For the past 3 years, my family and I have opted to celebrate Christmas via a vacation to Mexico using my parents time share. I am here now, on day 8 of 13. I highly cherish this time, but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows!
Have you spent 2 weeks on vacation with your closest family members lately? What words would you use to describe this experience? Two weeks with anyone in close quarters can be a lot: we do nearly everything together, our living space is 2 joined hotel rooms, and there isn’t work or household chores to distract one’s self from the interpersonal difficulties that may arise.
Part of why I cherish this time so much is that I don’t see my family for most of the year. They live in Ohio and I live in California. There are a few 1000 miles between us usually, so this time allows us to connect and spend some quality time together. I love quality time. What’s interesting though, is that my definition of quality time is not that same as someone else’s. This is an important fact to understand not only in this situation, but in all of life: there are many versions of the “internal code book” and communication, as well as knowing when not to communicate, (!) is key.
I also cherish this time with my family because it helps me confront my past as the “new” me. For the last several years, I have, and still continue to, work extensively on improving myself, my habits, my views, my mindsets, my behaviors, my faith. In Mexico, I get to apply these new skills and insights in the midst of old ways, old patterns, old familiar situations that used to so-often upset me. I also get to extend grace to myself when I realize that I have yet some more opportunities for growth. It’s very humbling and enlightening.
The other big reason I enjoy this time with my family, besides the obvious that I am on a tropical beach in the middle of winter, is that this is the time I set goals for the year. This is the time I get away to evaluate where I have been and where I am going. One of the many books I am reading here is “The Millionaire Next Door.” It clearly outlines this very reasoning: millionaires are “less price sensitive when buying services that help them control their consumptive behavior” and “when it comes to allocation of time, (millionaires) place the management of their assets before other activities.” I want to have millions of dollars and so I study the people that do. Yes, I do this at home, but this time in Mexico removes all the distractions of work and other commitments and allows me to honestly evaluate this goal, and others. I liken this study of successful business owners and millionaires, their mindsets, their habits, their life, to a school or a “service that helps me control my consumptive behavior” and this is something I need and want to improve. The immediate loss of work and income doesn’t dictate my actions. I am gaining much more by coming here. I make this choice. It’s not an easy one, but I have my eye on a bigger future, a big goal and this helps me make decisions.
So, yes, it is AMAZING that I get 2 weeks in sunny (mostly), warm (mostly), Mexico, with family, and I do so with seemingly paradoxical sacrifice. It is hard work here. I’m living out the Proverb (27:17) of “iron sharpening iron.” What’s incredible is that we all are better off because of it.
I bless you in your endeavors! Be the change you want to see! We CAN change the world. One, interpersonal interaction, communicative, and goal setting behavior at a time.