Vacations – A Reality Check

I have always found that the purpose of a vacation is to check in with what is important in life.  Getting away from the stress and drama of everyday life.

This vacation was no different.

This vacation reminded me that I need to remove myself more from electronics; television, telephones, email, social media.  I need to connect more in person with friends and loved ones; I need to visit with people in person. I need to write letters – receiving a letter via post is more appreciated than one might think. I need to play cards, whether cribbage or poker, more often.

This vacation reminded me, again, that worldly goods are only important when they help improve the lives of others.  I was reminded that money is only important when it creates a world that enhances a person’s ability to change, for the better, and then change the world, for the better, as a result.

This vacation re-affirmed that family and friends are both enduring and fleeting, and each have an incredible impact on our lives.  We love them all very deeply; those we have known over 40 years and those we have known for so much less.

I believe as we get older we learn to ‘see’ people differently and respect and appreciate their influence on the world around us. Life-long connections can be made in less than 5 minutes with certain people.

This vacation reminds me I need to be more tolerant and try to understand other people’s perspectives on life, because they won’t always coincide with mine.  I haven’t walked in their shoes for those years they have lived.   I haven’t experienced their day-to-day life and how much that might influence their perspectives.  I need to keep my mind so much more open.

I do know my vacation lets me make a difference.  I have helped save an animal’s life; improve a child’s health; made an impact on understanding a culture that is thousands of years old; help a family have food on their table for the next month.  All in just a two week period.

Vacation?  To me it is the reaffirming that enjoying life is most important; that money is only a means to make others happier and healthier, and sharing vacations with loved ones is a joy to appreciate forever.

This vacation reminds of the vacation we were planning for Matthew’s graduation from National Holistic Institute.  We were taking Matt and his brother to Belize in 2008 to see what impact they could make on another culture or the world.  Matthew would be able to see what his options could be and the influence he would yield.

Yet that vacation never occurred.  Matthew disappeared 3 months before graduation.

This is the actual reality check.

The impact of losing Matthew will not be lost upon the world.  We may not see or speak with family or friends frequently, because we carry their thoughts and love with us every day.  They always influence our thoughts. We will continue to make an effect on the world because of the impact of Matthew on our lives and eventually the world will come to understand how much it misses the difference that Matthew would have made himself.

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One Response to Vacations – A Reality Check

  1. Elana says:

    Hello, I am a college student, and I am writing a paper on the mental health stigma in our country. There is a cbs news story where you commented underneath, the story was about delaying treatment and the harm that can cause. I felt compelled to find a way to get in touch, your comment gives a good personal view of the stigma faced here. May I use your comments in my paper? Many blessings, and thank you for your strength and openness on such an intimate and vital topic.

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