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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vacation Work is Different

Vacationing with kids can be work. I say this on a Tuesday of a Saturday to Saturday vacation. Sure I'm having a great time but think about it. It took me 3 full nights on the internet to find a condo.I started buying shorts, sunscreen and beach gear a month ago because my kids outgrow everything in 6 months. I spent at least 2 days packing. I got in the car with my two parents and my two kids for TWO days of driving. I booked a hotel on the way down only to find they hadn't held two rooms for me when we try to check in at midnight. I give my,"I'll kill you in your sleep" look to the young night clerk until she caves and gives me someone else's room. Only to be woken at 1:30am by someone opening our hotel room door and flipping on the light because they still gave them a key. I spend the two days in the car managing normal brother-sister spats with a healthy dose of ADHD for extra challenge and flavor. I arrive at the beach to spend the first night unpacking and grocery shopping. I spend the next day slathering sunscreen like an addict on my Midwestern albino children then back to the grocery store for all the forgotten items. Then back to the drugstore for more sunscreen and aloe gel because there's not enough sunscreen to protect the transparent. I spend nearly three hours searching for the missing iTouch, not because I care about the value of the gadget but because it has every song my aspiring musician has ever written. I pray to find the thing like I prayed when they were born. I pray for the missing music and I pray because I can't imagine the trip home without it. I call home to order the hubs to pray, this is serious.

This my friends is a TRUE account of this vacation to date. Work. Important work.

The difference is, my intent for this work is to bring joy to my family and to find these moments that matter. To look my kids in the eye and interact and have fun. The intent at home is to make money, pay the bills, keep the dog from eating the homework, make it to guitar before the lesson begins, keep our world spinning.

What if I could borrow the intent of vacation and bring some of that into our day to day? Vacation is work, but it's also our reset button. Our reminder of what matters most. The joy of little Cokes in a bottle we'd never pay $5 bucks for at home. The prayers answered and the extreme relief when the go kart manager calls with the found iTouch. Waking up with no alarm even though it's the same time we'd wake up at home.

Vacation is work but the reward is all ours, no sharing on the profit margin of a Kodak memory.