This Saturday, I'm leaving on a week-long vacation to Big Star Lake, a lake my family visited pretty regularly while I was growing up. This time, it will be even more fun because we're having a huge family reunion, with relatives coming in from California, Texas, and Georgia. All of my cousins, aunts and uncles, who I haven't seen in two years, will be there. We've rented four cottages to accomodate us all. I know we'll have lots of fun and I'm thrilled to be able to allow my kids to experience some of what I did growing up.
So vacations are supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation.
For those of you who camp or spend time at a summer cottage, how do you do it? I'm telling you, preparing for this vacation has been stressful! Especially when we need to take so much more along than if we were simply staying in a hotel or resort somewhere. There's everything from chairs to outdoor games to fishing poles to necessities like toilet paper (leaves just won't cut it!). Not to mention the FOOD. Needless to say, we are borrowing my father-in-law's suburban, as there is no way on God's green earth we'd be able to fit all of our stuff in a Pontiac G6. Um, hello... we will have two pre-teen girls with us, whose make-up cases alone would fill the trunk.
So not only is the preparing part stressful, I'm already dreading the unpacking part. I'm sure it will take at least three days for things to get back to normal (and for me to get all the sand out of every crevasse).
And then there's the work part. Now, I don't have the luxury of being able to "leave my work at home." I don't work a normal 9-5 job. I have regular freelance work that has to get done. If it doesn't, I simply don't get paid, and honestly, I could use the cash. Plus, there would be a ton of EXTRA stress when I got home, trying to catch up on what I missed. And, of course, if I left my email unattended for one whole week, I would come home to a gazillion messages that would take an entire week to go through. So...the laptop comes with me.
But then there's the matter of no internet service in our cottage. So my husband and I will have to make a trip into town a couple/three times during the week so I can work.
So is it? Worth it, I mean.
I'm thinking, yes. My body could use some fresh air. My mind could use a reprieve from everyday to-do lists and demands. And my spirit could use a lift, too. This will come from re-connecting with far-away relatives and also with the Holy Spirit in an atmosphere where I am breathlessly surrounded by the beauty of God's creation.
I also hope to spend some of the no-internet-access time getting back to my first two loves - reading and pure writing. It would be a great bonus if I came home with two or three books read from my to-be-read pile and 10,000 words written in my novel, or that short story entry for the Good Housekeeping contest completed.
Not holding my breath, but you never know...
So what do you think? Are vacations worth the stress that comes with them? I'd love to hear your thoughts.