My husband and I have been away from home for the past week, which means we’re enjoying a hot breakfast every morning. That never happens at home. I’m usually still in bed when he leaves for work, but since we’ve been here, I’m waking up early, showering and getting dressed (make-up included), and walking downstairs to sit down to a lovely breakfast with my handsome Prince Charming.
The fact that this has not only been possible but easy, really got me thinking. I’m not a morning person. At. All. Despite my wishes to be an early bird, I love to sleep and am a natural night owl, but since being away from all the mundane-ness of home, I’ve realized it’s much easier to be the person I want to be when I’m on vacation.
Why is it that when we are away from our lives and responsibilities, we feel more fully who we are?
Do we honestly only feel ourselves when we’re away from everything else?
Ugh. The thought of this makes me sad. I have a beautiful life, great relationships, and countless blessings. Why is it that being away from everything God has given me actually makes me better? How is that even possible?
I pondered these thoughts over breakfast, enjoying every minute of the slow morning, and noticed something odd. At the coffee station, (thank you Jesus for coffee!), we were given two options: 1. a to-go cup 2. a crisp, white ceramic mug. I chose the mug. But as I glanced around at everyone else, including my husband, I saw that I was one of the only people in the busy hotel who chose a mug. This got my mind spinning. Why would anyone who planned to sit and eat choose a to-go cup?
So, I asked my husband.
“Why didn’t you get a mug?”
“Because I knew I’d get a refill and take it with me when I leave.”
Fair enough. I can understand that. I had planned to take a cup with me too, but I’d get the to-go cup when I needed it, not before. There were other people who threw their “to-go” cups away before they even left. What about those people?
This isn’t an environmentalist post, though there could be an argument either way. The amount of water used to wash the mugs vs. the need to recycle to-go cups, etc. Let’s leave that discussion for another day.
Instead, let’s talk about why most people chose the to-go option.
We are too busy. Way too busy. So much so, that we anticipate our busyness. Ever sat in a Starbucks and saw someone drink out of a real mug? Probably not, because you would have to ask them specifically for one. They give everyone a to-go cup even when they’re sitting right there. Why?
This set me off on a rant, which my poor husband had to sit through. I poured out all my thoughts about how Americans are too busy to sit down and drink their coffee from an actual cup. We’re accessible 100% of the time. We can receive emails and texts at all hours of the night and day. We have “work” cell phones so that bosses can call, and call, and call. And we had better be on point 24/7 or else there will be consequences. Our jobs, relationships, lives will suffer otherwise. That’s why we don’t allow ourselves ten minutes to sit with an actual mug that we can’t take with us, because heaven forbid, we be called away to something more important.
The madness of it all overwhelms me. I have worked so hard that I’ve exhausted myself. I have been so tired that friends feel like work, and I’ve struggled with taking time to visit or to read or to do anything other than work because I felt guilty living.
I don’t want to live like that anymore. I won’t be 100% accessible. And that’s okay. It has to be. I won’t be 100% on point. I will fail. God knows, I will. A lot. But that’s okay, too. I wasn’t made for perfection. I was made for relationship, and the only two immortal things in this world are God and people. I will no longer let the busyness of life steal the meaning of it. I can stop, sit, read, notice, and enjoy. Guilt free.
The next time you’re longing for a vacation, ask yourself why. Chances are you’re hoping to escape the busyness, as I have been. Let’s slow down and have our coffee in a real mug, shall we?
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