You may have wondered why my posts suddenly stopped and why there hasn’t been new material recently. Well, I was visiting relatives, some of them I hadn’t seen in eight years! It was a good vacation, but not without caveats along the way. As on my vacation last year, I learned many valuable life lessons that I would like to share today:
- Be grateful for what you have. You never know when they will be taken from you.—This is the number one lesson I learned on this journey. Before I went on vacation, I had over-idealized how things would be like in general. I was so stressed at work and in life, in general, that I had forgotten to treasure what God had given to me. One of the things I had to deal with during part of my trip was the lack of water to take a shower. My family and I were in a boat where the water supply was scarce. To say I was relieved when we arrived at a hotel a couple days later with good, running water was an understatement! Another thing that happened was that everyone in my family got sick for at least part of the trip. I vomited twice and had a couple bouts of diarrhea. I also got sick yesterday after coming home from the trip, but am much better today, and will learn to not to take good health for granted anymore. I also am learning to value the time that I spend with loved ones and not to take their presence or kindness for granted. Before this vacation, I was grateful for my aunt, but it really didn’t sink into my mind how much she had done for my family and me until she got very sick on this trip. She sacrificed everything she could for us so that we could stay in her house during some part of our vacation together. She made sure we had enough food and supplies to feel at home, and the continued to think of us even when she was not feeling well physically. Finally, I have to say, to my shame, that before this vacation, I used to get very upset and impatient with traffic jams and slow drivers. When I was on vacation, in the place where many of my relatives live, the traffic was so bad that it doesn’t even compare to some of the traffic jams where I live! I remember on my vacation, one of the traffic jams was so bad that my family and I were sitting in traffic in the same spot for 15 minutes before we even moved!
- Let go of the things that hinder you from being the best you can be.—Along with being more grateful, I also learned to let go of certain things that had hindered me from being my best. I had to decide not to be so upset at certain things that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to or how I expected it to be. For instance, I had to adjust to the conditions of the boat we were in, even though it may have been less than ideal. Also, on the last full day of our trip, I had to let go of the desire to shop more because most of my family needed rest and time to pack. If I got upset, then I would have certainly made things worse than it was. I also had to let go of the expectation that I would be able to see everything on our vacation because of the time it took to get to certain places, complicated further by unpredictable traffic jams. When I was able to let go of my expectations and just go with the flow, so to speak, I found that I felt much freer and more at peace with things.
- Others need our love. Love generously and without reproach.– Finally, one of the things I learned on my vacation was how much other people need our love and how we should love generously without reproach. Sometimes, I had gotten weary of doing good, especially to those who I think are rude on purpose and don’t have care or consideration for other people other than themselves. However, I have learned that they are some of the people that need my love the most. I found that when I love others generously and without expectation, that people are more receptive to what I have to say and offer. I learned that when I, or others, showed love and care to those who needed it the most, that it often alleviated whatever suffering and stress that they were going through at the time. For instance, I had had a very tough time learning to snorkel (and I still can’t do it right!), but when the tour guide helped me through this and was patient with me, he helped me alleviate some of the stress I had with learning something I wasn’t good at. I was even able to laugh with him! Also, initially I was very upset at someone on one of the flights I was in because they had inconvenienced my whole family with their self-centeredness. However, by the end of the flight, I learned to look at them with more compassion, even though I didn’t know what they were going through. Also, when my family and I helped my aunt with several things, she seemed to feel more at peace and less stressed.
These are the main things that I learned while on my journey this year. Though I was gone for more than a few days, I never stopped learning, and I continue to learn today. Overall, this vacation will change some parts of my life for the better, and for that I am grateful.