Over the past few days, I have come to realize something that never really occurred to me before….a “VACATION” doesn’t have anything to do with distance travelled or amount of money spent. I had a bit of an “a-ha” moment yesterday when we were heading out to Lockport to my sister in-law’s. The sunroof was open, windows down, great tunes were playing and the mood was light…..we were totally living in the moment and our minds were “unoccupied” with the pressures of life. As I took it all in, it suddenly dawned on me that VACATION is really more about attitude and living in the moment than it is about location. We have travelled this road many times before, but for a change we decided to take River Road instead. This scenic drive took as along the river. It was interesting to look at all of the beautiful homes that rest along the banks of the Red River, some brand new and others many decades old. The drive took us no more than 20 minutes, but for those few minutes in time, we were in fact, on “vacation”.
I decided to look up the meaning of the word vacation and although we often think of a vacation as an extended period of time away from work or home, the root word is of course, “vacate” or to be “unoccupied“. In thinking about that I realized that vacation really is more about state of mind than anything else. Totally aborting all work, worries and thoughts that bog us down, even if only for a short period. It is about taking a break from work and the hustle and bustle of life.
My mind is rarely still. I am one of those people who truly have difficulty enjoying the moment. I’m guilty of letting my mind wonder and ponder when I should be listening and more “present” and living in the moment. I’m aware of my short comings and this is one of my biggest battles. I’m one of those people who feel I need to be physically away from home to disengage, but perhaps I don’t need to escape the country and hop on a plane to be on vacation. Wouldn’t it be freeing to be able to accomplish that same euphoria that you experience on a tropical vacation, right here at home. There is nothing worse than living your life for vacation ~ constantly being in “wait” mode. What if we could mimic that by simply changing our attitude and state of mind. I think it is a conscious decision that takes effort to follow through, but the benefits could be priceless. Perhaps I can learn to stop and create those moments or hours in a day by simply deciding to disengage from my thoughts/work, and go to a “space” where my mind is in fact, unoccupied. Just stop and enjoy the moment. It doesn’t have to be on a sandy beach or a trendy tourist spot, perhaps it is just looking around and wondering what someone else would notice or think if they visited Manitoba for the first time. We live in a beautiful city, with incredible history and architeture. So often we become too familiar with our surroundings and with that comes a lack of appreciate for the beauty before us. Ice cream at the BDI sounds like a great “vacation” and wouldn’t take more than an hour. How about taking in one of the many free concerts or making a decision to explore a city park you have never visited?
This summer, as we continue to venture out and take in the sights and sounds of the city and our province, I hope to view my surroundings with “rose coloured glasses”. I want to be more observant and take note of all those things that I’ve never taken the time to notice or appreciate before. For the first time ever, I am not only proud to be a Manitoban, but I am excited to explore all that it has to offer! I hope that some of my readers will also take the plunge and go on a Manitoba Stay-Cation with my family and I.
I would love to hear from you. If you have favourite Manitoba shops, restaurants, quaint little villages, parks, campgrounds, etc. Please leave a comment below. I have lots planned, but I would love to discover all of those little gems that others don’t know about. Please let me know your Manitoba Musts!