Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It’s Time to Press Pause

A beautiful sunrise

It’s a hectic pace, day after day.  The morning comes before the sun even peeks its golden eye over the horizon and you feel like you’re running from one thing to the next until you finally peel your clothes off and drop exhausted into your bed.  I know most days that’s how I feel.  There is carpooling, helping kids with homework, our own work, maintaining a house, kid’s activities, our own pursuits, and without our notice twenty-four hours is sucked up and we’re left drained and still behind.

Okay, perhaps your day isn’t that busy, but still you’re active building a life for your family and that comes with a certain set of pressures, especially if you run your own business.  Before we know it, the work week is over and the weekend has arrived.  However, with everything we cram into those two days, Saturday and Sunday fly by and without understanding how, Monday has crept back upon us.  Time just seems to accelerate and all too soon, what we plan on doing becomes what we should have done.

The past couple of days here at The Mess, we’ve discussed how we need to take advantage of those small breaks life hands us.  Whether it’s a train passing by or a child crawling up in our lap, we benefit by slowing down and savoring the moment, getting the most out of the interruption as we can.  However, we need more.  We need to be able to press the pause button on life.  We need vacations, even if it’s just a day and a night and we never even leave town.

When the boys were little, Char and I took a page out of my parents’ book.  We escaped for the night, but never really went anywhere.  We booked a room in a hotel across the bridge, packed the boys’ bathing suits, some books and snacks, turned off the cell phones and hid from the world.  While the boys swam in the pool, Char and I read our books, and all of us forgot about work and paying bills.  We just enjoyed each other.

The lighthouse in St. Augustine
My parents would do this every once in awhile as I was growing up.  My dad owned his own subcontractor business and as the pressure would build, my mom would book us a hotel and we would runaway without ever leaving town.  The important thing wasn’t going anywhere, just not allowing anyone to know where we were.  There were no phones.  No one knocked on our door.  It was just us.  Everything was forgotten and we just enjoyed being in the moment.

The girls and I did it just last year for half a day.  We drove to Daytona Beach and walked the Boardwalk relishing being away from it all.  We avoided the Interstate on the return trip, deciding to explore Highway A1A instead, keeping the beach on our left.  Troubles were forgotten for just awhile in order for our batteries to be recharged.

These moments are vital for your emotional and mental health.  You must press the pause button on life for at least a few hours and just breathe.  Take a trip, but don’t go anywhere or drive a state or two away for a weekend.  The main thing is to take your family and escape the world, even if only for an afternoon.  Go to the beach, a lake, even a mall if you want, but go somewhere away from the To Dos at home and the pile of bills that scream for attention from your desk.  Turn off the phones, don’t worry about your emails, and simply bask in the presence of those dearest to you.  Laugh.  Share. Breathe.  Pause.  Only then will you have the stamina to finish the journey.

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