Most importantly—what do you choose to do with it?

I’m fresh back from vacation, an 18 day California road trip with the family. Four people stuck in a car for many hours, seeing great friends, cool sites, and creating shared memories!

And what was our purpose? To connect!

Our daughter is already half way through grade 11, which leaves us a year and a half before there is a major shift in gears from the family dynamic we have been navigating since the birth of our son in 2009.

Well, we had a blast! We sang at the top of our lungs, we played games, we challenged ourselves by mimicking The Great Canadian Race, and we dove into some pretty sticky topics.

Overall, we bonded. And we did so because that is what we chose to do with our time!

So often we lose focus and stray from the actual goals we are trying to achieve.

There were a number of times I was triggered on this trip, when the thought in my head was, “REALLY? I just took you two to Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, and to get your ears pierced. We have been listening to the music one of you prefers for the last 5 hours, and the other has their head buried in the Nintendo Switch. Now that I’d rather play a game than listen to a sixth hour of Taylor Swift or Fifa 2020, you’re going to intentionally exclude yourselves?”

I watched the thought… it really wanted to grab hold… it was really convincing me that this was wrong… BUT, I chose to just see it as a thought, one that doesn’t require much investment. Then, still be able to focus on connecting, I said, “I would really appreciate it if you’d play the game with us for a little while. That way we all get a chance to do a little of what we want….”

The words that wanted to come out were, “Gimme a break! I have bent over backwards to make this trip great for you, and you won’t even play a game when I ask?”

But that wouldn’t have achieved our collective goal, deepened our connection.

The message was still clear, but was delivered in a way that kept to our focus.

After 18 days, we all came home a little closer than when we left.

As we all leap into 2023, what are you going to intentionally choose to do with your time?

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