Are you taking the time to get away and breathe? One of the things my husband and I knew was important when we decided to start on our life journey together was the importance of time away. Time away each year with friends, as a couple, and with our family. Of course, we knew time away with our family needed to be an extended period of time away, but we also knew these other get-aways were just as important for our sanity and our psyche. Each get-away having a different purpose. With friends you get to feel young again and have the chance to giggle, talk like old times, perhaps do your bucket list (swim with sharks?), and talk about topics only you and your friends can talk about. Remember the time you drank a little too much? Time away as a couple keeps your intimacy alive and strong. Perhaps, a little TMI, but the nice part about vacations is you don’t need to calendar in sex. Both time and the mood is a given on vacation. Honestly, this time together will remind you why you fell in love in the first place. Lastly, family time is when you get to build those life-time memories. I can still remember my daughter in Aruba who was standing next to a flock of Flamingoes and began standing just like them. If you’ve never been to Colorado (where I live), let me clue you in and say there are not many Flamingoes who live in Colorado, so, I still laugh at this memory. As I am sitting here smiling thinking of all of these trips, I remain proud of Phil and I because we were smart enough as a young couple to understand the importance of get-aways and the impacts these trips would have on our lives. Admittingly, we were not immediately wise in other areas in our marriage such as compromising, getting on the same page, learning each other’s love languages, etc, (lol), but that’s another blog and another day. However, luckily, over the years we have been wise enough to understand the importance of trips and how these trips keep us healthy and how these trips lift our spirits.

With this said, I am so, so happy we had one of those get-aways during this 4th of July weekend. On this trip, my husband and I went with one of our favorite couples. We were able to watch fireworks over the water, hear an REO Speed wagon cover-band, sit in the sun either at the pool or the beach, gamble a little, drink some of our favorite cocktails, and eat like kings and queens. To me, it was a weekend of paradise. Your definition of paradise may be different, but the goal is like a Nike commercial – “Just Do It!” As we all know, you can’t go to the grave with time, so, you might as well spend quality time while you’re alive. As much as my husband and I love our daughter Ryley, these get-aways give us perspective and believe by having perspective we are better parents and better people. The perspective I learned from this trip is – what it feels like to experience an earthquake in a restaurant, how to play Keno, my daughter who is gifted and has ADHD can hear every conversation in the pool and not a singular conversation (as told to me by a teacher certified in teaching gifted students), you never seem to get rid of sand, and I could go on and on. It’s the memories and things we’ll laugh and talk about for years. It’s the perspective there is more to life than making lunches, doing homework, driving to cheer practices, having work calls, creating change deliverables, etc. Weekends like this past weekend gives us the little boost we need to tackle life head on. We laugh, we get sleep, we have “me” time, we have “we” time, and we have an open schedule to do whatever we want. It’s time to not live in our regular, normal reality, but to live in our dream reality. Yes, as I’ve demonstrated, it’s possible. It’s possible to get-away and breathe.

So what excuse do you have for not taking these get-aways? The biggest excuse I hear all the time is there is not enough money in the budget. Honestly, money is an excuse and a crutch. Having a get-away doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money. You can camp and still have fun. The goal is time away from the hustle and bustle of life. For a short period of time, you don’t have to concentrate on your job, being a parent, what responsibilities you have, etc. Doesn’t this sound amazing?

Another excuse you may have is there is not enough time. Again, if you want the trips to happen you can make the time. Each trip doesn’t need to be long in length. The trips just need to be long enough to breathe. I would say, at least, three days away, but if you have more time then use your time wisely. I get angry at co-workers who lose vacation time at the end of the year because time away with yourself or those you love is a gift. For instance, when it comes to family vacations, my husband, daughter, and I try to go on family vacations for two weeks every year since the first week you start to unwind and the second week is when you truly know you’re on vacation. If you can do it, I’d say figure out what we mean by the 2 week get-away, but if you can’t afford two weeks or more away than do what you can and enjoy the time you can get away to breathe.

So what do you do if your definition of a get-away is different then your spouse, your friends, or your family? Well, like me, you mimic what you did when you were five years old and you learn about sharing and compromise. Perhaps, one year you go on the golfing trip your spouse has been dreaming about and the next year you go to Italy and become an Italian foodie. Believe me, no matter what you do – you’ll learn to sit back and breathe. Even on trips I am not initially excited about, I can find ways to rejuvenate. For example, I am not a gambler, so, when we go to Las Vegas – I find ways to make my trip fun with a good show, sitting by the pool, shopping, eating some of the best cuisine, or whatever floats my boat at the time. Of course, I do a little gambling with my husband to spend extra time with him, but I also find things to do that makes me happy and allows me to find time to destress and breathe.

So, what do you think? Are you still debating in your mind the importance of these get-aways? If you still don’t see the importance of these get-aways (a friend, a couple, and a family) get-away, then consider what the Bible says. Every Sunday in the Bible was counted as Sabbath or a day of rest. It was a time where God did not want work to be done. Not sure if your family is like our family, but we don’t get a lot of rest when we’re home. At home, there is always something to do. However, when we go away is when we find true rest and a time to breathe .In conclusion, if you start to go on these cadence of trips, I promise you, you’ll soon decide the money is worth it, the time and experiences in your life are priceless, perspective in your life becomes clear, memories are made, intimacy is built, laughter is had, bonding occurs, and for once you can breathe.

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