Life in balance

I’m pretty sure it was on that trip that my husband and I took to the Philippines in February that I had a me-revelation:  My idea of the perfect vacation isn’t really laying out on the beach without any cares in the world, reading magazines, and overeating.  Oh, I thought it was for quite sometime, and then I thought there was something wrong with me, some underlying anxiety that I needed to deal with, for not wanting the ultimate relaxation vacation.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed that trip to the Philippines, and I really enjoyed the time on the beach, the eating, and the magazines.  But what I discovered about a vacation is that rather than shirk my spiritual, health, and emotional disciplines, I’d rather use the time to get into the rhythm of a balanced life.  I don’t desire to take a vacation from God, or a vacation from my relationships with friends and family, or from treating my body with respect.  In fact, during a vacation, I desire to have the time to do these things more thoroughly, without the rush and roar of daily life that makes them difficult.

I haven’t been on a vacation here in Hong Kong, as I’m doing library research at University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong, but in planning the trip, I looked for a place to stay with a gym, a desk to do my writing and correspondence, and a quiet environment to find connection with God and myself.  And it’s been great.  I’ve rejuvenated to the point where I can’t wait to get back to my busy life, but I’m also rooted in a routine, a balanced lifestyle that I’ll try to keep (imperfectly, I’m sure) when I return to the mainland.

What does vacation mean to you, and what disciplines keep your life in balance?

3 thoughts on “Life in balance

  1. Oh, I so agree! But I also think part of that balance IS the ability to turn off too. It’s knowing what I need and actually getting it — for example, I think I’d be a much nicer person (and as I tell Mr. X, a much nicer Mummy) these days if I actually could get 12 hours of just sleep and nothing else. But then, I do love the gym too. I know I’m not really in balance with myself and with God right now but I keep telling myself, it’s only for a season (I hope)!

    1. I meant to reply to this comment a long time ago, Rachel, but your comment made me think of a friend who recently posted on facebook about the exciting experience of being an adult, having the freedom to make one’s own choices, etc., and another friend posted something like, until you have kids that is, but I can’t imagine my life without them now either. I think your life is probably transitioning to a new balance, given your new son, and it will take some time to know what that is. But I’d encourage you to keep valuing sleep! keep showing yourself grace, and keep knowing that God is there, in the love you feel for your little boy, the love that you show him, and that love is new, refreshing, perhaps wildly unpredictable, the kind that tosses you off balance, but then, would you have it any other way?!

  2. mmm.. which begs the question – do retired people actually go on “vacation”? I have been thinking about this too…I think we TRAVEL = exploration …this requires energy. I think our vacation time is more when we are at home in Tucson..we are more in balance at home with God, sports, ministry, friends, family….I do not desire to getaway all that much…only to be stimulated outside my life, enjoy an exciting view, or natural experience and make connections with faraway friends and family.

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