Vacations are wonderful for so many reasons. Seeing new things. Getting a change in weather. Relaxing. Disconnecting. Eating and drinking without guilt. (maybe that's just me)
But one of the things that I have found vacations are really great for isn't in seeing new things, it's in seeing things in a new way. Because you are out of your typical pattern of daily life, the habits fall away. You are reacting in a more, let's call it pure way. So you get a chance to see yourself differently. And to see the people around you differently. Brent and I have been married for a long time. We were friend for years before we started dating. We have known each other since we were 14. When you have known someone that long, when you have lived with someone for that long, you tend to have conversations with them that they don't even have to be there for.
I mean, like you are looking at something and you think, "What would my partner say about this?" and you can fill in their side of the conversation. Now many times, maybe even most times, you would be right. You do know them that well. But sometimes, you would be wrong. You wouldn't really know how they felt about that. What they think about something else. In our day to day lives we are on autopilot for much of it. It's efficient that way. Especially if you have kids. Kids, work, the dog, the house, the laundry, the thing with your parents, that party next week...it all needs taken care of so we just go on about our lives taking care of it. Divide and conquer and have those one-sided conversations.
But on vacation? Well we aren't just taking care of it. We are experiencing it. Often for the first time. And so we have to ask the questions and listen to the answers.
Or there are long periods of waiting. Or resting. Or for those of you that like to do such things, just relaxing. And those can lead to long meandering conversations. Or even conversations about what you need to do at home when you get back. But instead of a "to do" list it's more of a "get to it" list. More relaxed. Nobody is getting off the beach chair and painting the porch right now so you can actually talk about if it even needs painted or not without it looking like you are just shirking your chores.
This trip we got rained out a bit. Things got canceled. Plans got tossed. We eased our way through the week. And we had those conversations that you have while you are on vacation. And I was surprised at times. New bits of information. New ways of looking at things. After 30 years of marriage he still has new things to tell me. I just have to make sure I'm listening.