The last week or so has seen a number of blog posts written about being away from home for the holidays. In fact I recently saw the movie ‘Four Christmases’, about a couple that takes off every year to a new exotic locale for the holidays because they don’t want to be around their dysfunctional relatives.
I take the tack that being away one year or even multiple years is great.
Because you come back and appreciate your family and friends when you get back.
Take me for example. This time last year, I was on the other side of the planet…
Were there times I got lonely on the trip? I can’t say I did. I was too engrossed with the trip and experiencing everything that I didn’t notice that I wasn’t with my relatives. But I still had ways to be connected with others on these special days.
I remember heading to the phone shacks of Addis Ababa to call my parents on Christmas.
I was with my aunt, uncle and cousins in London. In Paris I connected with ex-pats watching the inauguration. Same during Election Night ’08 in Tokyo. Spending huge bucks in Macau was fun when I had cool people to hang out with. So you find a way to enjoy yourself, just like you would/should ANY OTHER DAY when traveling.
Being home this year, I take more joy in being with my family since I wasn’t with them last year. Mom’s sweet potato pie tastes better. Watching football on Thanksgiving – priceless. You remember what you had before and glad to be home to experience it again.
There are people who are at home with their “loved ones” and can’t stand to be around them. But they do it out of a sense of obligation.
Don’t be there for the obligation. Do it because you want to be there.
The people who loved you before you left will love you when you come home.
And everyone will appreciate each other that much more when you get back together again.
The bigger point may be: Why do you have to wait until the holidays to get together with the ones you most care about? You should not wait for “special” occasions.