How I Spent My Summer Vacation
I have fond memories of writing paragraphs during the first week of early grade school about how I spent my summer vacation. You do too.
After I got my business cards printed, vacations got shorter. Over the years they dropped from three months to three days, better known as holiday weekends. Sometimes I could get all the way to four days.
But this summer, I decided to take more than six weeks of vacation. It created transformation of attitude, physical feeling, and, most important, freedom of thought.
When I say “vacation,” what words or images come to your mind? For most people it’s some combination of getaway, pack the kids in the car, go to the beach, or go to the mountains. If you’re single, it’s probably a lot of partying and carousing.
Or you may think of a vacation as rest and relaxation (better known as R&R). But the reality is, vacation should involve A LOT of “re.”
Let me give you a few more “re” words so you can see what the entire opportunity of vacation is:
Relax. The original objective of vacation. I have found it takes a day or three to get into a real relaxed mode. Just let it happen organically. Resting will help.
Rejuvenate. Get your youth back, both in thinking and feeling.
Revive. Decide what you want to bring back to life and take action.
Restore. Build back physical and mental strength that may have gone fallow.
Reflect. Pause to think about people and things.
Recall. Bring back events that changed your direction for the better.
Remember. Think about times and people of the past that made you smile.
Rewind. Playback some events that you want to think about again.
Repair. Physical and mental damage gets worse unless you take positive action.
Recover. Heal both mentally and physically — both by doing (exercise) and not doing (nap, beach).
Reconsider. Think about where you are and the actions that got you there.
Relearn. Vacation is the time to read books and expose yourself to what’s current and what’s new.
Rediscover. By taking action on vacation, you’ll find old happiness anew.
Refresh. Cold water on your face is how you may think of it. Now refresh your brain and your body the same way. Shake it out and wash it out. Massage it out and exercise it out. Walk it out and run it out.
Reorient. Put yourself in a different frame of mind to clarify and justify your present situation.
Relive. Go over the past few years and ask yourself what could have happened different or better.
Relieve. Take time to let stress go, and thereby have new and better thoughts come more easily.
Revel. Love what you do. Love what you’re doing. Love who you’re becoming. Love who you are. And wallow in it while you relax.
Reaffirm. Who you are, who you want to become, and what you intend to do.
Recommit. To do whatever it takes to “become” at a higher level.
Resolve. Not a New Year’s resolution. Real resolve to “do” in your daily life.
Reward. Give yourself the praise and prize you deserve.
Rekindle. Spirit and love are the two most powerful parts of your being.
My summer vacation started with four incredible days at the Canyon Ranch Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Canyon Ranch is listed as a resort, but resort may be the biggest understatement on the planet.
Canyon Ranch embellishes all of the above “re” words. In fact, this article was inspired by our time there. Besides being in a gorgeous setting, having great accommodations, five-star service, and ten-star food, the Canyon Ranch is actually a healthy place to be, or should I say a healthy place to “re.”
Before you arrive, they interview you and question you to make certain that you maximize the experience, and you can do everything there from define your diet, to exercise, to have a medical exam, to take a photography lesson.
The Canyon Ranch walks are incredible because they provide an opportunity to see things you’ve never seen before, and to take time to think about what was, what is, and what might be. And as the days progress your thoughts become more open and more expansive with respect to what could be.
Because Canyon Ranch is in the desert, you drink a lot of water. A LOT of water. Drinking water is a good thing. It cleanses the body and it gives you an opportunity, an easy opportunity, to begin cleansing your soul.
I was fortunate enough to bring my traveling partner, Jessica, who provided daily encouragement with respect to what to do next, and how to maximize our time. Jessica and I have traveled about a million miles together, and while sometimes the travel is hectic, the landing is what it’s all about. And when someone is with you to share those events, it makes it that much more rewarding, that much more special.
I believe if someone in your life is not there to challenge you daily, you tend to take the easiest path, rather than the best path.
Vacation is not a party. I know many people who come home from a vacation saying, “I need a vacation!” They don’t get it.
Take a vacation and re-create your success priorities. In these times, there are few things more important.