Vacations and other commitments have contributed to my lack of blogging over the past 6 weeks. Since the theme of this blog is supposed to be focusing on the positive, I want to share with everyone a very positive vacation experience I had with my family recently.
In early August we took a vacation to the Colorado Rockies with my wife’s side of the family. To be honest, in the weeks and months leading up to this vacation I was very apprehensive. I like easy, relaxing vacations with plenty of time to rest, read, hike, contemplate, etc. I am not a big fan of doing a lot of pre-trip planning when it comes to scheduling events. My preference is to get where I am going and then schedule things according to how I feel at the time, with the confidence that everything will work out in the end – and it always does (for me anyway 🙂 ). But my wife’s family approaches vacations differently. They like to schedule in advance in order to make sure that they get as much fun, adventure, and experience in as possible. Because this vacation was the idea of my in-laws, they were in charge of scheduling. I could almost feel my blood pressure rising every time we got an email from them with more details about the trip.
To sum it all up, I felt out of control. I was worried about the altitude and how we would all react to it, especially given the busy schedule that was being planned. I felt like I was the least adventurous adult on the trip, and while I was often assured that no one had to participate in anything that they did not want to, I grew tired of seeming to be the only one of the group that had any reservations about anything.
To make a long story short though, it all worked out and we all had a fantastic and memorable vacation. Stepping outside my comfort zone turned out to be a good thing. As so often happens, I learned from my discomfort, and by facing that discomfort I grew from it. I do not always have to be in control. It is OK for me to say “no” to something that I am not comfortable with (zip-lining across steep canyons for example). There was literally something on the schedule almost every day that caused me some concern, but in the end, every one of those activities that I chose to participate in turned out to be great.
I am thankful to my in-laws for planning this trip. They had the vision and confidence to know that this was going to be a great vacation. I eventually just had to put aside my concerns, take a deep breath, relax and let it happen. We all had so many first-time and/or peak experiences on this trip. For me these included wildlife viewing experiences (moose, magpies, golden-mantled squirrel, etc.), crossing the Continental Divide, getting above the tree line, and so much more. None of us would have been able to have any of these experiences without the planning and perseverance of my in-laws.
I am thankful that all fourteen of us (6 adults and 8 kids) were able to have this experience together. Watching my kids have so much fun with their cousins will, I am sure, prove to be one of the most enduring memories I keep from this trip. I am amazed at how well everyone got along – adults and kids.
Finally, I am grateful for the many opportunities that this vacation provided for all of us to grow (as all experiences do). For me, that especially means that I am thankful that this vacation provided numerous opportunities that allowed me to stretch past my comfort zone – to push a little past the edge of my envelope. It was all worth it and it all worked out!
Stay tuned for another post about this vacation that I will post in a few days – Colorado Family Vacation By the Numbers.
With Peace and Gratitude,
**A special thank you to my wife, Kylie Strother, for all of the great photography on this vacation – a very small sampling of which appears within this post.