Janelle, Katylynn, and I returned last Saturday from a nice, long family vacation in Florida. Janelle and I both agree it was the best to date as far as enjoyment and memories. An easy going but explorative 2 year old will do that to you. While there, I was reminded how important vacation time is for me. Both short overnight or weekend getaways, or long term megacations (as I've began to call them). Here's 5 reasons I need vacations:
- I can unplug... literally: I've made it a point with vacation time to cut back my interactive electronic in and output. Pretty much every trip includes a break from facebook and blogging. This time, we left the computer at home, I pretty much turned off my phone (except at Disney for taking pictures and communicating with Janelle). It's good to get away from this stuff (I almost typed "junk").
- I can get away from "work": I love my job. I actually love it because of the people I'm around and the cause we are working toward. At the same time, it can be exhausting and frustrating. I do believe there is deep truth to the statement, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", but only when it's something or someone you are truly fond of. Vacations remind me that I LOVE what I do.
- I'm not THAT important: I talk to Youth Pastors often who say, "I can't find the time to get away with all the expectations on me at the church." I find this nearly laughable. I want to say back, "You know, you're not that important. If you are that important, something is wrong." I was frantically working to get everything lined up for while I was gone. We had some pretty significant programming and events (specifically the Hoops of Hope Event) while I was gone. You know what? It all happened while I was gone. In fact, I sat in our staff youth staff meeting and reviewed a ton of details with the team. I came to the conclusion I could probably take the rest of the week off.
- Total Focus on Family: Janelle often tells me, "I love vacations because I get all of you." I 100% agree. For 12 days it was Janelle, Katylynn and Derry. That was pretty much it. In those 12 days, we ran into one person we knew, and it was for 15 minutes. Think about that, when was the last time you and your family were able to spend extended time with each other and not see someone else you knew. There's something really good about that.
- Creating Memories: On Tuesday, Jan. 25, Janelle and I joined Katylynn as she chased after seagulls along the beach.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27 7:30 a.m. I sat on a balcony with my daughter in my lap and watched the sunrise (the first time I have ever just sat and watched a sun rise).
On Thursday, Jan. 28, I sat on a balcony and recounted some of the major milestones and memories with Katylynn thus far.
On Friday, Jan. 29, I sat at an awesome restaurant looking out at Cinderalla's castle while my wife and daughter sat across from me, and I had one of those, "I am ridiculously blessed" moments.
On Saturday, Jan. 30, I watched my wife face her fear of heights and water as she went para sailing.
On Sunday, Jan. 31, I watched my little princess talk with Princess Belle.
On Thursday, Feb. 4 I watched my daughter play with 2 Japanese gals (could only speak broken English) who were so taken by Katylynn that they decided to give her a little Mickey Doll.
I love making memories and creating "moments"... vacations are like steroids for this.