The other day, shortly after I arrived home from work, my eldest daughter was rejoicing with her sisters that their summer break had begun. She turned to her mother, a teacher, and reminded her that she was on her summer break as well.
The whirling, pulsating joy was a sight to behold!
“Papa, does your summer break start now, too?”
Her excitement smashed directly into me as I entered the room. I tried to find a clever way to not break the mood. I failed.
“My break doesn’t start until we go camping later this summer.”
“But that’s weeks from now!”
Crestfallen, she started to set the table for dinner, her job that evening.
She wasn’t wrong. I won’t join them in the freedom of vacation for a while. I’ll continue going to work daily. I’ll arrive at the office, sit at my desk, log in to my computer, and complete the same tasks I complete almost every day.
She won’t. She won’t pack her lunch, put on her backpack, and get on the bus in the morning. She won’t sit in her classroom, listen and learn, and generally toe the line as she does so well at school. Instead, she’ll read books and play with toys and explore the glorious world outside to her heart’s content.
But her change in routine and her new rhythm are exactly that: her heart is content. For the past few weeks, perhaps months, I’ve arrived home to her tired-grumpy-hungry self, not my whirling girl, but my overwhelmed and exhausted one. Now, I’m greeted by the smile on her face, full of stories from her day—my whirling girl, full of summer bliss.
So, while we’re all waiting for me to be off work to pack up the van and head north, each of us gets to share her joy every day. For me, that’s more than enough to make my heart content.
Summer breaks and vacations are important, welcome changes in the rhythm of life. Taking time to refocus and to explore different things gives us opportunity to recharge and relax.
But we don’t need a full vacation or time off to make that a reality. Every day, we should seek joy and seek peace to keep our minds fresh and our hearts content.
Contentment is there to be found. Sometimes, it greets you at the door—even when you’re not looking for it.