I hear the ocean. I smell it. I see it. I’m in a beach front condo in North Myrtle Beach. The wall décor reminds me that “Life is a beach,” “Our house rules are relax, relax, relax” and “If you are lucky enough to be at the beach, you are lucky enough.”
Why do we need a vacation to feel happy and to relax? Do we get happier while on vacation?
According to a study done in Holland and quoted by the New York Times in 2010, vacations do make us happy while we plan and anticipate them. But we don’t stay happy. Even those who said their vacation was “very relaxing” share that, two weeks after they come home, their happiness level drops down.
It could be that lots of work is piled up as they return home. Or, simply, there is something wrong with the equation which tries to tell us that vacations = happiness.
What I know for sure is that, as Ann Voskamp expresses so poignantly in her One Thousand Gifts devotional, the only place you need to see before you die is the place where you can see God. And that can happen every day, right where you are, doing laundry, teaching the kids, chauffeuring them to music lessons, and preparing a meal.
In his quaint English, Einstein used to say, “I will a little tink.” One can hear the German word order in his sentence. Also, his German accent. If we but “a little tink” ourselves, we will realize that vacations, while they have their place in a balanced life, are not the solution to our hum-drum existence.
Thankfulness for the little things and for the big things in our lives – our every day lives – gives us the right perspective and joy.
Life is a beach but you don’t have to be at the beach to experience that.