Right now, pay attention to what you receive as email autoresponders and voice mail messages. You might be reading or hearing words that imply the party has gone away for vacation. Somehow August heralds the final hurrah before the seriousness of school, resumed work, and even the heavy harvest of produce.
But what happens if we can’t take off in August? What happens in the other 11 months of the year? If resiliency is all about creating energy to thrive regardless of the chaos around us, here are five HOT tips to “vacation” regardless of the season.
Remember the root of vacation is “vacate”. For a brief period of time, vacate - empty out - your mind from the worry of what is undone or regrets about the past. Get the smartphone app (free) Relax Melodies. You can select from a series of sounds and mix and match melodies. There’s a timer in the app. Start with five minutes and do nothing but sit comfortably and listen. Breathe. Vacate! I bet you will set the timer for a longer period of time on future “vacations”.
Find an outdoor concert of music that makes your heart sing and your body sway. Last week, we walked to the park near our house and flung our beach towel and ice chest down on the grass along with a couple hundred people. Songs from ABBA flew from the stage. In a heart beat many of us jumped to our feet and danced with abandon. The three year-olds ran around while the 53 year-olds sang the words and danced in barefoot abandon. Nothing was in my mind but the sheer joy of the moment.
Have a picnic! Now, here’s the challenge: It is to be as simple a picnic as possible. No fancy utensils, plates, glasses. Finger food works. Chopsticks. And low cost. Why simple? Once you realize how little you need, the pressure of having “stuff” begin to go away. You are vacating — making a space — for what really matters.
Throw out. Consider this a variation on the theme of number 3. How many beach towels do you really need? Worn out shoes? Too many black jackets. Four screwdrivers. Books you will never read. Create a space. Make empty room in closets, shelves, drawers, and desktops. Vacate. Vacate. Vacate.\
Stop at roadside stands. Just stare at the colors. Imagine the rain rinsing dirt from the peppers. Imagine bees paying homage to juicy peaches. Buy something. Ask to rinse it off at the hose. And then sit under a tree and eat it. My brother and sister and I relished this “vacation” while driving the back roads of the Amish Country in Lancaster County, PA.
What do you do to vacate — to create — an empty place to regroup and re-energize? I would love to know! P.S. My siblings and I went to PA to visit York, PA where we buried my mother a year ago. Some of you, my dear readers, will remember my story about the monarch butterfly that appeared in my California garden on January 28 - the day she died. Not surprisingly, another monarch appeared in the garden of the B&B where we stayed in York. Life IS a series of moments.