Family Vacation Reminds Me What I'm Grateful For
As I write this I am sitting beside the lake, Lake Muskoka to be exact...or I could just call it paradise and you can get the same imagery. I am on day 6 of my 9-day family vacation and I am already dreading packing up to go home and back to work. Back to the painful grind and chaos of daily life with kids and the back to school season of running around to kids activities, making lunches, signing multiple school forms (why they love to kill so many trees is still beyond me in this day of paperless systems), washing school uniforms, etc. Oh but for now let's just rejoice in this glorious vacation I am enjoying. No negativity allowed on this trip.
Each day and minute of this vacation has been nothing short of fabulous and here is why. I have started each day with meditation and yoga on the dock overlooking the lake followed by a walk with my husband and dog or a good workout. Life is all about balance you see and I needed this healthy start to my day to counteract my love of food and red wine which I have been ceremoniously enjoying each night. We eat like kings and queens, play board games and poker with our kids (they are little sharks now who teach me how to play), frollick on the water, read books, cozy up with movies, and even light the odd camp fire.
My children have been nothing short of amazing. Watching your kids grow up in this environment as I have had the pleasure of doing since they were babies, is such a fun experience. We had always rented a cottage in Muskoka when our babies were young, but have had the extreme luck to be invited back each year to vacation with our friends who own a gorgeous cottage. We couldn't be more grateful for these experiences. This is our summer ritual which we look so forward to each year.
The best part of these cottage vacations is the great friends and family we spend our time with. It is these experiences which form a lifetime of good memories for both us and our children. Stories to tell their children and our grandchildren. I often reflect during these weeks together on how fortunate we really are to have such good friends, our good health and our good life. Many people take life for granted all too easily. I strive every day to remain grateful and remember that this life is not the norm. We have worked very hard to get to this point in our life, both physically and spiritually. This is a gift and it can so easily be gone in a moment.
So if you are also currently on vacation enjoying some downtime or just sitting at home or work reading this, I implore you to take some of these simple lessons and find gratitude in some family and friend time. As we get older and life gets busier, it is really more these simple things that bring us joy. Surround yourself with people that matter and bring you more joy than you had yesterday.
As we welcome new friends to visit with us this weekend and say farewell to the others who stopped by to frollick with us for a few hours or a few days, I will give each and every one of them a huge hug and kiss, offer them a delectable meal to savour, and clink my glass with them to remind us all that this is really what life is all about. It's the journey, not the destination.