Saturday, May 31, 2014

Give Yourself The Gift of Time

My 2009 cross-country trip yielded invitations to stay overnight in six different homes with people I met through online networking. After spending days on the road eating from my cooler and in restaurants and sleeping in hostels or budget motels, a home-cooked meal and a comfortable bed were welcome gifts.

What was even more precious was the gift they gave of themselves -- friendship and time, the time spent taking me to see the attractions in their world, a world I had not seen before.

During many of these outings, I would hear something to the effect that they had not been to a particular spot in a long time? And, I would hear my own voice, saying much the same thing when showing visitors around my home State of Connecticut. "This was so much fun, I wonder why I don't do this more often."

Why indeed? Why do we wait to enjoy an outing until we are called upon to be a gracious host? Are we not deserving enough to spend time doing the same thing just for us?

I know people who have lived in Connecticut for more than fifteen years and have yet to visit Mystic, one of the state's best-known tourist attractions. And as many years as I have spent day tripping in Connecticut prior to writing my book, there are still places on my "to see" list.

During this season of sunny days, let's give ourselves the gift of time, time to explore our world, time for the joyful discovery of all the best that your state, wherever that is, has to offer in the way of leisure-time activities. Leaving work and responsibilities behind, even for brief periods, revitalizes us in ways we cannot image. Traveling, even around our own neighborhood expands our world, giving us more clarity and insight, not only into that world, but ourselves.

Time and exploration, a gift we give ourselves.