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j0443826When we were raising our children, we never had a lot of money. Even working several jobs required a tight budget as we paid bills, saved for emergencies and the future.

Vacations were either camping trips with the kids or a few days off by ourselves maybe once or twice a year. Vacation packages were not considered as they didn’t meet our financial means. While the camping trips could be stressful we managed over time to keep them as stress free as possible.

I also discovered that I could take lots of “mini” vacations if I chose to look at momentary breaks in life as a potential mini vacation.  If I considered time outs as mini-vacations they would feel like one.  If, however, I allowed myself to feel deprived because I couldn’t have a grander vacation, I would only feel unhappy and resentful. It isn’t events, after all, that make us happy or sad, but how we perceive them. 

Happiness and contentment are states of mind. So is hopelessness and helplessness. We choose the state of mind we want to spend time in.

Mini vacations were any time we could step out of the pressures of the moment and allow some respite. A quiet but inexpensive night out gave my husband and I time to enjoy each other. A simple trip to the beach or the mountains for a day allowed us to wrap ourselves in the beauty of Oregon. It didn’t have to be fancy or cost lots of money to be relaxing. It could just be a day of reading.

If you are planning an extensive trip or vacation, consider down time within your vacation when you can just relax. Set aside enough money to cover expenses and resist unrealistic expectations which can set us up for disappointment.  

And don’t forget.  You can take a mini-vacation whenever the opportunity presents itself. These tiny day or weekend mini-vacations can revive your spirits and refresh your energy.

Marlene Anderson

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