There’s work to do. Bills to pay. Meals to make. Snow to shovel. Snooze buttons to hit. Pounds to shed. Dirty socks to launder. Carpets to vacuum.
Rinse and repeat.
It’s January in North Dakota, and with a temperature cold enough to crack open my knuckles and cause them to bleed out, let’s just say: it’s not fun.
For many in the frozen tundra, life just becomes, well, life. Nothing more, nothing less. Just the day in, day out happenings (or non-happenings).
I’ll admit it: I’ve planned three different vacations in my head since Christmas. For many, booking a vacation is a winter-happiness requirement around here. Think of it this way:
We have not taken a true vacation since over 18 months ago. Our honeymoon.
And, to bring peace to my constant “should we, shouldn’t we?” pondering, we discussed it in detail last weekend. The verdict: it’s a no-go.
As in we’ll be here, in knuckle-bleeding land, until spring takes its precious time in arriving.
Why did we come to this conclusion? Well, the first reason is financial-based. We could afford a (smallish) vacation. Or we could tuck more into savings. Or we could spread out the fun money across a longer time period, with smaller, more constant “perks” – like date nights. Or we could sink more money into our home (summertime landscaping, anyone?).
The “coulds” just sound better to us than a week in paradise (or sunburn-induced misery for my blue-eyed, red-haired, very-white-skinned hubby).
The second reason: seeing the world isn’t all that important to us.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Oh, those poor, sheltered North Dakotans. They don’t even know what they’re missing.’
But let’s dig deeper, because you know that’s where my mind likes to hang.
What’s the point of escaping? What void will it fill in our doldrum lives? When will the post-vacation depression set in upon returning to the frigid nothingness?
Why can’t we just be happy with what we’re given, right here, right now?
Changing scenery doesn’t necessarily change perspective. Only He can reveal the wonders of this world to us. It doesn’t take thousands of dollars in travel expenses to discover the beauty of His creation. Famous landscapes and white, sandy beaches are stunning, but don’t you think God’s everywhere? Including here?
Seeking the holy in the boring, lonely, cold, everyday lives we lead; that’s where we discover the true meaning of life. That’s where He reveals Himself to us. Right there. Right here.
It doesn’t matter where you are. He’s given you this life, this breath for a reason. For a purpose. Find beauty in that. Take note of the simple, the boring, the taken-for-granted. Seek, and you will find. No passports, nothing at all actually, is required, besides a curious mind and an open heart. A heart just waiting to be filled with His infinite love, peace, comfort and joy.
He’s here. Even in this snow-covered, middle-of-nowhere place I so lovingly call home.
Ps. Don’t get me wrong. I adore vacations. It’s the terminology – to escape – and the must-get-out-of-here-asap mindset that I’m not so crazy about. Are you taking a vacation this winter? I’d love to hear about it, really.