I’m a ‘what if’ person. I have always felt that failure was a completely underrated experience. I have taken blows. I have had high moments. But I don’t think the blows have ever hardened me. My enthusiasms are still big.
- Kevin Costner
I planned a while ago to take an extra day over the long Memorial Day weekend and head out to my cottage in Connecticut.
True to my Type A, New York personality, I started to set personal goals and created a to-do list that included working in the yard, cleaning out the basement, dropping off clothes at the Episcopal Thrift Shop, meeting friends, prepping for an upcoming video interview, etc.
So while I was looking forward to an extra-long weekend, I wasn’t terribly excited. The Memorial Day holiday didn’t seem like a holiday at all. Plus, life has been pretty busy in the city. I had just been elected to the Board of Directors of my co-op and volunteered to act as the Secretary; I have lots going on at work; and I’ve been on a spring cleaning tear.
One day on my commute to work, I had an epiphany: I needed a vacation! Just as the thought hit my consciousness, a wellspring of energy bubbled up. Suddenly I realized I could create a mini-vacation for myself. I could sleep late, go to the movies, sit on the dock reading, watch a lot of tennis (one of the major tournaments is going on in Paris now), get together with friends.
When I told a friend, she laughed. Laughed! Good-naturedly, of course, but somehow her reaction implied that a four-day holiday wasn’t really a vacation.
Well, Elizabeth, I beg to differ: Vacation is a state of mind. I can interpret motivational speaker and author John C. Maxwell’s statement “Nothing separates successful people from unsuccessful people more than how they use their time” as including time to relax, refresh, revitalize. Downtime is just as important as all my self-improvement activities, and can ultimately lead to renewed creativity and innovation.
So to all of you out there: Here’s hoping that you too have a great vacation this weekend!
Anne Simpkinson is the online managing editor of guideposts.org. She co-authored Soul Work: A Field Guide for Spiritual Seekers and has edited two anthologies entitled Sacred Stories: A Celebration of the Power of Stories to Transform and Heal and Nourishing the Soul: Discovering the Sacred in Everyday Life. A spiritual practice, good friends, lakeside cottage and two lovely feline companions continue to transform and enrich her life.