Disclaimer: This article is written by a man for men. It is intended for men to read and understand in men’s language. It is a guide for men to navigate successfully in today’s society.
Family Vacations are a great way to practice “context.” Having the right context makes ALL the difference. Context is a WAY OF BEING. So, it is important to find out how you want to be before, during, and after your vacation. I have the context that I will deliver later something that will hopefully make all the difference in the world for you and your family … but I would like to build up to it.
What is family?
To me, it is a group, gathering, or team of people working together. And vacation is an extended period of recreation usually spent away from your usual residence. So, if you put the two together, you get a group spending an extended period of recreation together. It could be the two greatest things put together and it could be the worst.
I love family, and I love vacation, and I do once remember having horrible family vacations, and I have since had awesome family vacations.
Everyone, whether they know it or not, has an expectation for being on a family vacation. It is safe to assume that the children have a certain expectation of non-stop fun overload from start to finish. Your partner has a different expectation. She wants the experience to be one of nurturing, positive in all respects and to provide benefit to the family.
So, what about you? What are your expectations? Do you want to make sure you get in a few rounds of golf while you are away, or ride the rides at the park that you like the best? Do you want to eat at your favorite restaurants, you know the ones that serve the beer in the 32oz frozen mug?
I have found that the difference between a great vacation, and a horrible vacation are 2-fold.
- My expectations
- My context
The first one is really easy. Expect nothing. The vacation is not about you. The vacation is about the family. You already know you can provide value to the ones you love, and a family vacation puts that to the test. Expect nothing. Go to Chuck E Cheese for lunch and dance with the 8-foot mouse. Ride the “It’s a Small World” sewer ride five times with the kids. Go pedal your bike over the moon with E.T. Have lunch with Woody Woodpecker. Who cares. If the “family” benefits, then do it.
The second is rather simple also. The context to hold that has worked for so many men is………..
“Be a servant to the vacation.”
Again, the vacation is not about you. The vacation is about the family. Serve the vacation, and give, give, give. Be generous with your time and money, and do what everyone else wants to do. Smile and have fun with it. Be the servant. If something is needed, bring it. If something is missing, create it. A servant can’t serve himself on the vacation. That comes later. Men have found that it is totally freeing as a man to just be the servant to the vacation. It works, every time.
On a final note, there is one last piece.
It is important for YOU to take a vacation. By yourself or with your men is usually a good choice. On this vacation, you get to do whatever the hell you want to do. Stay out until 5 a.m. gambling, smoking, and donating dollar bills to scantily clad women while drinking that 32oz beer in the frozen mug? Sure why not. The context for YOUR vacation is “It is all about me.” Have that be the time you refuel, be a jerk, play some golf, or whatever it is you want to do. Usually, 2 days is all a man needs.
Know the difference between YOUR vacation and the FAMILY vacation. It is simple. Look at my pics. Can you tell which ones were FAMILY, and which ones were MINE?
When Dave Plante ventures forth from his man cave, he is our resident expert in Men in Relationships. His insightful book is available for purchase at Amazon.
David Plante’s book found HERE.