I’m writing this on vacation in Maine. Here’s the view from the chair in which I sit.
I’m lucky, I know. My mom grew up on this very point of land and I’ve been priviledged to come here every single summer of my life. I love this place and it grounds and centers me in a way no other locale ever has.
We have this family tradition every summer of driving into Portland, taking the ferry over to Peaks Island and riding bikes around the island. We top it off with a yummy treat from our favorite ice cream shop and then a chilly ferry ride home. We haven’t missed a summer since we started doing it 12 years ago. We look forward to it every year!
Today, we were going to catch the 2:15 ferry. We were having a great morning just hanging out at the cottage, doing nothing. My son slept late. My hottie hubby and I went for a long walk and took carrots to stop and feed the horses pastured along our favorite route. We had a leisurely lunch, and then realizing the time, we all hurried to get ready, packed the requisite snacks and rushed out to the car. My husband put the car in reverse and I shouted “Stop.”
“What’d you forget?”
“Nothing. I just looked out the car window and thought to myself that this is the most beautiful place on the coast of Maine. And then I thought, why are we leaving? Do you guys REALLY want to go to Peaks Island, or would you consider just staying here?”
My husband: “I’d love to go back and just hang on the deck and read more of my book. I vote we just stay here.”
My son: “I’d love to go on a long run and then work out. I vote we stay here.”
Me: “I’d love to go back and read and maybe take a nap, and then go for a walk the beach. I vote we stay here.”
My hubby put the car back in park. We all jumped out of the car and happily went back to the activities we were previously enjoying.
Wow! Huge lesson for me. How often do we do what we do because it’s what we’ve always done?
Because it’s what’s expected?
Because we think it’s what everyone else wants, without really asking?
How often do we fill our days (and our lives) so full that we forget the simple pleasure of an afternoon with no agenda? Even on vacation!!!
How often do we stop long enough to decide what we truly WANT to do in the moment?
For me, today, it was to give up my pre-set vacation agenda and just BE. Be on the deck. Look at the water. Write this little missive, which so spontaneously welled up within me, that I couldn’t wait to share it with each of you.
I hope it’ll hit you smack in the center of the forehead just like it did me. I hope as you look at your upcoming day, your year, YOUR LIFE, or something in which you find yourself just ‘going through the motions’ – you’ll take the time to ask yourself these questions:
Am I doing what I’m doing because it’s what I’ve always done?
Because it’s what’s expected of me?
Because I think it’s what everyone else wants me to do?
WHAT IS MY HEART TRULY CALLING ME TO DO IN THIS MOMENT? THIS SITUATION?
I believe it’s when we take time to get clear on what we really WANT to do that our life becomes that of our own making. I say it in just about every keynote: This is your only life. Make it a life you love living!
And this, for sure, is what will bring you the most HAPPINESS!
Now as for me, I’m going to take a little nap with the curtains fluttering in the ocean breeze. And when I wake up, I’m going for a walk on the beach.
Big Happy to each of You,