I recently had the good fortune to take a short trip to visit my family. It had been some time since I had the opportunity to visit and I approached the trip as a way to get away from some of the pressures of work and catch up with them.
I really had no expectations when I visited, and usually that is better than conjuring what may be encountered. I have found in life that when I set expectations in my mind beforehand, more often than not, I am disappointed. Better to ‘go with the flow’ than try to make it a force fit.
That turned out to be the best advice. I took some time to enjoy nature with my brother and we spent several hours hiking, taking pictures and talking. And for the first time in a long time, we discussed things that hadn’t been said out loud…about the ‘good old days’…It cleared the air and made me feel closer to him than I have ever felt.
I also had the chance to catch up with my oldest daughter and just do some fun things with her. Nothing planned, just hanging out. She is a really wonderful young lady, and rather than be ‘Dad’ (at least I was trying not to be), we just talked and had fun.
I had never been to the Rockies in the summer, so I looked forward to some hiking and being with nature. This time alone gave me time to think…to value what I have accomplished and to be appreciative. We all have had some missteps in life. Things we wish we could take back. But that is all in the past. Those things happened and I can’t change that fact. It felt good not to worry about the future and just enjoy being where I was, my family and cherishing those things most important to me.
This was one of the best trips ever, and it made me realize that I miss my family terribly and should reach out to them more often. It also made me realize that there are those in my family right in my hometown that I don’t reach out to as often as I could and make time to catch up.
I have a great family…though trying at times…but still a lot of fun to be around, and that is part of the legacy that I want to leave my kids. Celebrate and enjoy your family and the positive things that have occurred in your life, don’t dwell on the negative and enjoy the present. It really is the only thing we can influence.