A weekend away: turn my brain off and enjoy the laughter of the kids, the splash of the water, the luxury of no phone to answer. Yes and no. It’s amazing what you can learn from a weekend spent in a hotel surrounded by a thousand other people.
#4 Manners are a must, but not everyone uses theirs. I like to run a social experiment when I’m walking the halls of the resort. I don’t mean during the day when there are hordes of Walmart-like people crashing into each other. I prefer the one-on-two or one-on-one early in the morning or late at night. My experiment? I say “hi” or “good evening” and see what happens. Since when did people stop saying “hello” back? My parents taught me early on to speak to people, look them in the eye, walk on the righthand side, let other people pass when there’s something blocking one side, and hold the door for others (women and men). It seems like those are still relevant lessons… but forty-eight hours later, I’m thinking the devolving of American civilization may be a lack of civility and manners, not whether the Republicans or Democrats are winning.
#3 Want to appreciate life? Imagine you’re a kid again. I haven’t had a great 2015. If you read regularly, you know “my” grandma passed away last week and I officiated. I’ve had a ten-year effort come to a sudden halt. I wrestled with vertigo. Sure, there are a lot of things going well and I thank God for them, but (I’ll sound old for a moment), I miss 2014! But we were at a water park… and there was splashing. And nothing beats the expression of joy on the face of a child you love. God bless my kids that I haven’t messed them up (too badly) yet, but God blesses me when I can see how awesome life really is through the eyes of my kids.
#2 People are people are people. We had a room cleaning issue: our room didn’t get cleaned. I realized later on that this happened to others, but my situation and others took different paths. I asked the first person I saw, used “sir,” and tried to figure out what I was supposed to do to fix the situation; the other person angrily what the deal was? The same housekeeping agent immediately jumped into tracking down everything missing for our room… and left the other guy waiting for ten minutes. Thankfully, I got this one right, but this refers back to point #1: my parents taught me that everyone matters, regardless of the job they’re doing. The waitress who drops your food, the house cleaning person who fails to get you new towels, the cop who grants you the ticket you didn’t want — everyone has something going on that you don’t know about, and everyone has value because they’re God’s child. Give themselves, and yourself, a break. Quite frankly, when I wanted to lose my mind later in the evening, I was reminded of how this played out… and didn’t end up with an unhappy wife. Trust me, it could happen…
#1 When the system gets contaminated, it’s all or nothing. One night at the water park, something happened. Throw up? Poop? Low chlorine levels? Whatever it was, whistles blew and within seconds, the slides, lazy river, and oversized playhouse all shut down. To my kids’ dismay. The thing is that as adults, we try to compartmentalize things. Adults say things like, “oh, I’m only angry at work, never at home,” or “my porn watching isn’t a problem for my marriage,” or “my drinking isn’t really an addiction.” The truth is, when there’s bacteria introduced to the water system at the park, the whole status is compromised until it’s flushed out. We should get real about our ‘systems’ and allow for them to be appropriately made clean. [“Nothing But The Blood” just started to play in a loop at the back of my brain…]
What lessons have you learned while on vacation? Share ’em below!