Five Ways to Get Away Today
Want to Get Away?
You know that feeling you get about a week before you are set to leave for vacation? You know, like you’re already there. Perhaps others can tell that while you’re still going through the motions of your job, you’ve mentally already clocked out for your vacation destination.
This time of year is when I am most likely to consider where I’d rather be. I’m a big proponent of making the most of where you are, when you are there, but I can only stand so many cold, dreary days of winter. There haven’t really been that many of those days this year where I live, but I still want to get away. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
What about you? Do you want to get away? Let’s dream for a few minutes and look at five ways to get away today.
Want to Get Away to a Place?
Mrs. Right used to look at me every once in a while and let me know how she was longing for the beach. I usually countered with my preference for the mountains. (I’m not a huge fan of sand in my shorts.) Plus, I wanted to be doing something. I got bored after a day or two at the beach. That was then.
Big Sister’s graduation trip to New York a couple of years ago was also Mrs. Right’s first trip there. Now, every time we watch Blue Bloods and see one of the beautiful shots of the New York skyline, she feels to urge to return there. Me, I went once in the ’90’s and had a blast…but if I never went back to the Big Apple, I would be just fine. I’d rather go to the beach.
Want to Get Away to a Time?
Maybe you want to get away not to another place but to another time. Do you long for a simpler time? I felt that way after listening to the State of the Union address last week. Just thinking about the world we are leaving to the next generation made me want to go back…and take my kids with me.
The good ol’ days, we call them, but we’re not all thinking about the same year or even the same era of time. We just want life to be simpler or more fun or more carefree than it is right now, and we would love to go back to the days of less responsibility.
Or maybe you would get away to a point in the future when that seemingly insurmountable obstacle in front of you was dealt with one way or the other. I’m with you. Either way, we would love to just be past that one thing….
Five Ways to Get Away Today
I want to offer you five ways to get away today (and every day)–even if just for 15 minutes or so. These are five ways to find contentment by getting away…right where you are.
- Get away by pulling out (or pulling up, as the case may be) photos from a trip you particularly enjoyed or a time in life that was pleasant. Share the photos with someone who was there…or someone you wish had been there. Mrs. Right and I have some of the best times when we look at photos from Big Sister’s, Older Brother’s, and the Little Fella’s childhoods.
- Get away by telling stories of another time, another place. Closely related to the first suggestion, storytelling can remind you of the great times of your life. Heck, I wrote a whole book about my re-told childhood tales. I can’t go back there for good…but I can go back to visit in a sense.
- Get away by reading just for fun. I admit that I stopped reading fiction for several years. I had so many important books to read that I neglected the books that stirred my imagination. Mrs. Right goes to England all the time, and I think she practically grew up in Avonlea with Anne (with an e). I, on the other hand, grew up in a little house on the prairie with a lucky baseball bat and am looking forward to traveling to Sawyerton Springs with Andy Andrews later this week. Where do you want to go? I’m sure there’s a book that will take you there.
- Get away by listening to the soundtrack of your life. Just before you go to bed, play the soundtrack of that trip you enjoyed so much. When I think about walking around the Rynick in Wroclaw, Poland, Sting is singing because his is the album Mrs. Right was listening to when we went there together. A trip to Haiti in 2012 was particularly significant in my life, and I remember how Phil Wickham and Know Hope Collective provided the background music. Settling down at the end of the day to the soundtrack of a memorable trip may even take you there overnight.
- Get away by being right where you are. I’ve tried to teach my kids that the best age is the one they are right now. You can’t go back and live in the past, and you can wish your life away trying to get to the future. The only time you can live is now and the only place you can live is where you are. So put all the electronic devices away (not just out of sight but out of reach, out of the room), grab a cup of coffee or tea, and sink contently into the here and now. It’s the best place to get away.
Which of the five ways to get away will you try today? Try one. Try number five every day. And enjoy.
About Al Ainsworth
Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.