Friday, August 21, 2009

Redefining Vacations

Today, Jeff and I will be traveling to Hamilton, Ontario for a romantic weekend away from it all--the laundry, the housework, and even our beloved kids. For two nights and 2.5 days, we'll try having conversations about anything but the usual concerns. Easier said than done.

It's been challenging to carve out the time for a getaway, but even more difficult to break our pattern of planning for vacations. In the past, we might have agreed together on a destination, but then, I'd leave the rest of the plans up to him.

Jeff's a math teacher, I'd reason. He's logical, he's thrifty, and after all these years of being in charge of all the details of our vacationing, he's experienced.

He was also pretty burdened, I've learned. Being the task master of our respites left him exhausted; the poor guy could have used his own vacation when it was all over, whether we were with the kids or not.

Meanwhile, I graded the entire experience. Had he chosen a clean, well-kept hotel? I'd be the judge of that--and march right into the bathroom upon entering, checking the place out for stray hair and black mold. Was the restaurant really as good as he thought it would be? I'd be the judge of that, too--and I'd let him know.

Convicted of such selfishness, I suggested we plan this trip together. I think he was happy about it. Well...confused, but happy.

Because it was a last minute decision, it took quite a bit of time to find a hotel with a vacancy. The couple we used to be would have given up, decided to forgo the idea, and sulked at home.

Ah many, many games we played.

Reconstructing us, however, involves working things through as a team, no matter how long it takes. We proceeded with prayer and determination, convinced that we really did need this time away. Working side by side at the kitchen table, on two laptops, we found our hotel after four hours.

Yep, four hours. We were admittedly less than happy to have spent so long on the project, but when it was over, we were thrilled.

In my next entry, I'll tell you about the activities--and the relaxation--we've worked into our weekend, and how different such a schedule looks from how we would have driven one another crazy in the past. Jeff and I are redefining vacations.

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