Don't forget the marshmallows

What a week! Having worked hard and long the week past, I felt on Friday that I had earned my weekend. At 4PM I was headed home to create an experience for my family. In the ten years my daughter has been with me and the twelve years of my son, we have never gone camping. I had determined that it was time

To fulfill this endeavor, I had to find the most exanimate place that I could. Somewhere way out in the boonies but not so far that the fam would object. I discovered a place called "the back yard" worked really well.

We began setting up our newly purchased tent (which was a lesson in Job-ian patience) and extruding all of the necessities from the house: pillows, blankets, air mattresses, dishes, condiments, hot dogs, pie, etc. You get the idea. For two hours we set up and carried out. But, at last, it was done. We were all sitting around our fire pit in the back yard roasting hot dogs. The breeze was cool and gusty, the hot dogs tasty and the Starbucks phenomenal over a campfire. We sat out there for what seemed like hours just talking and laughing with our kids. After an amazingly long time, we went into the house to grab a few last minute items and realized that it had only been an hour and a half. We were amazed that when we slowed down to enjoy each other's presence, the time slowed down too. It was as though someone held back the hands of eternity so that we could enjoy every minute.

Pretty soon, everyone was hungry again and out came the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. Yes! It was Smoore time! The rest of the night was a memory maker as was the morning following.

I'm writing about this today because it didn't take a high dollar experience to a ranch, a cruise or anything else of consequence to enjoy our time together as a family. We were in our back yard. We were in a tent. Nothing special about either the place or the object. But the time, the environment and the fact that we made life stop were the valuable familial parts. My kids and my wife spoke the next day about how much fun they had. They were not talking of the funds, the cuisine or the location. It was family!

Have you made a point to treat yourself to a fun experience like this with your family or friends?
Don't be afraid to think outside the box and invest yourself in such a good experience. You deserve it and if you don't make it happen it won't happen by itself. Your life will continue to buzz around you and consume all the time you have available. Make time stop. Enjoy the valuable people in your life. And, when you're at it, don't forget the marshmallows.



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This topic and others like it can be found in Making It Count: Putting meaning back in business and relationships. Bryan Hurlbut is the author of Making It Count: Putting meaning back in business and relationships.

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