We went to family camp a couple weeks ago. Last year we had such a good time that we re-booked before we even came home, and THIS year we did the same thing. Family camp is becoming our summer thing.
The reason it is so great is that at family camp we can truly relax. Several families from church attend the same week, so there are friends for ALL of us to play with. The kids revert to a semi-feral state, and we say Yes a LOT more than usual. We see them at meals, and when they aren't off gallivanting in nature with friends. We eat in the dining hall so the cooking is done for us. I bring a Scrubba for emergencies (e.g. POO), but otherwise let the laundry pile up in a spectacularly overstuffed laundry bag until we are back home to throw it all into the humongous washer.
There is wifi, but it is spotty enough so as to encourage only sporadic plugging in. And somehow--I don't know if it is the change of scenery, or lack of chores or what--the pull toward my electronic distractions lessens. I care way less what folks are eating for lunch (nothing personal) or even that the kids are all starting school (sorrynotsorry), because I have activities to do.
I go on a giant, inflatable water slide with the kids. I take kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes out on the water with various folks. I drink a bunch of water, and make deliberate junk-food decisions which I know might hurt a little bit, but it is vacation, after all.
I also have friends to catch up with, a lake to look at, a chair that reclines, trees to gaze upon, and white space to be in. It is soul-restoring, sitting in that space.
I also brought along a couple of books. I have tons of books at home, but the difference at family camp is I take the time to sit and read them. I'm in the middle of a fun one called Whose Panties Are These, which I chose on Paperback Swap based almost solely on the title, and am enjoying one short essay at a time.
The other one, the one currently getting inside my brain and making me think all the time, is called The Road Back to You, about the Enneagram. It would take me 3 posts and too many words to describe the Enneagram except to say that it is a sort of ancient personality typing system, it was developed manymanymanymanymany years ago by ancient spiritual fathers, people make entire careers out of studying and teaching it, and it can be hard to pinpoint your own personal Enneagram number (1 thru 9) until you dig in a little bit (i.e. the online quizzes are not always reliable--they weren't in my case).
Long story short, the online quiz told me I was a 6: The Loyalist, but after reading the book I'm about 97% sure I'm a 9: The Peacemaker.
Like I said, people make entire careers out of studying and teaching the Enneagram, so to give even a fairly basic explanation here would make your eyes go crossed, but I can tell you a few things. As a Peacemaker I am really good at relating to lots of different points of view, but I can also have a tendency to numb out to anything that is less-than-nice in life. And the numbing-out thing can manifest itself as a struggle with focus and a tendency toward generalism and breadth, rather than depth and engagement. Get out of my head, Enneagram.
This correlates nicely with some of the current personal growth trends I've been following, such as living a simpler life, saying no to good things in order to say yes to better things, and taking some cues from introverts. Which is great, because the BIG theme I've been watching in myself is a FULL and wonderful life that, unchecked, will overwhelm and knock me over.
All to say, it fits with my prior claim that I'm in a season of work and growth.
One of the great things about the Enneagram is that once you've identified which box you fit into, you're not forever confined to that particular space. I don't think people change numbers very much, BUT they can definitely grow and mature into the healthy strengths of their number. And by now we know I'm a big fan of becoming healthy and more mature. If I'm going to be in the midst of the hard work, I'm glad I have something fun and new (to me) to learn that might also be helpful in said hard work.
In conclusion, I'm also still working on what that whole tropical, jet-set lifestyle arrangement might look like, but for now some healthy habits--such as the foam roller and early bedtime--will have to suffice...