On August 2nd, 2013, the first day of our family vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico, Shayne asked a simple question: “what are your goals this week?” I thought it was an interesting question, given that we were on vacation, and I was curious to hear everyone’s responses. After some initial “What?”s and “You’re kidding, right?”, we sat on the beach and thought about what each of us wanted to do over the next week.
My sister said that her goal was to learn 10 words of Spanish and to go into the pool every day. For my mom, it was to swim in the pool, eat healthy (i.e. put on some weight) and listen to the waves, contemplate life, pray and meditate on the beach. For Nagib, it was, first and foremost, “relax” and then create a plan for the next twelve months. Sabrina’s goal was to complete two chapters a day of “Economics of Development”, her pre-reading for Columbia University, to experience something new and to do a photo shoot at the beach. Shayne’s goal was to have dinner with the family at this fancy place called El Farallon, take in a new experience, and finish reading the book, “The Way of the Knife” My goal was to try every concoction of non-alcoholic beverage available at the resort! Shayne wrote all these down in a book.
I love this exercise because it gave voice to what everyone needed to make the vacation special for them. And what I love more is that since everyone knew what the other wanted, there was support and encouragement for each other. One day before our vacation ended, Shayne opened his book and read out aloud our goals to make sure we were on track. We were doing spectacularly well at meeting our goals. My sister was up to 7 words in Spanish. Shayne and Sabrina zip-lined, rappelled and rock-climbed for the first time. Shayne finished his book. Sabrina finished her book and did her math pre-work as well. My mom meditated on the beach and put on at least 3 pounds (unfortunately, so did we!). Nagib worked on on his one-year plan (but won’t tell us what it is). We did a professional photo shoot on the beach. And I tried a whole host of virgin drinks: Miami Vice, Piña Colada, Mojito and Bananamama (Miami Vice is my favourite!).
And, we ended our vacation with a spectacular dinner at El Farallon. Woo hoo!
I doubt that we would have done all this had Shayne not posed the question at the start of the vacation. We would have done some, but not all.
One of the things I’m going to do differently at home from now on is to ask the family what’s on tap for them for the upcoming week. It’s a great way to stay connected and to be supportive.
So, what’s on tap for you this week?