Wanna get away? You can. I’ve got a solution for this and you’re gonna love it. It may take some work to pull it off, but I challenge you to do this and come back saying it was a bad idea. A few years ago I took my wife away for a week in Florida. We were on fumes, burned out and needed a getaway. We had never gone anywhere for longer than 3 days. I found a cheap VRBO deal and some inexpensive plane tickets from Detroit to Orlando. We drove to Vero Beach and wound up enjoying one of the best weeks of my life up until that point. We’ve been taking a week together in the summer just for each other ever since. What made it the best week ever?
Really. I’m not kidding. We spent the week on a beach. No amusement parks. No big ticket events. Not a lot of money spent. We read books, took naps, ate meals, went for walks and didn’t really do much of anything. There wasn’t much talk about life away from vacation, not much talk about family, work, friends, etc. It was just Micki and I on a beach. And it was transforming and rejuvenating. You need time with your spouse somewhere away from home, work and kids.
What Happens When You Get Away
- You show your spouse who is important. Biblically, our spouse should be our first priority in life. But really, they usually suffer a lot further down the list. When I budget, plan and guard one week out of 52, I tell my wife, â€œyou are the most important important person in my life.”
- You create space to rest. Let’s face it. Most of us are exhausted. We’re doing too much and running too fast. We need to slow down. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to just chill. Nap. Rest. Dial it back. If you’re a productivity nut job like I am, make it your goal to do nothing. Then you’ll feel like you accomplished something while not accomplishing anything. It’s physiological, mental, emotional and spiritual. You need rest.
- You demonstrate to your kids the value of your marriage. Our culture today is waaaaay to kid-centric. We create a world where our kids are the center. It’s not healthy or Biblical. Here’s some truth: Our kids should’t be our priority – our marriage should. When we go away with our spouse and our kids aren’t the focus, it provides our kids perspective and a model for their future spouse. If we make our marriages second or third-string priorities, we model for our kids marriage isn’t important. My legacy is my marriage first. Then my kids. In that order.
Rules We’ve Found for a Successful Week
- Prep expectations. I remember when I asked Micki what she wanted to do for vacation. She just told me she wanted time with me. Cell phone off. Work email off. She wanted my attention. She wanted space to be with me. And she wanted time to rest and read books on the beach. I told her I needed time to rest, time to unplug from work, and time with her. We shared our hopes for the week and planned accordingly. Talk to each other and map out what you need.
- Honor expectations. When we got there, I turned off my work. We got out books and some sunscreen. And we did what we said we’d do.
- Don’t share. I know lots of people who do group vacations together. This one should be just 1-on-1. No couples adventures needed. Keep some things sacred, just for the two of you. It’s kind of cool. Trust me.
- Commit. If you want to do this, then do it. Plan it. Resolve to it. Put it on the calendar. Budget for it. Buy the tickets. Book the VRBO. And don’t give into temptations to bring the kids or invite your friends.We usually get info on mission trips and camps in the spring. That’s when we pull the calendars out and make plans. We ship kids out to places where they can go and we book our trip at that time. If it overlaps, we ask family and friends to cover for us.
If this is something new, you may be thinking I’m smoking some crack to think this is possible. There could be family, financial, and logistical complications. Maybe you don’t have that much vacation time. Maybe you don’t have lots of money. You can still pull it off. You can still do it. Just get creative. Maybe you start with a long weekend and work your way up from there. Maybe you can’t go somewhere exotic. Go an hour away where you can get away. There are ways around adversity when it comes doing something new. Press through it. Forego Christmas gifts or birthday presents to fund it. I know friends who began making signs to sell on Etsy to fund a trip to Italy. Your dream doesn’t have to be an international trip. Just make it your dream.
I just got back from our fifth year of “The Best Week Ever”. I’ve never felt more in sync with my wife and more at peace. It wasn’t magical. It was just time I had to fight for, protect, and then just live in. Go make some magic. I dare you.