Be mindful and enjoy your summer

Who killed summer vacationQ: Help me! Each year we go to our summer home in Chilmark for three weeks. I used to love it! But now, we have only been here four days and my brain is numbed by repetition of the same old things, the kids are getting on my nerves, and if we have to have one more dinner with the Smiths…. What am I doing here?

A: The answer is straightforward (and maybe not what you want to hear): be mindful. Actively notice new things. OK?

It is likely that repetition has dulled your senses. The image I have is the Cowardly Lion traipsing through the poisonous field of poppies and keeling over with his paws in the air. Be present and engage by revisiting the following:

  • What was your involvement in the vacation plan?  Was the whole family involved in the planning?
  • Why do you love coming to Chilmark?
  • Are you still curious? Engaged? Involved?  Who have you added to your network?
  • What are the habitual (non-rewarding) things that you will stop doing?  For example, having ice cream every night or going to the Bite for fried clams and chicken fingers even though the family is committed to healthy eating.
  • Do you have your own schedule and opportunity for renewal/reflection? Do the kids have opportunities for adventures?  Or is your family stuck together like the Griswolds or the Klumps 24×7?  If yes, I can only ask:  Why?
  • What were your expectations for this year’s vacation? Be honest:  Were you Duck_waterdisenchanted before you left home?

You are in Chilmark, one of the most beautiful places in the world.  What can you do right
now to be present and mindfully engaged?  Start by being curious–OK?


Originally published August 11, 2014

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