I was chatting with a friend the other day and she asked if I was going to take a vacation this year. I laughed and said, “We don’t vacation. We can’t afford it. Plus my husband would never take the time off…” She looked at me, sighed, and this is what she told me:
Melissa, for thirty years… THIRTY. I worked hard, I raised my boys, and I would suggest to my husband that we take a vacation. He always had an excuse as to why we couldn’t go. “Oh we can’t afford it!” or “Oh, but we have this coming up!” or “Oh I have to work!” Then finally I put my foot down. Our boys, they are grown. What about us? What about OUR time. What about you and me? So I convinced him to go. We went away the first year and it was beautiful. Then we did two weeks away, and decided that was too long. The we settled on 12 days, and purchased a ten year package for us to use with the boys if they chose to use it… My husband suffered a ruptured aorta and died the next year. We never got to go.
Melissa, you are young. You just got married. You have your whole lives ahead of you. I beg you… spend some time together. Don’t waste your life working and not living. He could be gone tomorrow and then what? What memories do you have left?
My heart sank in my chest. I hurt for my dear friend. Her loss hit me so hard. Life is just too short to not enjoy it. Everytime I chat with her, I am always left with a sense of strength and enlightenment. She is so wise. She has lived and learned. Her messages and life lessons are always so valuable to me.
What is the point of working tirelessly, day after day, with nothing to show for it except for bills paid on time and gas in the tank? What about the memories? What about life? What about the stories you’ll tell around the table when the kids stop in with the grandkids for dinner?
I’ll tell you that we took a vacation as a group in 2017 and it was by far the most amazing experience I could have shared with my children. We went to Jamaica, there was a water park at the resort, and we were up at 6am everyday because we had the baby with us. It was so wonderful seeing my kids have such a great, relaxing time.
But we had the kids. We didn’t get time for us.
“Melissa, what about spending time with your husband? You need that time. That connection. It’s so important! It is the foundation of your marriage!”
She was right. We don’t get time for us. We work, we raise babies, we sleep. And maybe, if we are lucky, we get a daytime date on a Saturday to Value Village. So exciting, right?
We didn’t even take a proper honeymoon. The joke was that we were taking a family-moon. We bought a camper last year and hit the provincial park for a week after our July wedding. Yes, it was fun! But – we had the kids.
Taking a vacation is less about the time you need to take off from work, and less about the $2000 it will cost. It’s the price you pay, once in a while, to just check out and reconnect with your partner. Leave the kids at home and just focus on you. Be just husband and wife, not “mom” and “dad”. It’s ok to be great parents – but that’s not your sole purpose or identity. You are still you.
Money is tight these days, but maybe I’ll just start squirrelling some pennies away and save up for something next year 🙂 We deserve a little time to ourselves.
Everyone deserves a little time to themselves.