I’m fresh off a long weekend in Lake James and I’m feeling optimistic and recharged. Ready to tackle the deadlines, challenges, schedules and tasks that lie ahead. It is amazing to me how a peaceful and beautiful setting – paired with great company – can energize the soul. I feel grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, forge new relationships and, perhaps most therapeutic, spend quality time reminiscing past anecdotes while creating stories that I’ll share in the future.
When you are fortunate enough to have solid childhood connections, even if adulthood pulls you in very different directions, gaps in time can disintegrate when you gather. No one knows you like your childhood friends. Childhood is such a time of experimentation, learning through trial and error. You may be shaped by life events, but you are not so consumed by the pressures that come from growing older. Pressure to fit in, to find the right person, to be self sufficient and (hopefully) successful, to be happy with the right person, to have children, to have children with manners, to raise responsible children who become self sufficient adults before 30, and so on.
No, the people who knew you before those pressures existed are the people who really know you. They can call you a nickname that your adult self would never allow. They can make you squirm as a 40-year-old when they rat out your childhood secrets in front of your mom. And they can make you remember what that time of life was like…because we so often forget what it was like to be ourselves, only younger.
For me, that was like wrapping myself in a warm blanket of forgotten memories. And even as reality sets back in with commitments and calendar dates looming, I still feel sated and grounded. It’s important to remember where you came from, to remember your loved ones – so that you appreciate them more today or remember with fondness the ones that are no longer around.
When I get caught up in work, it seems daunting to step away. My get away reminded me that getting caught up in fun and relaxation can actually help clear your mind and be an even more effective professional. How do you recharge?
As I reflect on our all-too-brief reunion, I smile when I think about a familiar meal that took everyone back to the 1980s, or that moment you recognize a dear friend in her 8-year-old son (it was like she just spit him out). I’m so grateful to have shared it with my family. Because even with the distance that time and geography can place between us all, we come together in love and laughter and support and we all walk away better people for it.