I hope that all is well with you and that the summer is rolling out nicely for you, with some time to relax, enjoy your families, take time off (and hopefully read a book or two. I have a new book coming out in hardcover tomorrow, “A Perfect Life”. I hope it will be the perfect summer read for you!!).
As I’ve confessed to you before, among my many confessions to you, I’m a creature of habit, AND I am not good at relaxing. I always love having something to do, and getting me to just sit still and take a vacation and enjoy some down time is no easy task. I always think I should be accomplishing something, writing an outline, helping one of my children, doing spring cleaning, or pulling a closet apart. But in spite of that, I take a vacation with my five youngest children every summer, and it is one of the best moments of the year for me, wherever we are, rivalled only by a week together at Christmas with all of my kids. We have gone to the same hotel every summer—we used to spend three weeks there, but now with all of my kids working, and busy with their careers, we are grateful to have a week together. And in spite of myself, eventually I unwind and actually relax. And it is sheer heaven being with them. We swim, lie in the sun, have meals together, they tell some hair raising stories of pranks and mischief they committed when they were younger, and are thrilled to tell me everything I didn’t know, which they think is hysterically funny now. We share long lazy meals, go to favorite restaurants, play games like Scrabble and cards, and a recent addition called “Catch Phrase”, which I love, it’s a little bit like charades where you have to describe a word, with a timer ticking, while everyone tries to guess the word, and pass the game along before the buzzer sounds. Some years they come with their boyfriends and girlfriends, or just a friend, and sometimes they come alone. Only one of the younger five is married, and my son in law fits right in with the rest of my ‘kids’ (in their mid and late 20’s now), and is a welcome addition to the group. It is one of the rare times of the year when we all relax together, enjoy each others’ company, reminisce about old times when they were little and other vacations we shared. And we have gone to the same hotel for about 25 years, all of their lives. Many of the same people still work there, and it’s like meeting up with old friends every year.
I work so hard all year that I never take vacations, and it’s a huge treat for me to have a whole week with my kids, especially since now we live in 4 cities, so getting even the youngest 5 together is a HUGE treat for me. The older 3 married ones with children make their own plans with their families in the summer, it’s too complicated to plan summer vacations with them now.
I start the vacation with a stack of books to read, a note pad in case I want to write, and a briefcase full of work and projects in case I want to work, and by the second day, I no longer care about the projects, don’t even look at my briefcase, and the notepad is still blank and stays that way. And all I care about are the fun days with my kids. We usually manage to go to a disco on one night, and this time danced til 4 am and had a ball. And the rest of the time we spend our evenings at the hotel, except for two nights at favorite restaurants.
The BEST part of the vacation is being with my kids. I’m so grateful they are still willing to spend their vacations with me, and I hope they continue to do so for many years. And impossible to believe, by the end of the vacation, I’m actually relaxed, and it’s actually hard to go back to work. But I’ll get busy, and can’t wait for next summer to roll around again. Other than Christmas, it’s my favorite week of the year. I’ll be seeing them all again for a weekend for my birthday next month, but that’s always more rushed and more chaotic, this summer holiday with them is everything it should be…..lazy days….that are so precious to me, and memories we will cherish forever. I hope you get some time off this summer. You deserve it!!! And it gives one new energy to unhook for a little while!!!