Post Vacation Reflections
Almost every night since we have returned from our vacation, I have dreamed about being back in the mountains, especially in the mountains at Glacier National Park. The experience we had there will just not leave me, and I am fine with that because it was possibly the best vacation I have ever had. I have been thinking about that magical time so much that I have actually entertained the thought of moving there (not really seriously. my thoughts always stop when winter comes to mind).
Anyway, because the trip is still on my mind, I am going to keep talking about it here. Here are some things I have been thinking about, in no particular order.
1. Here, where we live, things are very fast paced. People don’t like to waste time and are, therefore, very time conscious. Events begin on time and usually end on time. Meetings have a beginning and an end time stated. Even our play dates have end times built in and some moms feel the need to have scheduled activities during these times. I have never really heard of anyone going away for more than a week at a time. Prior to this past summer, we, too, have only gone away for a week at a time, and I have often returned thinking that I needed another vacation as soon as we arrive back. One week is just not enough time to unwind and let your everyday stresses leave your system. We were away for three weeks and it was a mental relief to not have to think about coming home after the first few days, which is what I always inevitably do when we go away for only a week. After that first week, I really felt more relaxed and at ease than I have felt in years, maybe ever.
2. We went to places with hardly any cell phone or internet connectivity. Now, I love to be connected to people on the internet and by phone. When I am home, I check my facebook pages and ravelry pages and email multiple times a day. I think these are all great ways to communicate and stay in touch with the people in our lives. But, on vacation, I loved how being disconnected from these things made me more present in the moment. My attention wasn’t being diverted or split between the people in front of me physically and the people in front of me on the screens. There were fewer voices speaking to me at once, and I found that I could listen better to those who were actually talking to me. Also, I could hear myself better, too.
3. We were really active while we were away. We did all the hikes we thought we could manage and even did one or two that might have stretched our physical limits. We were always tired at the end of the day, but it was such a satisfying tired feeling. We made it to the end of the trail and back! And we did it together, which brings me to my next thing.
4. Most days, we all go about doing our individual things. Everyone has their own work and tasks that must be done. But while we were on vacation, we were all in it together. If we hiked to the end of a 3 mile trail, we had to go at a pace that the weakest could keep up with, and when things got hot and cranky, we all had to figure out a way to keep going because there is no quitting when you are on the side of a mountain and the only way to get back is on your own two feet. It was a great lesson for us all to be patient with one another, share the water and the loads, and pace ourselves. I think more than one of us learned that we are capable of much more than we initially judge ourselves to be.
5. Life is an adventure! We had lots of mundane moments on vacation, but, really, we never knew what was coming next around the corner, whether it be a breathtaking view, or wildlife, or a nice breeze. Even the storms were incredible things to behold. Some came with lots of lightning and thunder and drama. Some came with rainbows. It was a great reminder to me that I am not in control and that’s okay, because, really, I would just mess things up.
6. Everything will be ok. I stressed a lot before going on this trip and the beginning was a bit rocky, but it all worked out all right. We had no accidents, everything went as well it could have and it was a good lesson for me to learn that anxiety doesn’t change a thing. Now, I am not deluding myself into thinking that I will never be anxious again, but I can always remember how the things I worried about on this trip never came to be.
7. Perspective check. The mountains and animals and things we saw were so beautiful and so unique that I could not help but be reminded that the God who created those things also created me. And He didn’t just stop there. Just as he cares for each flower petal, each animal that we saw, he cares for me in a way that I could never comprehend. His wonders will never cease. I was reminded on this trip that everything we see around us has been provided for us by the God who loves us and our job is to take care of it all, to the best of our ability. Sadly, we haven’t always been good at doing that. Incidentally, the glaciers in Glacier National Park are shrinking and are predicted to be gone by the year 2030. I am really grateful that we were able to go see them before they disappear. Already, we are asking ourselves when we can go back.
Hmm. I think That’s all I have on my mind for today. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for being patient with me as I ramble on. Hopefully, the pictures kept you a little entertained!