I am home.
Better yet, we are all home.
The best part of vacation for me is the thrill I get when I return home…Not that I had a bad vacation -- not at all! We had a wonderful time -- good memories made, the best of souvenirs.
But going away, reminds me how much I love home…and what could be better than to love the life you live?
It’s not just the conveniences that you have created for yourself, or the comfort of your own bed, or the faithful dog you missed seeing every day.
It is all those things and more…the friends and family, the activities, the community, the beauty of this place, your vocation, the weather (yes – even the weather!)
Taking a respite from one’s everyday life allows you some perspective, and a renewed appreciation for what is yours.
And I believe that is the highest good of a vacation.
The second highest, in my opinion, is that you accomplish this while doing things that are fun, entertaining, refreshing, enlightening. No need to suffer to accomplish a renewed appreciation for life as you know it.
It’s a good system…and one we 20th century* first-worlders are privileged to enjoy.
I am also reveling in the fact that I have learned to enjoy it. I grew up with a phobia about leaving home. In my value system, I had created a belief that there was a Circle of Safety in which to reside. Closest to home was safest, with lessening degrees of security the further you traveled away from the epicenter, home. Outside of Whatcom County, there was no security. If I crossed that border, I had fallen off the edge of my world, and was inviting all manner of evil to attack me.
Fun way to live, huh?
But I believed it whole-heartedly, and was committed to it insofar as I would try to prove that those who didn’t subscribe to The Circle of Safety were reckless and wrong.
Eventually, I wondered if my conviction was wrong, and began to wish I thought and felt differently. But when I challenged my belief system, and chose to step out of The Circle of Safety, my visceral reaction to the perceived danger was overwhelming.
Many times, I wanted to give up on challenging my Circle of Safety philosophy. I just wanted to avoid the painful fear and retreat. But part of me still wished to be free of it, to be able to enjoy the world, and live rightly, knowing that my security was not of my own making.
Little by little, I have challenged The Circle of Safety. It has been at times very uncomfortable. (Ask my poor husband who has had to witness the process!) My emotional fear has lessened over time and I have learned ways to diminish it, but, truthfully, I still struggle every time I go away; and this time was no different. Having all our kids with us made it a bit more difficult…Was I subjecting my most precious ones to unreasonable danger by taking them with me?
Oh – I can see the foolishness of that question, but I feel the fear in it despite the irrationality. Going on vacation, for me, is still a process of answering my fears with truth, accepting that my feelings lie to me, and acting in hopeful anticipation of the good that is coming.
I have come to understand that this is how one lives by faith, which I thought was a much grander endeavor than being able to look past one’s own foolishness and do the right thing.
But it is not; living by faith is this very thing…and is applicable to so many scenarios in our lives.
And so, it adds to my rejoicing over a vacation well-spent and enjoyed, that it was, indeed, well-spent and enjoyed…that I went, and had fun, and smiled and laughed, and felt wonder at a place so different from my own, my home.
Today, I am reveling in my accomplishment. Tomorrow, I will share some of the fun we enjoyed.
*Yes, I meant to say 20th century…and this is why:About that Gregorian calendar...