We decided to spend Christmas away from home this year. The idea was to simplify and to eliminate any holiday craziness. Both of our grown-up sons joined us but not for the whole week and only overlapping each other on one day. We had great plans. I was going to sort out my priorities for the new year and come back with a refreshed perspective and a plan to build income. My wife’s plan was to take photographs of the beautiful northern California coast.
We also planned to read. My wife selected mysteries. I took a thick Sci-Fi novel that I had deferred for more serious reading but I also took some business reading that I hoped to study.
We packed carefully, loading the car with food and gifts, dropped off the cats and then drove the three and one-half hours to the Pacific Ocean and the quirky, architect-designed house we rented just feet above the crashing surf.
Now, one week later, we are back home. Did I accomplish everything I wanted? Do I have the plan for next year? Am I reved up and focused on making money? Not exactly. We did read. There is nothing more wonderful than reading with the surf crashing on the rocks and a blazing fire. I did take some walks. We did get a chance to talk with our sons and renew some intimacy which we had lost in recent years. But my big plan for next year is still somewhere in the clouds waiting for me to pull it together.
I feel like I squandered the opportunity to make those plans in a relaxed environment but maybe the truth is that the real value of a vacation is the opportunity to unwind, enjoy the beauty of nature and bond with my family. The plan needs to be done but maybe I undervalue the benefits of play. This past week was a wonderful time where I could let go and enjoy scenery and relationships. I can still prepare my plan now that I am back at home but a new part of that plan will be figuring out when we can get back to the coast for some more vacation.