Sure you could be laying on the beach at some far-flung destination, not checking emails and sipping a cocktail at 2 p.m. rehearsing “I’m on vacation!” You don’t need to set an alarm to wake up and can follow all the whims in the world because time, my friend, is on your side.
Sounds dreamy, right?
Well here’s a super surprise for you… It’s all in your head. Even on your couch, you can keep the beachside mentality by reading an entire book in one setting or download tons of music, and not move until you get hungry for chocolate chip cookies and espresso.
I grew up in a family where having a good time was priority. Sure we lived paycheck to paycheck, but we were also at the lakes every weekend and living a good life. This is where I learned how to enjoy every day and live like it’s vacay.
Here’s a 1-2-3 for how you can to.
One: Live like the days depend on your prayers.
One day over coffee with my mentor, she mentioned she doesn’t use an alarm to wake up for work. This prayer warrior divulged that several years prior, she asked God to get her up on time without an annoying alarm and she’s never had to hit snooze again.
Her daily discipline was inspiring to me so I prayed that bold prayer too. And God has yet to miss a morning of waking me up.
Sadly, we settle for much less than God wants to give. We’re taught in Sunday School that He has the whole world in His hands but we get on our knees and ask for a little patience. Pray for bigger and bolder moves. Petition for the impossibilities to be made possible. No matter how little or big it seems, just ask. Your faith and expectancy won’t appall a willing Father. In fact, it will bring Him honor.
Get smart with your schedule and stop working to live. If you want God to give you those exhilarating gifts of not knowing what’s coming next, leave room for the interruption. At the very least, unwind some tension in your life by freeing up time from the daunting list of to-do’s. Breathe in some flexibility so you can bend when the whims blow instead of breaking under frustration.
No one wants to feel like it’s work to be around you. Let those closest to you feel a fresh breath of freedom in your company and use your brakes to develop some boundaries with the burdens. If you’ve already crossed the line by bringing home your complaints and unending emails, commit to change the course or it will impact your years to come.
Embrace the good and let go of the bad. Raise a glass to liberty and give the boot to negative nancies. Spend more time celebrating and less time stressing. Set yourself up for success by building a balanced life.
Two: Relish in Relationships
Focus on the quality of your hours alone with yourself. Spend time building a solid foundation in your heart for the future. A little loneliness goes a long way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant life. Sit with yourself and discover your worth.
Ask God to show you His supremacy in all things and teach you His sufficiency in the silence.
During the quiet hours, God’s still, small voice often breaks through the void and speaks the loudest.
Be intentional about taking this opportunity to get to know you. And take initiative with others. Dig into the pockets of your friendships and splurge on going deeper.
God has richly blessed me with homegrown girls who have weaved their way into my regular routine. But there was a day these warm hearts were few and far between and my soul ached for women I had never met. So I began advocating morning and night in prayer for specific friendships to join in my journey.
Today, I have more than I could have ever imagined and I’m madly in love with each of their raw emotions. God gave me the gifts and now I make it intentional to meet monthly, diving headfirst into the deep end of life as we wrestle through the wonders and worries together. Then I eagerly dig out my calendar to schedule when to do it all again.
People like to be pursued. I selfishly love their stories. Sometimes I wonder if my excitement over shared company is similar to what God feels when we come to Him spilling all our stories from the day.
Here’s the other thing I noticed. When there is nothing anchoring the heart for attention, I’m more apt to make small talk with anyone and everyone. You’re probably more carefree with your conversations over a campfire with a complete stranger than you are in your own coffee house, right?
One day I realized how ridiculous it is that I’m more shy in my community than I am willing to make connections in planes and trains on the first ticket out of here. I get so focused on what’s in front of me, it’s as if I pull a string on imaginary blinds and don’t want people peering in on my privacy.
Boldly embrace relationships. Commit to their hearts. It’s the silent cry your soul is longing for.
Three: Dream On.
Last lesson for living like you’re on vacation is to make your work work around your dreams. Live for what you love to do and let everything else fall around it. Let go of every limiting fear that says you can’t create the life you desire.
Reading and writing are bookends to my day. I spring out of bed in the early hours, eager to lift a finger on my dream. Then I make time in the middle to get paid for marketing, but it’s meager compared to the minutes I spend living my dream.
For me, there’s just something about learning new things that inspires a refreshing ‘ah ha’ moment like a much needed vacation. Regularly I run down the New York Times Bestseller list to discover new ‘must reads’ that have been reviewed and raved about. Then I click over to my library account and reserve a copy. Some books are only worth a browse, but the point is, fresh content is available to check out or download at your disposal.
Maybe taking a nosedive into literature hardly feels like a vacation to you (hey, there’s audio books and magazines too… just sayin’). Chances are your daydreams look a lot different than mine. But the point is, I’m giving you permission to pick something to splurge on and go for it! Sleep in. Dream on. Dream until your dreams come true. Mosey on into the next moment and be deliberate. Don’t just take a vacation. Live like you’re on one.