARE important.
But sometimes I let the details consume me.
When I only focus on the details, I often miss the big picture…

Anna-Marie says I might miss the forest if I’m focused on a single tree.

On vacation, I get caught up in the things I “have” to do to “get there” and I let it become stressful… instead of seeing it all as part of it…


It’s ALL part of it.

Daily there are ups and downs.
Things that go our way and things that don’t.
Surprises you don’t want and surprises that are exciting.

It’s ALL part of it.

It’s all part of it on vacation… it’s all part of it in life.

I don’t think it is necessarily the up or the down that matters the most, I think it is how we respond to it.

Some of the worst things I have ever gone through have been the most rewarding things as well.

Some of the most negative situations I have had to deal with have made me stronger as a person.


Some of the best things I ever had happen made me more selfish and inflated my ego.


It’s not what happened; it’s what I did about it or what I did with it that mattered.

And, it’s our choice.

There is another definition for vacation…

Definition #2
Vacation (noun) – the act of leaving something one previously occupied

This year, I have taken a vacation from how I used to vacation.

This year, I want vacation from the way I have let situations and circumstances determine not only my attitude but my happiness.

And I’m thinking it might just make life… a vacation.

Well… mostly… 


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