Next week I will be on a vacation of a lifetime. My husband and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, which we have combined in a trip to Italy where we will attend a friend’s wedding. Ten days in Italy. Ten days of wine, gelato, pasta and cappuccino. And, while I am very excited for the trip all I can think about is what I need to do before I leave.
A flurry of lists, emails and detailed planning. The list of my kids’ activities over the next 10 days is an astonishing three pages long. As I am typing as many details as I can to make their grandparents’ jobs as easy as possible, I can’t believe I actually do all this stuff on a daily basis. And, while I plan for everything in my life to continue to run smoothly, I just can’t imagine being able to "let it all go" while on vacation.
At this point, I am a little worried that I won’t be able to totally “Carpe Diem.” I know many of you, like me, have trouble being able to let go of all those tasks and chores continuously running through our minds so that we can live in the present. So, I’ve come up with three steps to help all of us really be able to seize the moment and enjoy the great gifts of everyday life.
1. Take Inventory of Your Surroundings
Whether at a restaurant, sitting on a park bench or enjoying a cup of coffee, stop for three minutes and take stock of what’s going on around you. The clink of glasses, the breeze rustling the trees, the aroma of a great cup of joe. By immersing yourself in what is happening around you…even the itsy bitsy things…will help you stay present and live in the moment.
2. Take a Digital Time Out
Turn off your phone, hide your iPad and put away the laptop for a 30-minute time out from the digital age. Be it sitting on the back deck or watching your kids at the park, separating yourself from your electronics is an essential element in remaining present in the moment.
3. A Deep Breath
Sounds simple but how many times do we consciously stop and breathe? The next time you are finding it difficult to concentrate on the moment at hand, clinch every single muscle in your body. And, with a
deep breath, let all of those clinched muscles relax allowing you to knowingly breath and unwind.
Three simple ways to help you “Carpe Diem” and seize all of those special moments in life. And, while the to-do lists and responsibilities will be waiting for you on the other end, at least you were able to live in one moment in time that may never present itself again.
It’s the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day this year. That’s a century of brunches, bouquets, spa baskets and gift cards. For me, I am always scrambling to think of something original or new to give my mom…and, it
gets pretty difficult to figure out something she doesn’t already own or something I haven’t tried Mother’s Days past. So, instead of a gift this year I want to give my mom an experience.
Who wouldn’t want an experience? Who wouldn’t want a memory to hold in their hearts for years to come? Who wouldn’t want a moment that, when recalled, brings peace or happiness or contentment? Mothers deserve more than a gift. They deserve a moment in their lives where they can feel powerful and content and alive.
My own special moment isn’t derived from Mother’s Day but comes from an afternoon last summer. My children and husband were in Wisconsin visiting relatives and, due to my work schedule, I had to come home early. It was a warm Sunday afternoon and I decided I would go to a yoga class and then I would go sit by the pool and then I would go grab a dinner at Whole Foods and then I would enjoy a glass of wine with a friend al fresco. When I think of this particular afternoon I smile because it was the first span of time where I could do whatever I wanted to do. It has been years…a decade even…since I have been able to spend an afternoon at my own whim without asking or planning or scheduling around anyone else’s needs or plans.
The gift of an experience is something mom can always take with her. She can bring out that special moment anytime she needs a smile or a reminder of how amazing she is. Be it an entire day where she is left alone to do whatever she wants, to squealing down zip lines in the Rocky Mountains. Giving the unique gift of experience is everlasting, meaningful and ….. I speak from experience:-)
My mom is pretty adventurous and has been Vela’s biggest supporter. We’ve been able to poke each other with swords at our fencing outing and we’ve been able to cheer each other as we hit targets in archery. My mother-in-law has joined me for horseback riding and my aunt went zip lining. Sharing in these special moments has been pretty great, but listening to them retell their adventures has been so meaningful. I know they pull these moments out from time to time and smile at the memory we created.
So, Vela Adventures’ encourages you to rethink this year’s Mother’s Day gift and give yourself or your mom or your aunt or your sister…the woman in your life…give them an experience they will truly cherish for their entire lives. Need some inspiration? Check out our May and June outings - we've got some pretty awesome experiences to choose from.
Vela is all about fun and adventure!