Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

A A Vision of Youth by Breonna Loxley
All Work and No Play



ALL WORK AND NO PLAY




After starting a new job in January, I have been blessed with the chance to pursue my passion every day. Even though I love my work, the environment is often strenuous and emotionally taxing, and the long, traffic-heavy commute consumes most of my free time. I’ve found myself feeling more tired, busy, and stressed than ever before, and missing spending time with my family, too. Each member of my household has a different work schedule, so we rarely get to see each other. Luckily, we’ve been fortunate enough to have many summer vacations over the years. Whether we’re chasing thrills at our favorite amusement park or catching waves at the beach, these trips are unfailingly restorative, memorable, and meaningful highlights of our year. By the time vacation rolls around, we’re all ready for the respite—but these trips mean a lot more than just getting away from our everyday routines.



Our family vacations are one of the rare occasions when we all manage to align our schedules and spend time together. We recently had one such opportunity when we enjoyed a two-day vacation to Busch Gardens. My fondest memories of the trip aren’t of experiences I had for myself, but of those I shared with my family. I think about riding the pendulum-like Battering Ram with my brother, when I started laughing at something he’d said and couldn’t stop because of the feel of the ride. Later, a quiet evening found us crouching mere feet away from a pair of deer outside our resort. They showed as much fascination in us as we did in them. I remember my parents, brother, and I playing poolside Frisbee, spending too many quarters at the arcade, and overindulging in the dessert bar at Golden Coral.


...these trips mean a lot more than just getting away from our everyday routines.
Our family vacations are one of the rare occasions
when we all manage to align our schedules and spend time together.


What makes our vacations special is that they allow us to spend time with each other. When so many responsibilities and interests are demanding our attention, it can feel impossible to take time off or fit something into a busy schedule. But having the ability to travel, play, and be with family is why we work so hard in the first place. When our mindset, energy, and happiness are off kilter, we’re not paying enough attention to our mental and physical wellbeing. We all deserve to spend time on ourselves. I know I’m not the only one with a schedule that’s bursting at the seams; I’m not the only one still learning how to find balance. Whether we have a week, a few days, or an afternoon, taking a moment to breathe, play, and find time for the things that make us feel happy can bring us one step closer to finding that balance.




Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.