Summer is here, vacation time: Sunshine, beaches, summer camps, pajama days, and family trips, play dates, excursions and yummy ice cream! Most of us remember this time of the year as exciting, always counting the days until vacation - this long streak of long, warm summer days filled with never ending possibilities.
At least, this is how my summers usually started. And even my kids today tend to wake up earlier than usual on their first vacation days, excited about not having to get ready for school and having a whole promising day filled with sweet nothingness in front of them.
Later things tend to change, we have work to do, bills to pay, appointments and deadlines to keep and it becomes harder and harder to get ready for some real vacation time. Excitement gives way to the stressful hectic of finishing projects and making sure, everything will go smooth without us. And even if we manage to free ourselves from our main job duties we still are tempted to check in on our email and social media connections. As long as there is WiFi somewhere, it is hard to turn off and just be where we are for those few precious vacation-days, no matter how hard we worked to keep them free of daily duties.
Even most of our kids will have lots of plans throughout vacation. Camps and enrichment activities, summer school and prepping for the next school year are taking up a big chunk of the summer. And as fun and important many of those activities and educational opportunities are, there is a big reason to leave at least some space for doing nothing, for unplanned summer days, even for times to get bored or just be lazy.
Vacation means to "empty" yourself
The Latin root of vacation (vac) actually means to be empty, like in vacant or vacuum. Real vacation time means to empty us from daily duties, from offices, paperwork and washing dishes. It means to make space to enjoy and make time to explore what we like to do.
The society we live in seems to demand that we always have to get ready for something, to improve, to learn, to prepare for the challenges to come. But you cannot fill a bottle that is already full. This is, why vacation, why emptying ourselves is so important. And we encourage you to explore this most important lesson over the summer: Get empty, be free, enjoy!
YoKi Yoga tips to daily vacations: