At one point yesterday I was so over my family I daydreamed for a minute about leaving them at Mount Rushmore.
Yes, it’s that time: family vacation time. And for some reason, as I was packing and planning and putting enough snacks for a much larger family in individual snack-sized bags, I forgot that it was MY family going with me on my family vacation.
This morning I clicked on Instagram to share a photo and noticed an acquaintance had posted her own family vacation photo. Of her family that has, according to the caption, traveled a great distance for many days. Her family that she still likes.
[Insert internet-induced growl here.]
Because, really? What is wrong with my family that we can’t make it seven hours, much less seven weeks with a positive, loving attitude toward each other?
I stared at that picture for a minute longer and then I remembered. I hadn’t gone on vacation with my friend’s family. I’d gone on vacation with mine. My loud, obnoxious, can’t-we-all-just-get-along (no-we-can’t) family.
Also known as my funny, resilient, try-it-again, have-fun-even-if-it-kills-us family.
So today on our last full day of vacation, I remembered that my family is not her family or their family or that better-than-reality family I imagine we could be if we just tried a little bit harder. I remembered that the reason we’re on vacation in the first place is that we love each other and want to spend extra time together.
I remembered to love the ones I was with – even if they reminded me a whole lot of the Griswolds. Even if they reminded me a whole lot of the not-perfect-but-mine family I live with every day.
Enjoying my vacation – and my family – for what it is (and not what I dream it could be) works for me!
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!
It’s funny that you should talk about being irritated with your family near Mt. Rushmore, Mary. Back a few years ago, we took a trip to Yellowstone and came back to our Illinois home by way of Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands. My teen son was pining all the way out west and back for his girlfriend back at home. He hated that so many of the places we visited didn’t have good cell phone reception. Lol! And by the time we made it to the Badlands, it REALLY was the “BADLANDS!” If I look back at the photos of that place, I see it on all of our faces and the most obvious sign was our “missing son” who refused to be in any pics by that point. These are the funny memories we will carry with us long after our vacations are over. Thanks for being “real” about yours, my friend!
Beth, I love that you and your family laugh about that now! We ended up loving the Badlands, but I can imagine you are not the only vacationing family to come up with that perspective! :)
Hi Mary – love this post – how many times does it happen this way – we want family things to be “special” when we embark on them eyes wide shut and by the end we we will just settle for “survival” – family has a way of keeping us real. So pleased the name of your blog is “giving up on perfect” cause i have done the link up via my mobile phone and have managed to upload my link with the photo sideways!!! – have no idea how I managed that and I’ve broken one of the rules and added the link to the home page of my blog (WFMW post is there) and not to the specific post !!!! Happy to delete it and start again but can’t work out how to do that either. Any advice?
Hi Tracey! I’m sorry I missed your question last week. If you’d like to link up your post again this week, you are definitely welcome to! And if you have any other questions, let me know. (Also, I love the way you described the difference between special and survival – I think that lesson can apply to lots of parts of life!!)
I think we have all been there. I remember a very frustrating Disney vacation when my oldest son was only 2 and my youngest sister in law was 11.. We took a family vacation that became very trying. Thanks for another great party! Thanks for hosting.
Oh yes, the Disney trip. :) I think trips that involve crowds and busy places like that can even be harder to enjoy. Thanks for linking up, Judee!
I seriously read your title as “LEAVE the ones you’re with” the first time. That’s what I get for being up too early. :) Great article, can SO relate when My Three Sons were younger…couldn’t wait to go on vacation but it was always one of those “I’ll turn this car around right now!” Yeah, right…or them constantly picking on each other followed by “He’s LOOKIN’ at me!”
The boys say our best vacation was one when we simply rented a condo in Panama City Beach and did nothing but BEACH and eat of course. They loved that simple, relaxed atmosphere and I must admit it was one to remember. Thanks for the great post!
Oh, Nannette, great reminder that our kids just want US – not the bells and whistles of a busy vacation!
You are too funny! I have also forgotten who my people really are when I take them with me on special trips and then I am surprised why I am surprised when they “act out” as normal. =)
I don’t know why we all tend to have those crazy expectations of perfect vacations – clearly the media has done their jobs well…
Enjoy the crazy times while they last! As a mother of grown children I can tell you that it all matters and all memories will one day be looked upon fondly!
Our best family vacation was Pismo beach. It was fantastic! Mostly because we went camping there after Disneyland which was completely crowded, expensive and crazy!! The beautiful beach filled with lovely sand dollars was much more our speed it turned out. =)
Oh, I am so glad you got that second part of your vacation on the beach. Nothing more frustrating than needing a vacation to recover from your vacation! :)
I think we’ve all been at the point where we’re ready for a break. I know I’m there all the time. I love your inspirational post… What a great perspective and a great way to look at life. – Jerusha, TheDisneyChef.com
Thanks for linking up to WFMW, Jerusha!!