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    Vacations and 10 Days of Silence

    What is it that defines a vacation? It’s kind of an interesting question.

    For those of us currently working, we use vacation days to spend a day not working. But there are many who are retired and I’m not sure they would consider each day a vacation. Perhaps it is the act of going somewhere for more than a day, ideally not on a day you would typically work. Then again, people take day-vacations so it cannot simply be duration either.

    Then I thought that it could be to go see something or do something. That seems like a characteristic that would often apply to something called a vacation. But, some people take a day of vacation to be at home, relax.

    Ah, so that’s it then – it should be something that you’re doing to relax. If you’re taking a day of vacation to catch up on housework, attend a wedding, or something similar, your employer may consider it a vacation day but it is not a vacation for you.

    And yet, one must be careful with that description because how one defines relax can be very different for people. Some people find that a return to nature as part of a multi-day hike is just what they need, while other would hate every minute of that. Others want to go and see things, packing an event into every open moment. Others would rather sit and relax, be it at home or at a destination of some kind. And still others would use it as a time to reconnect with themselves – taking a break from the ever-present connection to technology and the outside world – by taking time to reflect, or as a friend of mine just did, spending 10 days in silence, meditating, as part of a Vipassana Meditation.

    I believe that it is probably best if one samples from the above ways to enjoy a vacation. A vacation where there is little planed affords needed breaks, but may not create experiences which are very memorable. And if new memories are not created, there is little to reflect back on. One should not work simply so they can take breaks to escape it.

    At the same time, if each vacation is filled with activities, many memories are created, but one might fail to create deeper connections. It is the white space between activities in which you get to know those you are sharing your time with. Get to share stories of days gone by. Whether funny, or interesting, or odd, or whatever the flavor, it is those stories that can reinforce a relationship for years to come.

    And finally, it is hard to maintain any of the above without being in touch with oneself. At the end of the day, that is the person that must be happy with the life lived. It is important to reflect and understand the things which truly make yourself happy. Where do you want to spend more time going forward, and where do you want to spend less? Because while life is short in many ways, it is also very long in others. It’s a journey that deserves some good company, and you are with yourself every step of the way.

    Go ahead and take the vacation which is right for you.

    This has been a Thought From the Cake Scraps.

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