A Grand Day Out

Sometimes you just have to stop, take a look around and go do something fun.

Take the time to show your family they are the reason you work so hard.

When you’ve been burning the candle at both ends all week, it is important to take a mental health break.

Find something fun for the whole family and go do it. Turn the computer off. Turn the phone ringer off. Leave the iPad at home.

Unplug for the day.

This will help you to unwind both mentally and physically. It will help you reconnect with you family and yourself.

Who knows what kind of ideas will spring out of the day’s events?

This weekend we found a “Gathering Of The Guilds” art and jewelry show at the Convention Center in Portland. It was free and showcased work in glass, metal, wood and ceramic.

The colors exploded out of the fused glass pieces.

Wooden chairs and tables invited us to sit down and soak in the luxurious, practical art.

Metal sculptures watched over us as we browsed the intricate copper, silver, steel and gold jewelry.

The whimsical pottery surrounded our family as the kids played with the clay in the “Kid’s Creative Corner”.

We all got some fresh air and sunshine. (Not always available in the Portland area.)

We got a little exercise as we walked around the two large exhibit halls and we got to show the kids some new and exciting ways of artists expressing themselves in their medium of choice.

Of course we couldn’t pass up lunch at our favorite downtown restaurant, so we enjoyed a nice meal out too.

The phones never rang. If anyone did call, we didn’t have the ringers on to allow the interruption.

No email was checked. No plans were made. No business was done.

It was almost a guilty pleasure.

What kind of Grand Day Out can you and your family enjoy next weekend?

Is there a lake you can take a walk around?

How about a nice drive in the country to go and get an ice cream cone and enjoy it with the kids?

Or, why not just go to a local park and either enjoy a nice walk, a good book, or join the kids in a game of catch or tag?

Now that Spring is looking like it is finally showing up, it is time to get out of the house, away from anything with an electronic display, and go out and live life.

Isn’t that why we do all the things we do anyway? So that we can have a life that is worth living. What good does it do us if we keep our nose to the grindstone for so long that we loose our connection with our family? That is counterproductive. We need to know when to turn work off and walk away.

Is there more “productive” stuff that I could have done on that day? Well, sure. But in the long run, the time that was invested with the family today will do more than whatever I could have done on the computer.

Even after the kids were put in bed, the computer stayed off while my wife and I enjoyed a movie from our DVD collection. Again, could I have been multi-tasking while the movie was on? Sure, I mean its not like we haven’t seen the movie before.

But I wanted to be present and spend the time focusing on family. Not on what the latest tweets are or stressing about the hundreds of unread emails I have in my inbox. Those will all wait.

If you ask your spouse to wait too many times, some day the answer will be, “no”. That is when it is too late.

Don’t let it ever get close to that point. Take the time today to invest in your family so that they know that they are the reason you are working your ass off. Make them your priority and you won’t ever have to tell them with your words. They will already know because your actions will be saying it so loudly they can’t miss it.

What can you do with your family this week to show them that they are the reason you are working so hard?

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4 Responses to A Grand Day Out

  1. Nancy Kenaston May 8, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    AWESOME post Mike! This is your BEST one yet!!! My favorite anyway. 🙂
    I think I’ll print this one out…will be SURE to check to make sure Scott read it.
    Wow. Thank you SO much.
    I agree with 100% of what you said. What a reality/perspective adjuster.
    It was as good as fresh air & sunshine!
    Will put a link to it on FB…many, many others REALLY need to read this too.
    Thanks~
    Nancy

    • Mike Routen May 11, 2012 at 6:34 am #

      Nancy,

      Thank you for the kind words, they are truly appreciated.

      I hope you guys have your own Grand Day Out this weekend!

  2. Paige | simple mindfulness May 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    About a month ago I decided to unplug on Sunday’s. I hide the laptop (out of site, out of mind). We don’t have cell service where we live so smart phones aren’t an issue. I can feel my stress level drop significantly when the electronic devices are hidden and I’m only focusing on my family.

    We play outside, go for hikes, swing on the hammock or watch movies together. It’s awesome! Now I’m working on moving my unplugged time into Saturday’s.

    It’s amazing how much we let all of our ways to connect intrude in our lives. Great post with some great ideas!

    • Mike Routen May 11, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      Paige,

      Your Sundays sound wonderful! Hammocks are a little piece of heaven right here on earth.

      I’m not sure I have the discipline yet to unplug for a whole day.

      When we get on our boat and are cruising, I expect we’ll have to get used to being “unplugged” a lot more than we are now.

      I’m actually looking forward to it!

      BTW, How do you get your kids to unplug for the day?