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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

. . . Like You Are On Vacation

I just revised my blog header to include a new quote by me, which incidentally is now the closing line before my email signature.  "If your vocation isn't a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Since I work at home a lot, I tend to just "throw something on"--if cool outside, something to keep me warm; if warm outside, something to keep me cool.  Utilitarian.  Practical.  Yet . . . why can't I dress like I'm on vacation?  Wearing those things that bring me joy, make me feel great, cause me to smile and inspire me?

Like I would on vacation.

Why do we save stuff for later?  Save stuff for company?  Save stuff for special occasions?  We should dress everyday like we are on vacation.  Wearing the best of the best our wardrobes offer.

Do not run to the nearest mall.  Unless you have excess cash.  Just go shopping in your own closet; go treasure hunting in your own armoire.

Take that mind-set another step further.  Why can't our residence--in my case, my one and only--be our vacation home?  I subscribe to FLYLady.net and she posts occasionally this great email she received from one of her members.  It was about this wonderful bed-and-breakfast she stayed at.

Come to find out, it was her home.  All organized, decluttered, using her best linens, her wedding china, etc.  Isn't that happiness personified?  That's what I aspire to.  The decluttering part will take me a while as I am a pack rat when it comes to information.  Data.  I save it in bankers boxes.  Many bankers boxes.  It's fuel for my writing.

I have travel tips for various European nations.  I have pictures of homes, people, cars--all in want of a story to be told.  Of course, I collect quotations and favorite Bible verses and recipes.  It's all very important to me.  And it entails time to read through what I've amassed to find the nugget therein.

As per FLYLady, I'll do it fifteen minutes at a time (hopefully twice daily as she recommends).  Her website is in my sidebar under Favorite Links.

Getting back on my main theme here, let's continue with this vacation thinking.  Specifically:  Money.  On a vacation, do you worry about paying your rent, your mortgage?  You probably did that beforehand, calculating whether the old budget could handle this trip and still meet that major obligation.

So, I figure for a vacation to be a true vacation, you aren't worrying about the monthly bills.  You are focused on TODAY.  What to eat with joy and abandon TODAY.  No nagging thoughts about calories or counting carbs.  Well, maybe a few in the mental background.

Still, we set aside pesky internal monologues about bills, calories, and vow to live in the now, in the present, in the TODAY.  Shouldn't we do that even when NOT on vacation?  Before you correct me, yes, we should prevent disease by eating healthier and we should prepare for our future.  However, I didn't say "worry" about our future.

For example, we plant a garden, go on about our other business, reap later.  We don't worry incessantly about whether a seed really will produce a plant.  Granted, I didn't get the green thumb in my family so there have been two attempts at a garden that failed for me, but . . . if you are the same way, think of another analogy here.

Haven't we all worried for days only to have our problem "solved" in a blink later, or avoided altogether?  We wasted all those hours for what?  Stop it now.

While you live "like on vacation," you (1) appreciate more, whether the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the place you inhabit, the outdoors, the weather, etc. and (2) worry less, being more present, which is another form of both gratitude and joy and (3) smile more which makes you happier and is contagious to those around you.  Sounds pretty grand to me.

Do you have healthy loved ones; are you healthy and loved?

Consider yourself uber prosperous--because you are.

Do you have food, clothing and shelter for today?

Consider yourself wealthy--because you are.

Do you have enough money for just this twenty-four-hour period?

Consider yourself rich--because you are.

Do you need something tomorrow?  Pray.  "...yet you do not have because you do not ask."  James 4:2.  Ask of God.  Ask of your family.  Ask what you can do yourself.

Continuing on, do you feel like you are on vacation when you are at work?  I hear the collective groan.  However, I see a few grinning souls too.  Like my new header reads, "If your vocation isn't a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."  God didn't create us to be unhappy.  God didn't spend all this time surrounding us with intricate beauty for us to be sad.  God didn't fill our lives with blessings for us to be depressed.

Have you ever stopped to inspect a butterfly?  I mean really look at all the magnificent artwork that went into decorating a butterfly's wings?  What about a lily?  Its stamen, its freckles, its tipped petals?  It is said a butterfly lives only like three days.  Yet God went to all the trouble to paint multitudes of different butterflies just so we may see at least one fly by during our day.  Are you even noticing them?  How regrettable to have missed that opportunity.

Back to your job.  If it isn't fun, if it doesn't feed your soul, if you don't begin your day thinking about the great stuff you have awaiting your talents--before you even get up out of bed--then you, my friend, need new employment.

I know, we have to pay bills.  Maybe we should think more about that before we incur them.  Keep that old car, don't buy a new one.  Look for a roommate.  Reduce the monthly expenses we do have so we can take a better job that pays less.  You'll be so much happier for it.

Live each day . . . like you are on vacation.

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