Fortunately, we were all able to catch a much-needed break during a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas this week. It was so nice to just sit back and enjoy the larger-than-life vistas of green. . . to not have to set an alarm. . . and to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted — in the event that we wanted to do anything at all, of course.
I have been increasingly stressed in recent months due to a variety of factors. Perhaps you have too. So many things can cause stress and anxiety, among them relationship difficulties, financial worries, and workplace hostility. Getting away for a time of rest and relaxation does not make all the problems of life go away, but it can provide a much-needed change of perspective — which can go a long way toward helping those issues be a little easier to deal with.
One of the things we noticed during our time away was just the slower pace of life that people in more rural areas seem to enjoy. That’s how it was when I was growing up, and I look back on those times fondly now. I see way too many people who can’t seem to leave the cell phone off and forget about their e-mail, even when vacationing. That is a truly sad commentary on the state of our society. It’s okay to “mellow out” when you’re on vacation.
Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I have mellowed a lot in recent years. . . . even in recent months. I’m not nearly as ambitious as I once was, always chasing after things and stuff that just don’t really matter much in the long run. I’m also not nearly as concerned with what other people think about me. Like me, leave me, whatever suits your fancy. I am who I am, and I’m not likely to change a whole lot.
On those days when I feel overstressed and underappreciated, I think I’ll just look back at our vacation pictures and remember what things really are the most important ones in life.
If you haven’t yet had a break this summer, I strongly encourage you to take one. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extravagant or expensive. Just get away and enjoy some time with God and family. You’ll be glad you did.