Playing Hooky

On Sunday we decided to drive out to our place in Pennsylvania. It was a spur of the moment decision.  We packed some bags, picked up the girls at Grandma’s and headed out.  We didn’t tell them that we were spending the night until late in the evening.  We haven’t been away from our house and our daily lives since some time in November, so it was a welcome respite for them, I’m sure.  They were a little nervous about missing school.  They were concerned about the things they were supposed to be doing,  but still excited at about our spontaneous vacation.

Time and again, I hear people say that they need a vacation. “I really need a vacation!” “I need a break from work.” “I need a break from my life”. While a vacation from life may seem like a nice idea, I always think it’s a little bit sad when I hear it.   I can remember times when I felt that way, like a needed a break from my every day life and I was hating the way things were.  I am glad that I don’t feel like that anymore.

I came to realize that I can take vacations any time.   Every time I run, I am on a mini vacation.  Every time I take a yoga class. Every time I meditate.  I get lost in the present moment, connect to some deeper purpose, and I forget all about the other things that I “have” to do, and “should be doing”.  I play hooky from life for a while and I end up feeling recharged, and re-centered.

I think if we feel like we need a vacation from our life, then we are probably living the wrong life.  Ask yourself: what is it that you intend to do with this life? Intend to accomplish? Intend to leave behind?   Are those things that are making you unhappy really serving you? Helping you achieve those ultimate goals? Or can you eliminate them from your life, and be even happier?

We can be happier.  If we think about what we want, really want, out of this life. The most basic and most important things.  Contentment. Peace of mind.  Good health. Love.  If everything we do is in line with those real intentions for this life, we will not need a vacation.

People talk about what they want their kids to be when they grow up. I want her to be successful.  I want her to be rich. I hope she has it better than we do. While I do think about these things, they are not really what I want for my girls.  All I really want is for them to be content, at peace, happy in their own skin.

So I will try my best to teach them that all we really have to do is just be. And breathe.  And play hooky once in a while.

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