Big Time

17 December 10

With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about gifts these days, especially for my two young children, my husband, mother, and beloved family & friends.  Of course I can pick a few things out of catalogs, or browse the many unique boutiques we have here in Athens, GA., but nothing feels as precious as the thing I want most from everyone else, and the thing I try hard to give to others and to myself:  Time.

For many years I have worked under the mantra “Time is Priceless,” and I have applied it to the way I handle decisions and details for my clients, so that more of their vacation time is spent on actual vacation.  Now the hard part for me has been living under the mantra “Time is Priceless,” where I make an effort to slow down a little, dis-connect a little, and enjoy the tiny moments that lead up to the big moments, especially in regards to my children, who are growing up so fast that I’m in constant awe of them.

One of the things I did this year so to give myself Time was visit Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.  This place was life-changing.  I know that sounds BIG, but with all of the wellness classes, cooking classes, and the intense focus on mind, body, and spirit, it really was as big as the great Southwest that spans all around it.

There is something so magical and healing about the Southwest region of our country — the light, the colors, the flat desert areas juxtaposed with mountains and volcanoes, that I can’t ever get enough of it.  The great wide-openness of the sky there is mind-clearing, which is a rare treat for type A’s like myself.  Anyone interested in wellness getaways or spa packages — either by yourself or with others — should definitely ask me about the resorts I’ve visited in this region, like Canyon Ranch, The Boulders, Copperwynd, The Westin Kierland, and the Montelucia Resort and Spa, which I plan to visit in February so to see what all the fuss is about.

One of the things I did this year so to give my family some Time was visit Disney World, which was a lot of fun now that my kids — at 4 and 8 — are old enough to participate in (and remember!) the imagination and magic there.  It was a real treat for our girls to see their mom and dad ride roller coasters, meet Disney characters, and laugh and smile our way through a theme park, which is themed more for family fun than for anything else.

Of course we had our smartphones, but we used them to check on wait times for rides, take spontaneous pictures of each other, and listen to our favorite tunes while getting ready for the day, or for the special shows and events we planned for the evenings.

We got to meet a lot of characters at Disney, but we didn’t get to meet Ratatouille, which is unfortunate, because I was really hoping to get his advice on how best to run the daily Rat Race.  When I think back on this year, I can definitely see how hard I ran, how much I tried to accomplish in a 24-hour period, and how technology, albeit wonderful, made it very difficult for me to truly turn off, tune out and totally dis-connect from distractions.  This is why I want Time for Christmas, and why I want to give to others:

1. Time to hug chipmunks.

2. Time to face paint.

3. Time to tell very long stories to princesses.

4. And most of all, Time with the people you love most in the world (which I hope includes YOU).

Happy Holidays to all of you, and Happy Travels in the New Year.

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