I needed a vacation. I needed time with my kids and my wife. I needed to clear my head and stare at the water for a while. I needed to cruise around a lake on a pontoon without sunscreen while holding an icy cold and watered down beer in my hand.
It allowed me to re-focus. To reflect. To meditate. To ponder.
Today on Facebook and Twitter, I shared this quote…
“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
It was attributed to the Dalai Lama. Or maybe it was my uncle, last week. Well, Dalai Lama said it, but my uncle showed that it can be true. I’m not sure about everyone, but I get very, very sad when vacation comes to and end. I always do, but was more sad this time. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m inherently lazy and wish I could win the Powerball, or if it’s because I’m not happy with my purpose.
I don’t mean to say I expect life to be like a permanent vacation. I’m just saying, I think life could be (and maybe was) more fulfilling before and will be again.
“Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
My semi-retired uncle said he always enjoyed vacation, but he never dreaded going back to work when it was over (except for a brief 15-month period when he had an impossible-to-win assignment). My dad, similarly, has always maintained that he enjoyed his 37 years more than he didn’t enjoy it …and the man worked 60 hours weeks in 100+ degree heat for years and spent years working a 2nd or 3rd shift and only briefly passing my mom in the hallway like ships in the night.
Is it about the work I do, or how I do it? This is what I pondered all week, and I came to a very clear and obvious answer. It was obvious to me, my wife, my old friends, and the sea gulls flying over the water.
This was a great vacation for many reasons. Mostly, because I got to spend every waking hour with my kids. Second, because I think I defined my purpose.