A little less than a year ago, I happened upon this picture on Instagram and I read the caption and my life was flipped upside down.
It was from Dale Partridge and he posted a picture of himself standing in the middle of a road with a beautiful forest behind him. The caption read,
"Vacations lie. Culture tells us to spend an entire year saving for a week to escape our life. We call is vacation. Even as I'm on this incredible road trip across the Northwest with my family, something doesn't feel right. Vacations are meant to be new, they are meant to be fun, but they are not meant to be better than your normal life. I've been all around the world, and I would never trade travel for what I have at home. Life isn't about the 50 vacations you'll take while you're on this planet. It's about the 25,000 days between them. Stop creating a life that you need a vacation from. Instead, move to where you want to live, do what you want to do, start what you want to start and create the life you want today. This isn't rehearsal people. This is YOUR life. #MakeHomeYourVacation"
I totally felt like society had lied to me for 27 years. I was tricked into believing that those 2 weeks of summer vacation were to be the pinnacle of my year. Instead of just living every day like it was vacation, right from home.
I was beginning to feel some pretty heavy "mom guilt" as of recently. We moved a few months ago, and as most of you know, there are many expenses associated with a move. It just wasn't going to work for us to bring the family on vacation this summer. We were planning on roadtripping to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum but then again, 5 kids that are 7 and under on a 12 hour roadtrip... might not be the best idea. Especially when we hear, "Are we there yet?" within the first 10 minutes of a 30 minute trip.
So, once we made the decision to "Staycation" instead, I felt pretty happy about that decision. And then as the time came for my husband to have that time off of work, I started feeling guilty that we weren't bringing the kids to do something new and fun in a faraway place, making magnificent memories together.
I am really working on not harboring guilt and not taking on such unneccesary burdens. But my people-pleasing heart fights me on that, whispering me to make sure everyone is happy and content.
And then I remembered what Dale had said, almost a year prior. And it put my soul at such rest. Knowing that the every day moments of our life is what matters. That I need to make our ordinary life into the magical experience that "vacation" can be. We don't need to escape our life to experience adventure. Our normal every days and how we spend them, how we approach them, can be just as meaningful as an extravagant vacation to a faraway land. It's a choice we can make. To live our normal life as a vacation. Not trying to escape our daily life but to relish in the normalcy.
It's a challenge for me. But I'm up for it. To completely change my mindset of what vacation is and what it looks like. And to live that way now. Today.