Come away…and rest a while. (Mark 6:31)
My wife, Betty, and I are in the middle of the longest vacation of our married lives. And we are enjoying every minute of it immensely while getting away and getting some much-needed rest. I always thought that when I reached the age of retirement, life would slow down, become more relaxed and, in general, become the most peaceful part of my life.
Was I ever wrong! Family relationships have become more complicated and time-consuming. Health issues have come up that require treatment and life-style changes. Household tasks that I put off for the past 20 years now need doing. It’s true….retirement isn’t for sissies. While I may have thought that retirement would free me from work and the pressures of my earlier life, one thing has remained the same. I still need to take time off to recharge my batteries. A change of scenery, a break from my everyday routine, and a temporary escape from the business of life can change my whole outlook and perspective. We all need a break. A MarketWatch survey in 2015 noted that 55% of American workers no longer take their paid vacations. The Boston Globe followed that with a survey that showed that of those that took their vacations, 61% still continued to work. I can’t even imagine the kind of unrelenting pressure to succeed that must create.
As I get older, it becomes harder for me to accomplish what I used to be able to do. That can be very frustrating. I’m no longer as quick physically or mentally (though some of you may feel that this is not necessarily a recent development) as I once was. That’s even more frustrating. Success now has a different definition and timeframe. While a time of rest and separation may not cure me of getting old, it does help me to continue facing life with renewed energy and anticipation.
So, like the busy executive, the emergency room doctor, the mother of five, or the soldier serving overseas, we all need to come apart from our normal routines and pressures of life in order to keep from coming apart at the seams. So rest and rejuvenate yourselves to be ready to face the coming days. Happy vacation!