My last vacation seems so far away. I returned a mere 15 days ago but it already feels like forever has passed. I meant to write as soon as I got back, but I lost my buffer day between the drive back and going back to work. I had to get right back into the swing of things.
It was my annual vacation with my family. Every year we travel to a family home together and spend a week or two just spending time and relaxing. It's a bit rustic. We're in the middle of the woods. The plumbing is…different by western standards. It's a septic system in the middle of nowhere. It's not exactly an easy thing to deal with or correct should something go wrong. There are bugs and dirt and no air conditioning. There is no phone, no TV, and no internet. This is the way it has always been.
For those of you who are like me and live in a world where those things are readily available, you may be thinking how one can survive without them. It's part of the charm for me. I like that my cell phone doesn't really work. I like that I have to get back to basics and tear myself away from social media. It's basically a blackout until we go to town. Now, we could get things like cable and internet and phone, but why would we want to?
We grew up without these things in general, one of my sisters and I were born in the 80's…long before the availability of thousands of channels or the internet. We put together puzzles, played cards for hours, colored in coloring books. We talked and got to know each other and ourselves. It's simple. It's what's missing from my world in general, but that's another post. I have countless memories of staying up into the wee hours of the morning just talking or reading. Hours spent playing cards with my cousin or making bracelets. Days spent entirely in the water doing nothing but swimming around and enjoying nature. Nearly every meal is eaten together every day. Even when we have a "fend for yourselves" meal in which nothing is prepared, you're usually eating with others.
I wish that we didn't get so far away from this. This idea familial community is so important to the livelihood of the family unit. There are countless studies that tell us this. How it's healthier for people who disconnect from technology and enjoy the experience of social interaction and for those who take the time to simply share a meal.
I know for me, since I live apart from my family, it's incredibly important for me. I don't get to see them as often as I would like and I don’t like feeling so disconnected from them. This trip is my reset button. It's my chance to step away from my life and focus on releasing all the stuff that's been building up throughout the year.
Now take that all away. Imagine a place where none of that exists. Just the wind through the trees. A light rainfall maybe. Just you and the open air. When you're done reading, take a moment to watch and listen to the clip I uploaded for you. It's only twenty seconds but I listen to it to remind myself throughout the year of the peace I feel when I'm there. I know how fortunate I am to have a place like this. It's a part of me and I'm a part of it. I miss it when I'm gone from it. It's a dull ache in my bones that never quite abates. You've already seen it. The trees in the pictures on the blog are the trees that are the main view from the porch of where we stay. I try and stay there mentally as long as possible but it's incredibly difficult to do. Life gets too loud.
Where is your "happy place"? What helps you to relax and get away from the stresses of your life?