John and I recently returned from a once in a lifetime vacation with the kids in San Francisco. One full week of being together with two teenagers in a two room suite and a rental car. I realize as I write that sentence that it sounds like a recipe for a lot of bickering and elbow jabbing, a fair amount of self absorbed tired whining and some intolerable tunes, but no- it wasn’t like that. Amazingly, the typical raising two teens behavior wasn’t packed in the suitcase and blessedly was left behind. Instead we enjoyed seven sunshine filled days of laughter, exploration, great interesting conversations and close companionship with each other.
We did the touristy things. The cable cars and museums. The Chocolate factory and the bridges. We walked along the pier. We ate delectable food until our bellies hurt.
And we watched the seagulls and the seals off of Pier 59. The kids say that was the best part.
Because they were funny with their antics and we stood there for an hour and laughed until tears watered their eyes and our cheeks were sore from stretched smiles.
The simplest pleasures turned out to be the best ones after all. Isn’t that the way it is sometimes?
Isn’t that the way it is most of the times?
November has arrived. Snuck in the backdoor while I wasn’t looking. And sometime this weekend I heard my first Christmas song and the Thanksgiving dinner plans were solidified.
It’s the time of the year when the world starts leaning on us to be just a little more complicated again. Pushing and prodding us to buy that one extra thing, to plan that one extra party, to say yes to that one extra promise.
The urge to batten down the hatches and hang on to the simple things is pressing on me. It doesn’t take complicated to mean special. It doesn’t take extra hoops to mean happy.
I feel like gathering up the family and cozying up to a fire in the fireplace with a hot cup of cocoa and maybe a board game. That and a night of good laughs sounds a lot more fun then filling up this house with more expensive needless things that no one will remember six months from now.
I bet they don’t forget the seagulls and seals though. Not ever. Those kind of memories stay with a child for ever. And they were free. Of all the things we did that day, watching seagulls and seals didn’t cost a dime. These are the moments that keep me inspired.
When this next onslaught of holidays has passed us by, what do you want to carry with you? More Credit card debt and empty calories? Circles under your eyes from too many committments? Or is this the year to try something different?
What do you want to cherish as your lasting memory? We can be intentional about this if we start now.
If we start by making memories that matter. Memories of time spent together. Memories of laughter. Of love. Of giving and of gratitude.
Starting now, starting here. Any plans?