The Secret to Carving Out Time.

It's About Time.

I'm always teetering on the fence. Bemoaning the passing of time (going by) and thanking God for days (upon days). It's an uncomfortable place to sit, this fence. It's hard to balance, but I can't pick a side. So I try my best to straddle it, to try and be present, to try and be thankful. (I'm not always present, and I'm not always thankful).

Resolutions, though. Every day.

I've had the absolute privilege of raising my kids… growing them, schooling them, under my roof. It's been a huge sacrifice in so very many ways. But more: The greatest gift I could ever hope for. And all I can think to wish for now is just… a… little… more… time.

For many of us, though, circumstances overwhelm. Being home with our children hasn't been possible, or we missed the chance, or they've grown beyond the parameters of days. (How I lament the parameter of days)…

But do you know? There's still time. The parameters: You CAN break through. And the secret is really, right under your nose:

Just… start… driving.

It doesn't have to be far (it can be camping, or road tripping, or a day at the beach). It must, though, fit these three requirements:

1. It must be new.
2. It must be *a little bit* uncomfortable.
3. And you must... do it... together.

The secret is family travel.

It's NOT easy. It's expensive, it takes some planning… it can even be a little scary. And what's more: You may not even know its true worth - until years have passed and reflections have formed... Until insider jokes have taken on a life of their own, and terrible meals have been consumed. Until you've battled the cold, or slept overnight (on the floor of a crowded ferry). Until you've forgotten the tire chains, or lost your credit card, or dented your rental car, or subsided for days... on Doritos, and ice cream, and Mentos. Until you've locked your keys in the Airbnb, or fallen head-first down a dusty trail.

Have I sold you yet, on family travel?! Let me try again:

It's a sacrifice, all of it. Of time, of intention, of money, of comfort. It's a sacrifice… AND a gift. A sacrifice… and a gift. Just. Like. Life. Working through hardship and suffering small failures are the hallmarks of any good adventure… and the beginning of so many great things: Endurance, camaraderie, teamwork, and compromise. It's bonding - and it builds a common language.  Most importantly, you come through to the other side knowing that anywhere, everywhere, wherever you are: You're a family, and you stick together. You hold each other up. You forgive, you work, you play:  Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat.

You break the parameters of days.

Of course, these things are part of everyday life too… in parenting, in marriage, in relationships, in work. You don't have to go to a far-off country to toil united.  Travel though, is an access point.  Because you have to be together.  In the trenches… in the thick of it.  In the time.

This world takes away so much of our time. We're broken apart at work and at home… for practices, for purposes, for various, multiple, growing pursuits. Don't despair. Remember this: You may not be able to share in all the days… you may not be able to share in all the work… But you can, if you try… build a life of shared permanence.

Just start driving.

I've done it, And you can too… little by little. Year by year. It's not always perfect, and it's generally exhausting. But it's priceless; every bit of it.

So start planning now… sneak away for a long weekend, save your dollars for a road unknown, find a dream… And start…slowing… down... time.

1 comment

Carolyn Hunter

This is beautiful! Thank you for such a gentle reminder of the best way to slow down time and create meaningful memories. This is just what our family needs to do. Trips. Vacations. We’ve gotten to caught up in the busy to realize that vacations are about so much more than a “vacation”!

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