Creating Family Fun

The family and I recently took a good ole American family fun trip to all things Disney: Disney World, Disney Cruise and Downtown Disney.  The thought of this trip prior to having kids was similar to how I viewed the indoor play areas of the mall…something definitely to be avoided.

Now after hours of being indoctrinated through the Disney Junior Channel, I was over the moon excited about this trip.  Pretty sure, my excitement exceeded the kids.

In preparation for the trip, I joined a few Facebook groups.  You know, to get the lay of the land.  I pinned a “few” things on Pinterest, again to get a few ideas.  And I did get some good ideas, but along side of it I got a heap of anxiety.  I began trying to account for every conceivable scenario.  I found timelines down to the minute for spending your vacation.

Something about this didn’t set right with me.  I began contemplating the definition, purpose and intention of vacations.

Here are two definitions of vacation: a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreati on, or travel; recess or holiday and freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.

Pin after Pin, scrolling through page after page, it was evident my vacation fun was evolving into a perfectly planned event that would lead to unmet expectations.  Lysa Terkeurst, in the Best Yes, wisely says that unmet expectations lead to frustration and disappointment.

Planning and preparing is helpful and necessary for ensuring a smooth vacation.  These tools, however easily turn into an illusion that I can control everything.

So, I put my timelines away and decided to have a good time.  And, boy did we.  We stayed up way too late every night and woke up way too early, but we had an amazing time.  We also ate loads of ice cream and enjoyed all different kinds of ice cream concoctions.

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Sure, we encountered hiccups along the way (Like forgetting about the time change).  If I had my timeline, this would have resulted in unnecessary frustration.  Instead, I took a deep breath and enjoyed the sweet moments I had been given.

Here are a few tips for enjoying family time:

  • Staying present: Family time is a rare precious gift.  Many times, I sat back and watched them taking in the moment.  By letting go of my “measuring stick,”  I found so much joy and peace.
  • Letting go of control: Say it with me, “We are not in control.” This feels both scary and liberating at the same time.  The only thing we can control is our response to situations.
  • Enjoying the moments: take time to laugh and be silly.  Too much of life is filled with demands and deadlines.  Create free time to play with your family.  Take a deep breath and enjoy the spontaneous moments of life, even if/when they aren’t perfect or what you expected.

Blessings to you on your journey,

Melissa

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