my thoughts while on sabbatical
Niki had me get up with the kids this morning at 10 till 7 (late for a normal day, but early on vacation!) and I got to see the sun rising low in the sky over our beautiful beach and pool: what an amazing place to stay on vacation! We love the beach, the pool, again the weather has been great, the location near so many restaurants, the quiet part where we are just south of the state park, the two bedroom condo construction, the living space downstairs, the large bedrooms (especially the master) upstairs, the balcony (though Niki gets bitten by mosquitoes), the fact that its mostly families with kids and large extended families staying here: really, we hit the jackpot with this one. But the fact that we can wake up on the beach and see the sunrise (and I will see the sunrise before I leave!) is really the best part about this place (and the fact that the pool is right on the beach!).
Of course, the best part about being here is having the time on vacation with Niki and the kids, and this could have happened anywhere and been great. However, it being on the beach, and being so far away from my regular routine, has really helped us get in some good family time, and has provided an environment to create lasting memories.
Also, being here on vacation has allowed me to inquire into myself and to consider who I am and questions about my primary relationships without the distraction of work and church obligations. I’ve been able to consider what makes me “me”, as it were, as I haven’t been able to in a long time, and I’ve been able to consider things about my relationship with my wife and children that aren’t always evident to me, or that I’m typically too distracted to give my full attention.
What’s more, and as I’ve written before, I’ve discovered that writing for myself – journaling, as it were – is a helpful exercise for me: it helps me to be in touch with “me” you might say, and I realize that the time that I didn’t journal (last week) was a time where my thoughts went haywire for a little while and I felt like I was somehow drifting or that my mind was racing and distracted. It seems that one purpose of journaling, then, is to put down all these distracting thoughts (as they often talk about in AA).
So I pray that I leave here with some tools that I can continue to use in my regular life: journaling, for one, and being more intentional about spending time with my family as well. Niki said to me last night that she would like to structure time to spend with each other in the evenings, after the kids go to bed, as even on vacation we’ve often done our own thing in those hours in the evening and perhaps missed some opportunities to communicate. Exercise and guitar are also things that I should incorporate into a healthy routine (also visual art? being outdoors?) so I will need to prioritize being more intentional about these things when I return.