From time to time something actually or potentially life changing appears and everything comes into focus. More simple times pop into our minds. We become nostalgic for times when planning a picnic or going to the movies weren't overshadowed by the intrusion of worldly events.
Simple pleasures become more important whenever the world around us becomes more challenging. As we approach the summer months and ponder vacation time, we recognize that our basic need for a break from routine is even more important this year.
Over many years of building our idea of perfect vacations, we have often overlooked alternatives that are close to home, short in duration, and actually more relaxing than full blown, often expensive and planned-within-an-inch-of-its-life excursions. And since we are entering the traditional vacation time in a different economy than we had expected and with fewer destinations available, considering something less than a week in Disney World or a cruise to Hawaii may be a very good thing.
A weekend close to home - maybe even at home - can be a good start. Simple pleasures that involve little work but much good conversation and laughter with loved ones are back in fashion.
What we have to be
willing to do is slow down,
put work aside and
allow ourselves to relax.
My sister's family plays croquet in the back yard until darkness hides the balls and mosquitoes beg to play. Every age can and does participate and Adirondack chairs provide a comfortable gallery for spectators. I can't adequately tell you how much fun it is.
Seeking out locally owned restaurants where they are happy to let you sit, sip and chat is so much more fun than being crowded in and rushed out at chains. And flipping hamburgers in the backyard with neighbors from time to time - don't we smile just remembering these simple get-togethers?
Someone in the family may have a little cottage on a river. It's true, you know, that a weekend at the cottage is worth a week in the city. Add a rocking chair on a veranda overlooking the water and it doesn't get any better when we are weary of hustle and bustle.
What we have to be willing to do is slow down, put work aside and allow ourselves to relax. We may say we are willing. We may think we are willing. And we certainly know we need to relax. We just have to actually do it.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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