Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Recently I had the opportunity to spend just over two weeks in the United Kingdom and Ireland on vacation. I visited London, Bath (the land of Jane Austen), Dublin, and Edinburgh with my roommate and my mother. It was a rich time of adventure, many new experiences, and fun touristy activities.

Lest you think that this trip materialized out of nowhere, we actually began planning the trip two years ago. I have always wanted to go to the United Kingdom to see the places I’ve read about and seen on T.V. In a conversation with my mom and roommate, we decided that we all wanted to go badly enough to make it happen. After establishing our initial game plan, we figured out a rough budget for the trip and the savings plan began. We set aside money each month to make the trip possible. It was an exercise in discipline and patience, and it paid out richly in the end.

Looking back on the time away, I am so thankful for the opportunity. We were able to pause our work and home life, spend some time unplugged from the daily things, create new memories, and fulfill lifelong dreams. I am still sorting through all of the photos I took on the trip. I’ve shared one of them with you above.

Looking ahead toward the coming weeks and months, the holiday season is quickly approaching. You and I have an opportunity (perhaps many!) to spend time with friends and family during the many celebrations of the winter season. How are you planning to use these opportunities to disconnect from the day-to-day stresses and connect with loved ones? What are you doing now to plan for these opportunities? Who is on your list of folks to connect or reconnect with?

My list includes a group of friends, three pairs of roommates, actually. Some are newer friends, some are friends from college and even high school. We have already scheduled our "Roommate Christmas" event where we will share a meal, exchange gifts, and simply enjoy each other's company. I also have family holiday traditions on the calendar that began the weekend before Thanksgiving and continue throughout the season. Then throw in some birthday celebrations, the list goes on and on. This time of year, I do my best to set aside extra time to nurture those relationships that matter.

I hope that your holiday season is filled with traditions both new and old, and that you find time to disconnect from the day-to-day stresses and connect or reconnect with the people who matter in your life. If you have a minute, click on the title of this post, scroll to the bottom and post a comment with ideas or traditions that you enjoy. I look forward to hearing from you as you too begin to plan your holiday season and look to wrap up the year with traditions and people that you love.

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