I recently read that four days is the optimal number of days needed to leave on a trip in order to come back to reality feeling truly refreshed. Funny enough that article crossed my lap one day after returning from our first family of four camping trip for four days. I'm not sure if it was the length of time we escaped or the intense summer heat, unanticipated hurricane winds of Minnesota, or the belly-aching laughter, mile-wide smiles and campfire kisses. Whatever the cause of this sense of calm on my soul, it has my most sincere and heartfelt gratitude.
We all know that feeling of being on some type of vacation feeling weightless away from responsibility only to return and jump right back into our lives as if the calm ceased to exist. I've lived that out, but this time has been different. I certainly came home to emails, tasks lingering on my to-do list, appointments, and deadlines. There have been record-setting tantrums and public displays of tears from my tiny humans, an inadequate amount of hours to accomplish all I have to do, and a lack of sleep. Yet there's also been more hugs and "love you mama's" than tears, longer embraces between Kyle and I before and after work shifts end and begin, and a lingering sense of calm even amidst any normal chaos in our days. But why?
This is the question I keep asking myself as each day comes and goes since we returned and my answer is still "yes" when Kyle asks me if I am still relaxed. I know there are many factors at play, but what I keep coming back to is that we have remained true to embracing our Basket Case lifestyle. To our family this means understanding that in order to carry out specific plans it requires patience, understanding, and above all forgiveness of ourselves and each other.
When I share with someone the name of our business for the first time, their reaction always seems to be "I love that name!" My reasoning for its inception has evolved since creating gift baskets for my bridesmaids. Now I see Basket Case as a choice to embrace the crazy, beautiful mess that is life while remaining aware and mindful that it can and will change at any given moment (especially if a child is in need of chocolate milk). I do not believe in a perfect balance of work and life. After all, life is our work and all areas in which we play a role daily. There are just days we need to turn on Portrait mode and blur the rest into the background to focus on a specific subject matter.
It's true this content has nothing to do with selling baskets or boasting about particular goods. However, it has everything to do with the feeling I first wrote about when we began nine months ago. The feeling we want a person who sends and receives a Basket Case gift basket to have is that of joy, excitement, appreciation, and fulfillment. Not to mention, our services taking away the feeling of stress caused by wanting to find the perfect gift. So let's bring it all together. Feeling inner peace, or whatever we want to call it, doesn't come from four days of camping or sending gift baskets. It comes from allowing ourselves to feel it all and acknowledge all we have to be and do without letting it consume us in times of relaxation or add to conflicting times.
I've never had a lucky number, but I guess I might consider it to be four now. The reason because of the number of people my family is made of who are constantly teaching, challenging, inspiring, and loving me. Whatever you have on your agenda as this week begins, I wish for you to find a moment to envision how you want to feel come the end of the week. Instead of focusing on all there is to do before getting there, relish in what that feeling will mean for you, take it in, and then one-by-one make it happen. I promise I'll be there alongside you counting in my head and taking deep breaths, but trying my best to keep a smile on my face and a basket off my head.